Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Vinod Menon

Committee Members

Carlos Meriles

Ying-Chih Chen

Luat T. Vuong

Alexander Khanikaev

Subject Categories

Condensed Matter Physics | Optics | Quantum Physics


Circular Polarization, hexagonal boron nitride, monolayer, Plasmonics, Single photon emitter, Van der Waals


The thesis here investigates the manipulation of light-matter interactions via nanoscale engineering of material systems. When material systems are structured on the nanoscale, their optical responses can be dramatically altered. In this thesis, this is done in two primary ways: One method is by changing the geometry of nanostructures to induce a resonant behavior with incident electromagnetic field of optical wavelengths. This allows field enhancement in highly localized areas to strengthen exotic light-matter interactions that would otherwise be too weak to measure or for practical use. In this regard, the work presented here studies a voltage produced in a metal film by an interesting momentum transfer which occurs between incident photons and electrons in a plasmonic film via the spin Hall effect of light. The second method focuses on nanometer scale manipulations of material systems to fundamentally alter the electronic properties of the material and thus significantly change its optical response. This is accomplished via the strain engineering of the electronic bands in the hexagonal Boron Nitride. This allows electronic transitions deep within the bandgap of the material to become radiative either through the increased likelihood ionization or electron capture. These electronic transitions are known to produce number states which is a quantum of light used in quantum information sciences.