Special Sessions

Should you be interested in organizing a Special Session at META 2020, contact us at contact@metaconferences.org. Sessions of similar topics may be proposed, if needed we will schedule them at different slots over the conference period.

1. See examples of sessions proposed at META 2019 here.

2. See "Call for Special Sessions" here.

SP1. "Machine learning for metamaterials and metasurfaces"

Organizer: Mohamed Bakr (McMaster University, Canada) and Willie Padilla (Duke University, USA)

Recent application of machine learning and deep learning has enabled accelerated design of metamaterial and metasurfaces, thus overcoming significant challenges with conventional numerical methods. For many metamaterial and metasurface systems, conventional optimization approaches are limited and not able to efficiently solve for a desired scattering response. The issue of finding the geometry of a metamaterial or metasurface that will give a desired spectral response – the inverse problem – is also is of keen interest and, as of yet, an unsolved problem. Research on machine learning, deep learning for accelerated metamaterial discovery and optimization, inverse neural networks, and interpretable machine learning, will be covered in the present session.


  1. Machine learning and deep learning for nanoscale structured materials;
  2. Forward and inverse machine learning approaches;
  3. Supervised learning, unsupervised learning, and reinforcement learning;
  4. Interpretable machine learning;
  5. Metamaterial and metasurface discovery and optimization with machine learning.

SP2. "Structured and topological photonic fields"

Organizer: Jamal Berakdar (Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany) 

The spatial structure of the wave fronts of electromagnetic pulses as well as the distribution of the polarization state of photonics fields can nowadays be engineered to a high precision, resulting in photonics fields that carry a well defined amount of orbital angular momentum, or fields that trigger magnetoelectric transitions in matter, as well as optical fields with specific topological nature such as optical skyrmions. This session reviews recent advances in these areas of research with emphasis on the cross links and possible future applications.


  1. Beams carrying orbital angular momentum;
  2. Vector beams;
  3. Topological photonics;
  4. Optical skyrmions;
  5. Magnetoelectric photonics.

Confirmed Invited Speakers:

  1.  Andrei Afanasev, George Washington University, USA
  2. Antonio Ambrosio, Istituto Italiano di Tec, Italy
  3. Mohamed Babiker, York University, UK
  4. Che Ting Chan, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong
  5. Patrice Genevet, Université Côte d'Azur, France
  6. Eugene Kamenetskii, Ben-Gurion University, Isreal
  7. Koray  Köksal , Bitlis Eren Üniversitesi, Turkey

SP3. "Metasurface for information processing"

Organizer: Jensen Li (HKUST, Hong Kong) and Xianzhong Chen (Heriot-Watt University, UK)

Metasurfaces offer a flexible and sophisticated platform to control light-matter interaction, particularly on manipulating and converting the different degrees of freedom of light, including direction, polarization and orbital angular momentum. This session aims to further explore their applications in information processing, including multiplexing/demultiplexing, storage and mode conversions.


  1. Metasurface holograms;
  2. Tunable/active/coding metasurfaces;
  3. Mode selection and sorting;
  4. Transformation optics;
  5. Counterfeit and security applications.

SP4. "Parity-Time and quasi-normal modes in Photonics, Plasmonics, Acoustics"

Organizer: Anatole Lupu (C2N/Paris-Sud University, France) and Henri Benisty (Institut d'Optique Graduate School, France)

The use of new symmetry properties in Photonics, Plasmonics, Acoustics has emerged in the recent years. They exploit unusual categories of modes and states that open yet unexplored avenues. Parity-Time symmetric structures are a key example of such a class of non-Hermitian systems of renewed interest in optics and photonics (gain/loss structures) for diverse flavours of broken symmetries. Quasi-normal modes help building sound pictures of non-hermitian systems and are also an increasingly considered topic. This special session will cover theoretical and experimental progress in the exploration and functionalization of systems exhibiting this class of special-symmetry-related features in the areas of photonics, plasmonics and acoustics.


  1. Non-Hermitian Photonics, Plasmonics, Metamaterials, Acoustics;
  2. PT-symmetry related functionalities enabled by gain-loss engineering: theory, devices, applications;
  3. Singularities, broken symmetries, topological states in non-Hermitian systems;
  4. Transformation optics;
  5. Studies of quasi normal modes in general Non-hermitian contexts.

