Volker J. Sorger

Volker J. Sorger

Assistant Professor
Address: Science & Engineering Hall
800 22nd Street, NW
Phone: 202-994-7186


Professor Volker Sorger's research team is investigating novel opto-electronics devices and energy-conversion solutions, primarily at nanoscale dimensions. We follow an interdisciplinary approach that draws expertise from electrical engineering, materials science, and business technology management to address key questions such as next generation computing, high-efficient solar-conversion, and green-telecommunication. Our capabilities range from high speed opto-electronic device tests over rapid prototyping, to simulation analysis. Recent demonstrations include the world's smallest laser, ultra-fast optical transistors for future photonic integrated circuits, and a solar-battery storage model. Finally, our team is actively engaged in outreach and student learning programs.

Current Research

Computer engineering; Electrical engineering; Electromagnetics, radiation systems, and microwave engineering; Microelectronics, VLSI systems, and MEMS/NEMS; Nanotechnologies


Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, The University of California - Berkeley, Berkeley, 2011
Management of Technology, Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, 2011
M.A. in Physics, The University of Texas, Austin, 2005


  • V. J. Sorger, N. D. Lanzillotti-Kimura and X. Zhang "Ultra-compact Silicon Nanophotonic Modulator with broadband Response" Nanophotonics, DOI: 10.1515/nanoph-2012-0009 (2012).
  • R.-M. Ma, R. F. Oulton, V. J. Sorger and X. Zhang "Plasmon Lasers: Coherent Light Sources at Molecular Scales" Laser and Photonics Rev., 1-21 (2012).
  • V. J. Sorger, N. Pholchai, E. Cubukcu, R. F. Oulton, P. Kolchin, C. Borschel, M. Gnauck et. al "Strongly Enhanced Molecular Fluorescence inside a Nanoscale Waveguide Gap" Nano Letters 11, 4907 (2011).
  • V. J. Sorger and X. Zhang "Spotlight on Plasmon Lasers" Science 333, 709-710 (2011).
  • V. J. Sorger, Z. Ye, R. F. Oulton, G. Bartal, Y. Wang and X. Zhang "Experimental demonstration of low-loss optical waveguiding at deep sub-wavelength scales" Nature Communication 2, 331 (2011).
  • R.-M. Ma, R. F. Oulton, V. J. Sorger and X. Zhang "Room-temperature sub-diffraction-limited plasmon laser by total internal reflection" Nature Materials 10, 110-113 (2010).
  • R. F. Oulton, V. J. Sorger, T. Zentgraf, R.-M. Ma, C. Gladden, L. Dai, G. Bartal and X. Zhang "Plasmon Lasers at Deep Subwavelength Scale" Nature 461, 629-631 (2009).
  • V. J. Sorger, R. F. Oulton, J. Yao, G. Bartal and X. Zhang "Fabry-Perot Plasmonic Nanocavity" Nano Letters 9, 3489-3493 (2009).
  • B. Min, E. Ostby, V. J. Sorger, E. Ulin-Avila, L. Yang, X. Zhang, K. Valhalla "High-Q surface plasmon-polariton whispering-gallery microcavity" Nature 457, 455-458 (2009).
  • R. F. Oulton, V. J. Sorger, D. F. B. Pile, D. Genov, X. Zhang "Nano-photonic confinement and transport in a hybrid semiconductor-surface plasmon waveguide" Nature Photonics 2, 496-500 (2008).


  • MRS Gold Award (2011)
  • U.S. Advisory Committee to the intl. Commission for Optics (2010)
  • OSA Emil Wolf Prize (2009)
  • BACUS & SPIE Scholarship (2009)
  • Intel PhD Fellowship (2007-2009)
  • Holderlin Stipend (SAP) (2005)
  • German National Academic Foundation Fellowship (2002-07)


  • Professional Memberships - IEEE, MRS, OSA, SPIE, German Physics Society & National Academic Foundation
  • Peer Reviewer - Nano Letters, Optics Letters, Optics Express, Appl. Phys. Lett., Nanophotonics, Energy Express, J. Phot. For Energy
  • Public Policy - Optical Legislative Network Member, OSA & IEEE Capitol Hill Advocate
  • VP - OSA/SPIE at UC Berkeley Chapter, 2007-2011
  • Chair, Nano-Forum, 2007
  • CTO - Nanotechnology Club at UC Berkeley, 2006-2007