Ronny Agranat's research is aimed towards the creation of generic methods, devices, and materials to be used in novel computing, communication, and sensing schemes and architectures.
The main theme of the research is to introduce the concept of “Paraelectric Electrooptics” and provide the material medium on which it can be based. This concept will be the basis for a new class of devices and integrated photonic circuits (IPC), in particular for implementing singular photonic functions such as fast wavelength selective switching (WSS), and fast wavelength tunability over the entire Visible-IR spectral range. For implementing these functions Agranat invented “Electroholography” - a photonic switching scheme based on the voltage controlled photorefractive effect, and the material platform for its implementation – the KLTN crystal. This is a multidisciplinary research constituting four comprehensive activities: (1) Investigation of the fundamental physics aspects of the electrooptic effect at the paraelectric phase; (2) Development the crystal growth techniques of the crystals that exhibit this effect; (3) Development of the fabrication methodology for constructing devices and IPC in these crystals based on refractive index engineering by fast ion implantations; (4) Conceive and develop system architectures which exploit the special features of these devices that serve as benchmarks for demonstrating their performance. The latter activity includes the development of an innovative scheme for enhancing the volume of data transport in data centers: Dynamic Optical Circuit Switching, and a standoff detection scheme of explosive charges and buried landmines, based on genetically engineered microbial biosensors.
A secondary theme of the research is the investigation of wave propagation in curved spaces by employing concepts imported from general relativity. At its initial phase the research focuses on studying the dynamics of light in the Schwarzschild metric using a specifically fabricated micro-sized curved waveguide analogous to the black hole and the wormhole metrics, demonstrating complex dynamics and tunneling through the horizon.