Integrated Nanophotonics for Next-Generation Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet of things (IoT) connect a variety of devices that range from simple sensors to smartphones, wearables, home appliances, manufacturing equipment, vehicles and civil infrastructures. These IoT devices autonomously sense and gather real-time data, then rapidly process the information and generate smart responses. However, current IoT devices communicate using radio frequency (RF) waves, which pose a limit to the communication speed. In addition, many IoT devices suffer in terms of low sensor sensitivity and energy efficiency. Here we propose an integrated nanophotonic IoT platform that significantly enhances the connectivity, sensitivity and communication speed, while enabling device miniaturization and energy harvesting capability. Novel nanostructures with extreme light matter interaction will be designed and realized to control photons and optical signals. We have assembled a multidisciplinary team of science and engineering faculty from five departments, two colleges, and two campuses to tackle this challenge. Integrated nanophotonic IoT devices with improved performances will enable smarter decision making and new market opportunities, as well as promoting better health, safety, comfort and productivity in our daily lives.