SP5. "Synthesis and characterization of plasmonic nanostructures"

Organizer: Mohamed Boutinguiza Larosi and Juan Pou Saracho (University of Vigo, Spain)

Plasmonic nanomaterials are receiving special attention as object of investigation in science and nanotechnology due their unique optical, electrical, magnetic and catalytic properties obtainable when operating at nanoscale. The fast development of this area has increased the applications of plasmonic nanomaterials, as well as the new methods of nanofabrication. This session includes, but it is not limited to: the following topics:


  1. Synthesis and processing of plasmonic nanomaterials;
  2. Functional plasmonic nanostructures;
  3. Characterization of nanomaterials;
  4. Plasmonic Nanofabrication.

SP6. "Mesoscale Plasmonics, Nanophotonics and Acoustics"

Organizer: Igor V. Minin and Oleg V. Minin (Tomsk Polytechnical University, Russia)

This workshop is devoted to mesoscale structures which are large enough to support internal resonances, but at the same time small enough, so that geometrical optics cannot be applied for studying their properties (typically Mie size parameter around 10-20). In the last two decades, an explosion of research in photonics (including plasmonics and acoustics) aimed at novel optical properties of mesoscale (wavelength-scale dimensions) structures such as photonic nanojets and hooks, photonic-plasmonic near-field coupling effects for ultrasensitive sensors and tweezers, super-resolution imaging properties, etc were ovserved.


  1. Photonics Jet, Photonics hook, Acoustic Jets;
  2. Mesoscale particle: resonances and Superresonanses;
  3. Plasmonic Mesoscale devices and appications;
  4. Acoustic subwavelength focusing and mesoscale lenses;
  5. New tweezers on mesoscale;
  6. Mesoscale-particle based Super-resolution images;
  7. Mesoscale structured light, etc.

SP7. "Plasmonics for single molecule detection and manipulation"

Organizer: Denis garoli (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia - IIT, Italy)

The use of plasmonic nanostructures to engineer electromagnetic fields in a sensor allows for enhanced optical spectroscopies, local control over temperature, thermophoresis of molecules and ions to/from the sensor, and trapping of entities. In particular plasmonic nanopores for single-molecule detection and biomolecular sequencing applications are now under investigation and they can significantly impact on the single-molecule research field. This session wants to cover all the aspects related to single molecule detection and manipulation achievable with plasmonics. In particular, the main topics are:


  1. Plasmonic nanostructures for extreme sensitivity detection;
  2. Single molecule fluorescence;
  3. Single molecule SERS;
  4. Plasmonic nanopore;
  5. Plasmonic trapping.

SP8. "Structural Color for Displays and Imaging"

Organizer: Debashis Chanda (College of Optics and Photonics - CREOL, University of Central Florida, USA)

Structural color is produced through combinations of reflection, scattering and interference which eliminates color bleaching of pigmentation based absorptive color generation mechanisms. Plasmonic as well as dielectric metasurfaces/nanostructures offer the unique ability to control the propagation of light via phase/amplitude modifications on nanostructured surfaces, producing vivid structural color. Flexible, thin-film structural color holds great promise for next generation displays and prints.


  1. Transmissive/reflective structural color; 
  2. High contrast color; 
  3. Angle independent color generation; 
  4. Active and passive tunability; 
  5. Bio-inspired color; 
  6. Integrated devices.

SP9. "Bottom-up approaches and new fabrication routes"

Organizers: Dorota Pawlak (ITME, Poland) & Virginie Ponsinet (CNRS-Université de Bordeaux, France)

The session will cover all aspects of novel approaches to manufacturing of materials with special electromagnetic properties as metamaterials and plasmonic materials. The stress will be on bottom-up approach however the session aims to bring together also scientists applying novel ideas in top-down manufacturing methods. The session will include manufacturing, theory, characterization and application. The session aims to bring together material scientists, experts in electromagnetic theory and characterization as well as researchers presenting applications of the materials.


  1. Bottom-up fabrication routes for nanomaterials;
  2. New fabrication methods for nanophotonics;
  3. Self-assembled metamaterials;
  4. Disordered and non-periodic metamaterials and metasurfaces;
  5. Colloidal optical nanoresonators.

SP10. " Local enhancement and control of light-matter interaction"

Organizers: Antonio Ambrosio (CNST@POLIMI - Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy)

Local manipulation of light-matter interaction by means of nanostructuring of photonics materials is a well-established reality. One example is the physics of polaritons in some 2D materials. The session will discuss the most recent achievements about topics like:


  1. Polaritons in 2D material;
  2. Near-field microscopy;
  3. Visible and Mid-IR metasurfaces and metamaterials;
  4. Intersubband transitions;
  5. Tunable nano-devices.





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