Hastings' Research Group

J. Todd Hastings

Reese Terry Professor of Electrical Engineering

Director, Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering

Contact:  todd.hastings@uky.edu

The Hastings Research Group seeks novel ways to increase the resolution, accuracy, and throughput of nanofabrication and nanomanufacturing techniques with a particular emphasis on photonics applications for sensing, imaging, and materials characterization. Collaborations have expanded the groups' investigations to renewable energy, data storage, communications, and computing.


New paper published in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

Schematic of bioreactor system.

Post-doctoral scholar Yuxia Ji (ChemE) and Ph.D. student Mansoor Sultan (ECE) recently published their work on clean hydrogren production from waste organic acids.  The effort combined photo-active bacteria, near-infrared illumination, and plasmonic nanoparticles and quantified hydrogen and CO2 production rates and efficiencies.  Professor Bhattacharyya (ChemE) led the research team which also included Professors Kim (Chemistry) and Hastings (ECE).  The work was conducted in collaboration with and through the support of Southern Company.  The research appeared in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, and can be accessed at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2020.11.257.

New paper published in Optics Letters

Image of a metasurface for focussing and filtering.

Graduate students Mansoor Sultan and Fatih Balli, along with professors Lau and Hastings, recently published their work describing metasurfaces that can simultaneously focus and filter light.  These novel nanostructured optics may find application in imaging, spectroscopy, communications, or optical trapping.  The work appears in Optics Letters (https://doi.org/10.1364/OL.410080) and was supported by the National Science Foundation and Intel Corp.

New e-print on arXiv: Switchable X-ray Orbital Angular Momentum from an Artificial Spin Ice

An artificial spin ice generated x-ray beam carrying orbital angular momentum.

There is rapidly growing interest in X-ray orbital angular momentum (OAM) for imaging and probing materials at the nanoscale.  Recently, a team of researchers spanning the University of Kentucky and Lawrence Berkeley, Argonne, and Brookhaven National Laboratories found that X-ray diffraction from an antiferromagnetic (AF) metasurface gives rise to X-ray photons carrying OAM.  U.K. graduate student Justin Woods and postdoc Xiaoqian Chen (now at BNL) took leading roles in the effort and just released a preprint of their findings on arXiv (arXiv:2011.10148).  The results confirmed several predications about artificial spin lattices and their interactions with X-ray photons and suggest that AF metasurfaces can underpin designs for reconfigurable X-ray optics.