Exploring Dissipation Engineering in Hybrid Magnonic Systems

Xufeng Zhang

ECE Assistant Professor Xufeng Zhang, in collaboration with Boston University, was awarded a $420,000 NSF grant for “Harnessing Magnonic Nonreciprocity Through Dissipation Engineering.” This project will investigate the principals of energy dissipation in magnonic systems and engineering approaches for manipulating dissipations.

Abstract Source: NSF

Energy dissipation resulting from the interaction of a system with its environment has been traditionally viewed solely as a foe that limits signal lifetimes. However, the advent of new theories has reshaped our perspective on it and enabled novel engineering approaches to utilize dissipation as an important resource for manipulating the behaviors of a given system. Despite its rapid advancements in photonic and electronic circuits, dissipation engineering remains primarily a theoretical pursuit in magnonic and hybrid magnonic systems where information is carried by magnons – the elementary collective spin excitations. In particular, the experimental exploration of unique dissipation phenomena intertwined with nonreciprocity, such as robust mode conversion and the non-Hermitian skin effect, is still in its infancy, lacking well-designed experiments and a clear path toward practical applications. This project will investigate the basic principles of dissipations in magnonic systems and engineering approaches for manipulating dissipations. These endeavors will greatly enhance the fundamental comprehension of how dissipation functions within magnonic systems, leading to advancements in practical applications such as nonreciprocal information processing. The project will provide extensive mentoring and training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, and moreover, a new course curriculum will be introduced for undergraduate students, creating new opportunities for underrepresented high school student groups and K-12 students to immerse themselves in science and participate in research.

This project aims to harness nonreciprocity by leveraging dissipation engineering in hybrid magnonic systems. Through theory-guided experimental efforts, strongly coupled microwave photon-magnon systems will be explored in three parallel thrusts: Thrust 1 will focus on the proof-of-principle demonstration of mode conversion between two magnon modes in hybrid magnonic systems, which is protected by the topology of the system and thus highly robust. This will be achieved in the time domain using pulsed operations. Thrust 2 will investigate the topological mode conversion between a magnon and a microwave photon mode, which will be implemented in the space domain under continuous wave operation. Thrust 3 will demonstrate the emergence of the skin effect in a hybrid magnonic system that is enabled by dissipative coupling. This research will provide insights for a series of fundamental questions related to the dissipation of magnetic systems, the dynamics of encircling singularity points, the relation between the non-Hermitian skin effect and nonreciprocal transport, and the role of the nonlinearities that are naturally built in the magnetization dynamics. The research outcome will pave the way for leveraging the unique non-Hermitian properties of hybrid magnonics across various applications, ranging from neuromorphic computing to magnon-based logic systems.

Related Faculty: Xufeng Zhang

Related Departments:Electrical & Computer Engineering