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Daniel Lopez (Assoc)

Daniel Lopez is a Visiting Guest Researcher in the Microsystems and Nanotechnology Division in the Physical Measurement Lab, and a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Penn State University. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Instituto Balseiro in Argentina in 1996. After obtaining his Ph.D., he worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center doing research in the field of vortex physics in high-temperature superconductors. In 1998 he joined Bell Laboratories (Murray Hill, NJ) as a full-time Research Staff member where he started developing micro and nano-machines for optical communications, imaging, and quantum sensing. In 2000 he received the Bell Labs President's Gold Award, the highest recognition award at Bell Laboratories for developing disruptive technologies with a direct impact on the business. In 2009 he moved to Argonne National Laboratory to lead the Nanofabrication and Devices group, a group that studies the fundamental science behind the development of micro- and nanoscale systems and supports more than 300 users per year, providing technical guidance and access to an 18,000 sq. ft. cleanroom. In 2020, he joined the research staff at NIST in Gaithersburg, MD.

His research career covered many areas, such as novel materials, micromechanics, optical MEMS, and nanofabrication, but a common theme has been to use the interplay among mechanics, photonics, and materials science to advance fundamental research and bridge the gap with practical applications. Some recent notable examples of his research include the fabrication of today's fastest and densest spatial light modulators, the development of methods to improve the performance of oscillators using nonlinear resonators, the most precise characterization of the quantum mechanical Casimir interaction, and the development of optical nanosystems incorporating metasurfaces onto MEMS devices.

He has authored more than 150 technical publications, holds more than 30 granted and pending patents, and has given invited talks all over the world. He collaborates with the industrial sector and with researchers and educators worldwide.

Scientific areas of interest

  • Nano and Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (NEMS/MEMS):  
    • Non-linear dynamics of nanoscale devices and synchronization
    • Integration of NEMS devices with metasurfaces and novel materials
    • Spatial Light Modulators (SLM) for x-ray manipulation, nano-manufacturing and optical communications 
  • Origami and kirigami-based materials and devices
  • Development of processes to integrate arrays of NEMS/MEMS devices into standard CMOS technology.
  • Ultra-sensitive nano-mechanical sensors: study of quantum forces in mechanical structures and corrections to Newtonian gravitation at short length scales

Selected publications

  • Ultrafast photonic micro-systems to manipulate hard x-rays at 300 ps: An optics-on-a-chip approach; P. Chen, I. W. Jung, D. Walko, Z. Li, Y. Gao, G. Shenoy, D. López, and J. Wang, Nature Commun., 10, (1), 1158 (2019).
  • Nonlinear Mode Coupling and One to One Internal Resonances in a Monolayer WS2 Nanoresonator; S. Nathamgari, S. Dong, L. Medina, N. Moldovan, D. Rosenmann, R. Divan, D. López, L. Lauhon, H. Espinosa, Nano Letters 19, 6, 4052 (2019).
  • Bifurcation diagram and dynamic response of a MEMS resonator with a 1:3 internal resonance; D. Czaplewski, S. Strachan, O. Soshani, S. Shaw and D. López, Appl. Phys. Lett. 114, 254104 (2019).
  • Ultrathin transmissive metasurface for multiwavelength optics in the visible; H. Cai, D. Czaplewski, K. Ogando, A. Martinson, D. Gosztola, L. Stan, and D. López, Appl. Phys. Lett. 114 (7), 071106, (2019).
  • Bifurcation generated mechanical frequency comb; D. Czaplewski, C. Chen, D. López, O. Soshani, A. Eriksson, S. Strachan and S. Shaw, Phys. Rev. Lett. 121, 244302 (2018).
  • Dynamic metasurface lens based on MEMS Technology; T. Roy, S. Zhang, I. W. Jung, M. Troccoli, F. Capasso, and D. López, Appl. Phys. Lett. Photonics 3, 021302 (2018).
  • Direct observation of coherent energy transfer in nonlinear micro-mechanical oscillators; C. Chen, D. Zanette, D. Czaplewski, Steven Shaw and D. López, Nature Commun. 8, 8:15523 (2017).
  • A self-sustained mechanical oscillator with linear feedback; C. Chen, D. Zanette, J. Guest, D. Czaplewski and D. López, Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 017203 (2016).
  • Stronger limits on hypothetical Yukawa interactions in the 30-8000 nm range; Y. Chen, W. Tham, D. E. Krause, D. López, E. Fischbach and R. S. Decca, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 221102 (2016).
  • Ultracompact Nano-Mechanical Plasmonic Phase Modulators; B. S. Dennis, M. I. Haftel, D. A. Czaplewski, D. López, G. Blumberg and V. Aksyuk; Nature Photonics 9, 267–273 (2015).
  • Diffraction limited focusing and directing of gap plasmons by metal-dielectric-metal lens; B. S. Dennis, M. I. Haftel, D. A. Czaplewski, D. López, G. Blumberg and V. Aksyuk; Optics Express 23, 21899 (2015).
  • X-ray Photonic Microsystems for manipulation of synchrotron light; D. Mukhopadhyay, D. A. Walko, I. W. Jung, C. P. Schwartz, Jin Wang, G. K. Shenoy and D. López, Nature Commun. 6, 6:7057 doi: 10.1038/ncomms8057 (2015).
  • Nonlinearity-induced synchronization enhancement in micromechanical oscillators; D. Antonio, D. Czaplewski, J. Guest, S. Arroyo, D. Zanette and D. López; Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 034103 (2015).
  • Frequency stabilization in nonlinear micromechanical oscillators; D. Antonio, D. Zanette, D. López, Nature Communications 3, 806 (2012).


Created March 19, 2020, Updated December 9, 2022