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Light in complex nanostructures

The Light in Complex Nanostructures group studies the properties of coherent systems involving multiple and strong scattering of light with individual or ensemble of quantum or classical nano-objects or both. We tackle the problem starting from the elementary level (individual nanoparticles), to the microsystem level (nanoparticles possibly dressed by quantum resonators, small nanoparticle assemblies), towards the mesoscopic scale (metasurfaces with many nanoparticles forming complex macrosystems).

The Light in Complex Nanostructures group in 2017. From left to right: Philippe Lalanne, Wei Yan, Maxime Bertrand, Louis Bellando, Alexandre Gras, Kevin Vynck


  • Adrian AGREDA (Post-doctoral fellow)
  • Denis ARRIVAULT (CNRS Engineer)
  • Maxime BERTRAND (PhD student)
  • Alexandre GRAS (PhD student, collaboration INRIA)
  • Philippe LALANNE (CNRS Research Director & group leader)
  • Armel PITELET (Post-doctoral fellow)
  • Marie-Caroline SOLIGNAC (PhD student, collaboration SVI - Saint Gobain Recherche)
  • Loïc TRAN (PhD student, collaboration L'Oréal)
  • Tong WU (Post-doctoral fellow)



  • Lamis AL-SHEIKH (PhD student, now at IMB, Dijon, France)
  • Qiang BAI (Post-doctoral fellow)
  • Louis BELLANDO (Post-doctoral fellow, now at LOMA, Talence, France)
  • Kévin COGNEE (PhD student, now at City University of New York, USA)
  • Alexis DEVILEZ (Post-doctoral fellow)
  • Rémi FAGGIANI (PhD student, now at Greenerwave, Paris, France)
  • Kevin VYNCK (CNRS Research Scientist, now at Institut Lumière Matière, Lyon, France)
  • Wei YAN (Post-doctoral fellow, now researcher at Westlake University, Hangzhou, China)
  • Jianji YANG (Post-doctoral fellow, now at Finisar Corporation, Oregon, USA)
  • Xiaorun ZANG (PhD student, now at Tampere University of Technology, Finland)



We welcome applications for post-doctoral positions, PhD positions and internships mainly on two topics:

  1. Non-Hermitian physics with quasinormal modes (theory and applications), see our recent publications for more details.
  2. New visual appearance with metasurfaces (theory and experiments). Metasurfaces have been mainly used to control structural colour so far. We study so-far unexplored strategies, based on an unconventional use of disordered optical metasurfaces, to create new visual apperance that have not been yet observed nor modelled. The topic is more recent in the team.

To apply, please contact Philippe Lalanne directly by email with your CV and contact references.



  • July 2020: The group coauthors a Letter proposing an effective perturbation theory to predict the perturbed modes for large shape deformation and successfully applies the theory to resonator inverse design: PRL 125, 013901 (2020).
  • January 2020: Kévin Cognée successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled "Hybridization of open photonic systems" and realized partly at AMOLF (The Netherlands) under the supervision of Femius Koenderink. Congratulations!
  • December 2019: The group coauthors a Letter published in Nature entitled "A Generalized Theoretical and Experimental Framework for Nanoscale Electromagnetism": Nature 576, 248-252 (2019).
  • November 2019: Kevin Vynck receives the Bronze medal of CNRS.
  • September 2019: The group welcomes Denis Arrivault, a CNRS Research Engineer specialized in computational science.



MAN (Modal Analysis of Nanoresonators)

MAN is an open-source software for analyzing electromagnetic micro and nanoresonators. It is composed of two solvers, QNMEig and QNMPole, which compute and normalize the quasinormal modes (QNMs), i.e. the quality factor Q and mode volume V. QNMEig operates under the COMSOL Multiphysics platform; QNMPole can be used with any frequency-domain electromagnetic solver. These solvers are valued by an increasing number of toolboxes, which allow a transparent analysis of nanoresonators with analytical formulae: reconstruction of the field in the modal basis, scattering and extinction cross-section spectra, LDOS spatial and spectral maps, Purcell factor, multipolar decomposition, generation of second-harmonics, temporal domain analysis … In the present version, the toolboxes are solver dependent; this is formal and with a minor effort, the user using one solver may benefit from the toolboxes developed for the other solver. In future versions, the toolboxes will be shared.

