Boyd's multifold research as chair is using nanotechnology to make new materials for various cutting-edge technological applications in science and engineering. His breakthroughs in optics could have important implications for research across other disciplines, such as information and communications technology, solar energy conversion, and biomedical imaging.
Using state-of-the-art techniques of nanophotonics, Boyd is fabricating photonic crystals for a variety of applications in photonics and nonlinear optics. One procedure is to use these photonic crystals to slow down the speed of light. The ability to control the speed of light can lead to important applications such as the development of buffers for optical telecommunication, laser radars to track distant objects, and spectrometers of unprecedented precision for environmental sensing.
Boyd's research program also has the potential to advance current solar energy technology by developing nanostructures to enhance the interaction between light and matter. Another aspect of Boyd's work involves fundamental issues such as determining the maximum amount of information a single photon can hold. The ability to transmit many bits of data on a single photon has important consequences for minimizing power requirements for telecommunication networks, and for improving the security of communications systems.
A highly esteemed researcher, Boyd is a synergistic addition to an already stellar group of researchers at the University of Ottawa and its working partner, the National Research Council of Canada. His research breakthroughs will help reinforce the University of Ottawa as a global leader in optics and photonics research.