Benjamin (Benji) Vest joined the Atwater group in November 2017 as a Postdoctoral Scholar. Before coming to Caltech, Benji graduated from the Institut d’Optique in Palaiseau (France) with a M.Sc. in Optical Engineering. He later received his PhD from Ecole Polytechnique in 2015. His dissertation involved the theoretical and experimental study of non-linear processes (namely two-photon absorption) in nanostructured devices for infrared light detection. Thereafter, he became a Postdoctoral Scholar in the group of Jean-Jacques Greffet at Institut d’Optique (France).
His research interests lie in the understanding of light-matter interactions at the nanoscale and in the quantum regime. As an experimentalist at Caltech, he worked on two different topics: quantum emission from defects in multilayers of hexagonal boron nitride (hBN), and quantum plasmonics.
Aside from physics, Benji loves narratives, and is a dedicated story-listener, whether they are found in movies, literature, theatre, boardgames or table-top roleplaying games. In his free time, he also likes hiking, running and biking. Finally, as an authentic French citizen, Benji enjoys great food, and in particular cheese with a nice bottle of wine.
Currently, Benji is Assistant Professor of Light Sciences at the Institute of Optics (Institut d’Optique) in Palaiseau, France, south of Paris. His research focus includes experiments investigating collective effects due to interactions between emitters, regimes of light-matter interactions between a single emitter and a nanostructure, and quantum plasmonics.