Download MAN




RETOP is an open-source Matlab toobox that implements a near-to-far-field transformation for computing the radiation diagram. This transformation is implemented in many electromagnetic software, however for most of them, like COMSOL multiphysics, the transformation is restricted to object surrounded by uniform media (free space). RETOP operates for objects on substrates or buried in stratified media. It can be used to compute the radiation diagram in the superstrate and the substrate . The substrate may support guided modes or surface plasmon modes with metal layers. RETOP additionally computes the in-plane radiation diagram in the guided modes. It just needs the near-field (computed on a rectangular box that contains the object with any full-wave Maxwell’s solver) to compute the radiation diagrams. It is especially relevant for calculating the scattering of nanoparticle on substrates. Special attention is made to the interface with COMSOL Multiphysics.

Download RETOP




RETICOLO implements the rigorous coupled wave analysis (RCWA) for 1D (classical and conical diffraction) and 2D crossed gratings. It operates under a MATLAB environment and incorporates an efficient and accurate toolbox for visualizing the electromagnetic field in the grating.









Philippe Lalanne is Research Director at CNRS and is an international expert in computational and nanoscale electrodynamics. He was first involved in the group of Pierre Chavel at l'Institut d’Optique at Orsay. In 1995, he spent a sabbatical year with G.M. Morris at the Institute of Optics in Rochester.

With his colleagues, he has launched new modal theories and improved numerical tools for gratings [JOSA A 1996], waveguides [JOSA A 2001, Opt. Express 2007] and microresonators [PRL 2013, PRB 2018]. He has used these tools to provide deep insight into the physical mechanisms involved in key nanoscale optical phenomena and devices, e.g. light confinement in photonic-crystal cavities [APL 2001, Nature 2004], the extraordinary optical transmission [PRL 2002, Nature 2008, Nature 2012], light interaction with plasmonic nanoresonators [PRL 2013, LPR 2018]. He has pioneered the development of large-NA metalenses [JOSA A 1999, Laser Photon. Rev. 2017] and has designed and demonstrated novel nanostructures with record or completely novel performance in their time, e.g. metalens [JOSA A 1999], slow light injectors [Opt. Lett. 2007], directional plasmon couplers [PRL 2005, Nano Lett. 2011], broadband single-channel photon sources [Nature Photonics 2010].

He has supervised 17 PhD candidates and co-supervised 6 PhD candidates. He is an Associate Editor of Optica, a member of the editorial board of Laser & Photonics Reviews, and is director of GDR Ondes, a broad virtual laboratory that gathers the French community working on acoustic and electromagnetic waves. He is a recipient of the Bronze medal of CNRS and the prix Fabry de Gramont of the Société Française d’Optique. He is a fellow of the IOP, OSA and SPIE.



Master 1: optical waveguides
  1. Chapter 1: Macroscopic Maxwell’s equations
  2. Chapter 2: Introduction to optical waveguide modes
  3. Chapter 3: Classical waveguide geometries
  4. Chapter 4: Theory of optical waveguides
  5. Chapter 5: Pulse propagation in waveguides

Download course optical waveguides

Master 2: Optical artificial materials
  1. Outline
  2. Introduction (slides)
  3. Chapter 1 Bloch modes
  4. Chapter 2 Equivalence between subwavelength gratings and homogeneous thin films
  5. Chapter 3 Metamaterials & metasurfaces
  6. Chapter 6 Plasmonics

Download course optical metasurfaces


  1. Metalenses at visible wavelengths: Laser Photon. Rev. 11, 1600295 (2017). The article makes an historical perspective on high-NA metalenses, rehabilitating pionneer works well before the celebrated Report published in Science (vol. 352, June 2016) by the Harvard group, "Metalenses at visible wavelengths: diffraction-limited focusing and subwavelength resolution imaging".
  2. Structural slow waves: ACS Photon. 6, 4-17 (2019). The article provides a comparison between photonic and plasmonic modes, helping understanding structural slow light with both its facets.

Download the articles


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