Ksenia Dolgaleva

Currently Assistant Professor at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of the University of Ottawa since July 2013, Dolgaleva has received her Diploma in Physics (M. Sc. equivalent) from Lomonosov Moscow State University, and her Ph.D. in Optics from the Institute of Optics, University of Rochester.

In Moscow, she developed an affinity for Optics which became a passion that she carried throughout her career. While studying Quantum Mechanics and Atomic Physics during the third and fourth years at the university, she realized that Optics includes these two exciting disciplines as well, there were no doubts that she should choose Optics her specialisation. The Institute of Optics was the perfect place to put her acquired knowledge to practice, while enhancing and deepening her fundamental background.

Prof. Robert Boyd accepted her into his research group. This exposure to the world-famous expert in Nonlinear Optics entices her to make it became her primary subject of interest. Thus her Ph.D. focused on nanocomposite optical materials, local-field effects, chiral metasurfaces, cholesteric liquid crystal lasers, 1D photonic crystal structures for enhanced nonlinear optical interactions, and many subjects. Following her Ph.D. in Optics, she was accepted as a postdoctoral researcher by Prof. Stewart Aitchison at University of Toronto to work on integrated optical devices based on AlGaAs. Exposed to a new kind of devices with direct practical implication, a completely new field opened up to her: integrated photonics for optical communications. Realising how powerful an impact integrated photonics could have, she decided to work on developing all-optical signal processing functions on a chip.

Research Areas

Integrated Photonic Circuits

The impact of photonics in our daily activities in the 21st century will undoubtedly surpass the influence of the “Electronics Age” of the past 60 years. Optical networks are transitioning from simple point-to-point arrangements to reconfigurable wavelength-routed architectures. The present role of large-scale photonic integration is to replace optical-to-electrical and back-to-optical (OEO) converters at the network nodes with single optical chips. Presently, signal processing at the network nodes is primarily performed electronically; however, photonic integration in optical communications will enable all-optical signal processing; thus minimizing the need for OEO at the network nodes. Remarkable progress in this direction has evolved in recent years. Numerous optoelectronic and all-optical functions have been demonstrated; among them are all-optical logic gates, label switching, analog-to-digital conversion, wavelength conversion, tunable optical delay lines, and 3R regeneration techniques. However, various all-optical signal processing operations and on-chip pulse metrology have not yet been demonstrated. The general goal of my research is to deal with these gaps, and to enable highly functional integrated photonic circuits for optical and quantum communications.

Local-Field Effects and Nanostructured Materials

The optical response of a medium depends on the local field acting on an individual emitter rather than on the macroscopic average field in the medium. The local field depends very sensitively on the microscopic environment in an optical medium. It is thus possible to achieve a significant control over the local field by intermixing homogeneous materials on a nanoscale to produce composite optical materials. A combination of local-field effects and nanostructuring provides new degrees of freedom for manipulating the optical properties of photonic materials [ K. Dolgaleva and R. W. Boyd, Adv. Opt. Photon. 4, 1 (2012); K. Dolgaleva, Photonics and Nanostructures: Fundamentals and Applications 10, 369 (2012)]. Especially interesting opportunities open up in the nonlinear optical regime where the material response depends on the local-field correction as a power law. One of the directions of my research group focuses on studying the influence of local-field effects on the optical properties of photonic materials, both homogeneous and composite.