Volker J. Sorger

Volker J. Sorger

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

Areas of Expertise

Nanophotonics, Opto-electronics, 2D Materials, Computing in Optics
(ECE Focus-Area category: MEMS/NEMS, Electronics Photonics)


Professor Volker Sorger's research team investigates atto-Joule opto-electronics devices, optical information processing and computing, and smart IoT technologies.  They follow an interdisciplinary approach that draws expertise from electrical engineering, materials science, and physics. They work to answer key fundamental questions in information processing and logic and bridge these with National Grand Challenges relating to reverse engineering the brain, enhancing virtual reality, and the Materials Genome Initiative.  They are cross-pollinators with a core in nano opto-electronics. Our capabilities range from high-speed opto-electronic device fabrication and tests and novel materials integration, to IoT prototyping, and simulation and analysis. Recent demonstrations include the world's smallest laser, ultra-fast optical transistors for future photonic integrated circuits, and a solar-battery storage model.  Profesor Sorger is director of the Orthogonal-Physics-Enabled-Nanophotonics (OPEN) Lab at GW, a member of the Board-of-Meetings for OSA, and SPIE Symposia Committee. He has published over 110 peer-reviewed citation which were cited about 5,000 times.

Current Research

Nanophotonics and opto-electronics, Novel Materials on Silicon Integration, Topological and Non-Hermitian Photonics, Smart IoT and antennas, 2D-TCO-and metamaterials, Virtual Reality, Neuromorphic and Analogue Computing.   


Research Sponsors



  • Ph.D., The University of California - Berkeley, 2011
  • Management of Technology, Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, 2011
  • M.A., The University of Texas, 2005



  • Total number of citations = 4745 (as of March 2017)
  • Total number of pubications: 110
  • 1 cover story, 10 publications in Nature Publishing Group and Science


