Volker J. Sorger

Volker Sorger
Assistant Professor
Science & Engineering Hall
800 22nd Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052
The Sorger Group

Areas of Expertise

MEMS/NEMS, Electronics and Photonics & Applied Electromagnetics


Professor Volker Sorger's research team is investigating atto-Joule opto-electronics devices, optical information processing and computing, and smart IoT technologies. We follow an interdisciplinary approach that draws expertise from electrical engineering, materials science, and physics. We are answering key fundamental questions in information processing and logic and bridge these with National Grand Challenges relating to Reverse-Engineering the Brain, Enhance Virtual Reality, and Materials Genome Initiative. We are cross-pollinators with a core in nano opto-electronics. Our capabilities range from high-speed opto-electronic device fab and tests and novel materials integration, over IoT prototyping, to 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. Finally, our team is actively engaged in STEM outreach and optical science-policy such as the IEEE Rebooting Computing and National Photonic Initiative. Prof. Sorger is the Director of the Orthogonal-Physics-Enabled-Nanophotonics (OPEN) Lab at GWU.

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., 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


  • K. Liu, N. Li, D. K. Sadana, V. J. Sorger, “Integrated nano-cavity plasmon light-sources for on-chip optical interconnects” ACS Nano, DOI:10.1021/acsphotonics.5b00476 (2016).
  • S. Sun, A. Badaway, T. El-Ghazawi, V. J. Sorger, “Photonic-Plasmonic Hybrid Interconnects: Efficient Links with Low latency, Energy and Footprint”, IEEE Photonics, 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).
  • C. Ye, K. Liu, R. Soref, and V. J. Sorger, “3-Waveguide 2x2 Plasmonic Electro-optic Switch” Nanophotonics, 4,1 (2015).
  • M. Tahersima, V. J. Sorger, “Enhanced Photon Absorption in Spiral Nanostructured Solar Cells using layered 2-D Materials” United Kingdom Institute of Physics  (IOP), Nanotechnology, 26, 344005 (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, “Nano-optics gets practical: Plasmon Modulators”, Nature Nanotechnology, 10, 11-15 (2015).
  • K. Liu, Z.R. Li, S. Khan, C. Ye, V. J. Sorger, “Ultra-fast electro-optic modulators for high-density photonic integration” Laser & Photonics Review, 10, 1, p.11-15 (2015) - Cover
  • C. Ye, S. Khan, Z.R. Li, E. Simsek, V. J. Sorger, “-Size ITO and Graphene-based Electro-optic Modulators on SOI” IEEE Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, 4, 20 (2014).
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • 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, 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).
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • Patents: filed 6 patents.


  • Peer 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
  • Professional Society Appointments – OSA Chair for Technical Group Development (Member BoM); SPIE Meetings, and Scholarship Committee; Past: Executive Chair of OSA Nanophotonic Technical Group.
  • Conference Committee: OSA: CLEO, FiO, IPR; SPIE PW, MRS Fall Meeting.
  • Science Policy – NPI Task Force Member, Optical Legislative Network Member.
  • STEM Outreach: Advisor of OSA and SPIE student Chapter at GWU. NSF NUE Co-PI.
  • European Space Agency Astronaut selection finalist (top 0.2%) 2008/09.



  • 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)
  • 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)