  • J. K. George, V. J. Sorger, “Graphene-based Solitons for Spatial Division Multiplexed Switching”, Optics Letters 42, 4, 787-790 (2017).
  • W. Zhu, J. K. George, V. J. Sorger, L. G. Zhang, “3D Printing Scaffold Coupled with Low Level Light Therapy for Neural Tissue Regeneration”. Biofabrication, BF-100949 (Accepted 3-2017)
  • R. Oulton, V. J. Sorger, R. Ma, “Zeroing in Nanolasers” Optics Photonics Reviews (OPN) (2017).
  • J. K. George, H. Seyed, D. D’Hemecourt, W. Zhu, G. Zhang, V. J. Sorger, “Scattering and Absorption Control in Biocompatible Fibers towards Equalized Photobiomodulation”, Biomedical Optics Express 8(3), 1589-1597 (2017).
  • Z. Ma, M. H. Tahersima, S. Khan and V. J. Sorger, "Two-Dimensional Material-Based Mode Confinement Engineering in Electro-Optic Modulators," IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, vol. 23, no. 1, 1-8 (2017).
  • K. Liu, S. Sun, A. Majumdar, V. J. Sorger, “Fundamental Scaling Laws in Nanophotonics” Nature: Scientific Reports, 6, 37419 (2016).
  • K. Liu, C. Zhang, S. Mu, S. Wang, V. J. Sorger, “Trench-coupler based Silicon Mach-Zehnder Thermo-optic Switch with Flexible Two-dimensional Design” Optics Express. 24, 14, 15845-15853 (2016).
  • H. Huang, K. Liu, V. J. Sorger, “Re-analysis of Single-mode Condition for Silicon Rib Waveguides at 1550 nm Wavelength”, Journal of Lightwave Technologies, 34, 3811-3817 (2016).
  • S. V Boriskina, M. A Green, K. Catchpole, E. Yablonovitch, M. C Beard, Y. Okada, S. Lany, T. Gershon, A. Zakutayev, M. H Tahersima, V. J Sorger, M. J Naughton, K. Kempa, M. Dagenais, Y. Yao, L. Xu, X. Sheng, N. D Bronstein, J. A Rogers, P. Alivisatos, R. G Nuzzo, J. M Gordon, D. M Wu, M. D Wisser, A. Salleo, J. Dionne, P. Bermel, J. Greffet, I. Celanovic, M. Soljacic, A. Manor, C.l Rotschild, A. Raman, L. Zhu, S. Fan, G. Chen, “Roadmap on optical energy conversion” Journal of Optics, special issue on roadmap on Optical Energy Conversion, 18, 073004 (2016).
  • K. Liu, N. Li, D. K. Sadana, V. J. Sorger, “Integrated nano-cavity plasmon light-sources for on-chip optical interconnects” ACS Photonics, 3. 233-242 (2016).
  • S. Sun, A. Badaway, V. Narayana, T. El-Ghazawi, V. J. Sorger, “Photonic-Plasmonic Hybrid Interconnects: Efficient Links with Low latency, Energy and Footprint”, IEEE Photonics Journal, 7, 6 (2015).
  • N. Li, K. Liu, D. K. Sadana, V. J. Sorger, “Nano III-V Plasmonic Light-Sources for Monolithic Integration on Silicon”, Nature: Scientific Reports, 5, 14067 (2015).
  • K. Liu, V. J. Sorger,An electrically-driven Carbon nanotube-based plasmonic laser on Silicon Optical Materials Express, 5, 1910-1919 (2015).
  • M. Tahersima, V. J. Sorger, “Enhanced Photon Absorption in Spiral Nanostructured Solar Cells using layered 2-D Materials” United Kingdom Institute of Physics, Nanotechnology, 26, 344005 (2015).
  • C. Ye, K. Liu, R. Soref, and V. J. Sorger, “3-Waveguide 2x2 Plasmonic Electro-optic Switch” Nanophotonics, 4, 1, pp. 261-268 (2015).
  • Z. Ma, Z. Li, K. Liu, C. Ye, V. J. Sorger, “Indium-Tin-Oxide for High-performance Electro-optic Modulation”, Nanophotonics, 4, 1 (2015).
  • V. J. Sorger, "2D Material Nanowatt Threshold Lasing" Nature Asia Materials, 7, doi: 10.1038/am.2015.69 (2015). 
  • V. J. Sorger, “Editorial to Special Issue on Emerging Materials for Nanophotonics”, Nanophotonics, 4, 1,1 (2015).
  • K. Liu, V. J. Sorger, “Enhanced interaction strength for a square plasmon resonator embedded in photonic crystal nanobeam cavity” Journal Nanophotonics, 9, 093790 (2015).
  • A. Fratalocchi, C. M Dodson, R. Zia, P. Genevet, E. Verhagen, H. Altug, Volker J Sorger, “Nano-optics gets practical: Plasmon Modulators”, Nature Nanotechnology, 10, 11-15 (2015).
  • K. Liu, C.R. Ye, S. Khan, V. J. Sorger, “Review and perspective on ultrafast wavelength-size electro-optic modulators” Laser & Photonics Review, 9, 2, p.172-194 (2015) - Cover
  • C. Ye, S. Khan, Z.R. Li, E. Simsek, V. J. Sorger, “l-Size ITO and Graphene-based Electro-optic Modulators on SOI” IEEE Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, 4, 20 (2014).
  • C. Ye, S. Pickus, V. J. Sorger, “Ultra-compact Graphene-based Electro-optic Modulators on a Silicon-on-Insulator Platform” Intl J. M. Eng.  (2014).
  • S. K. Pickus, S. Khan, C. Ye, Z. Li, and V. J. Sorger, “Silicon Plasmon Modulators: Breaking Photonic Limits” IEEE Photonic Society, 27, 6 (2013).
  • C. Huang, S. Pickus, R. Lamond, Z. Li, V. J. Sorger, “A Sub-λ Size Modulator Beyond the Efficiency-Loss Limit” IEEE Photonics Journal 5, 4 (2013).
  • R.-M. Ma, X. Yin, R. F. Oulton, V. J. Sorger, and X. Zhang, "Multiplexed and Electrically Modulated Plasmon Laser Circuit", Nano Letters 12, 5396-5402 (2012).
  • V. J. Sorger, D. Kimura, R.-M. Ma and X. Zhang „Ultra-compact Silicon nanophotonic Modulator with broadband Response” Nanophotonics 1, 1, 17-22 (2012)
  • V. J. Sorger, R. F. Oulton, R.-M. Ma, X. Zhang “Toward integrated plasmon circuits” MRS Bulletin 37, 8, 728-738 (2012).
  • R.-M. Ma, R. F. Oulton, V. J. Sorger and X. Zhang "Plasmon lasers: coherent light source at molecular scales", Laser & Photonics Reviews doi: 10.1002/lpor.201100040 (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 10.1021/nl202825s (2011).
  • V. J. Sorger and X. Zhang „ Spotlight on Plasmon Lasers“ Science 333, 709-710 (2011) (invited).
  • 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).
  • V. J. Sorger “Plasmon Laser – Light from the Nanoworld” SPIE Newsroom (2010) (invited).
  • R. K. Kramer, N. Pholchai, V. J. Sorger, T. J. Yim, R. F. Oulton and X. Zhang “Positioning of quantum dots on metallic structures” Nanotechnology 21 145307 (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).


USPTO Patents:

A. Full Patent Filed

  • (#8,509,276): Plasmon Lasers at Deep Sub-Wavelength Scale Application.
  • (#14/528,392): Silicon-Based, Broadband, Waveguide-Integrated Electro-Optical Switch.
  • (#14/941,100): Integrated nano-cavity plasmon laser light-sources. (IBM jointly filed).
  • (#15/369,371): The Reconfigurable Optical Co-Processor (ROC).
  • (#15/194,119): Hybrid Photonic Plasmonic Interconnects (HYPPI) with Intrinsic and Extrinsic Modulation Option.

B. Provisional Patent filed

  • (#62/146,590): 2-D material-based Spiral Solar Cell.
  • (#62/454,208) Hybrid Photonic Plasmonic Non-blocking Wide Spectrum WDM On-chip Router.


  • Delivered 54 invited Presentations at Conferences and Topical meetings.
  • Delivered 46 invited Colloquia and Seminars.
  • Member of the Board-of-Meetings at OSA.
  • Member of the Symposium and Scholarship Committee of SPIE.
  • Managing Editor of journal ‘Nanophotonics’ (impact factor = 5.4)
  • Funding Agency Grant Reviewer for NSF, AFOSR, ARO, USAID, and Intl. NSF.
  • Served on 25 Conference and Symposia Organizational Committees
  • Journal Reviewer – Nature Materials, Nature Communications, Nature Nanotechnology, Science, Nano Letters, Optics Letters, Optics Express, Applied Physics Letters, Nanophotonics, ACS Photonics,
  • ACS Nano, IEEE Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics.
  • Professional Memberships - IEEE, MRS, OSA, SPIE, German Physics Society & National Academic Foundation
  • Science Policy – NPI Task Force Member, Optical Legislative Network Member.
  • STEM Outreach: Advisor of OSA and SPIE student Chapter at GWU. NSF Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education.
  • European Space Agency Astronaut selection finalist (top 0.2%) 2008/09.

Awards (selected)

  • Hegarty Award for Outstanding Innovations (2016)
  • Dean’s Outstanding Young Faculty Research Award, GWU (2016)
  • Annual Faculty Recognition Award  - SEAS GWU (2015)
  • AFOSR Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award (2014)
  • Faculty-of-the-year Award (2014): SEAS ECE
  • MRS Gold Award (2011)
  • Best Paper Prize of the year 2010, by the National Academy of Sciences (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)