Research Groups

Barnes Group

The Barnes Group carries out research on bioelectromagnetics, studying the effects of small yet physiological relevant E&M fields present in our everyday environment.

Cogswell Group

The Cogswell Group Micro Optical Imaging Systems Laboratory (MOISL) conducts research in computational optics, sensing, and imaging (COSI) for biological microscopy systems. 

We develop fast, high-resolution, three-dimensional and biocompatible imaging techniques that can be retrofitted into conventional widefield microscopes. To image live cell dynamics at high speeds, we have three main approaches: 1) Extended depth-of-field imaging -- by modifying the wavefront at the objective pupil, we can optically increase the depth of field up to ~20 times greater than the traditional depth of field with a minimal compromise of image resolution. This helps us image a relatively thick specimen into one sharp image, which normally requires multiple through-focus acquisitions. 2) Expanded point information content imaging -- we create a ring-like point spread function where the depth information of the specimen is encoded into the ring diameter, such that we can analyze the ring structures in the obtained images to extract the three-dimensional information about the specimen. 3) Quantitative phase imaging -- we utilize the quantitative property of differential interference contrast microscopy to obtain the full phase map of a specimen. We can use such information to construct a two-dimensional map of optical path lengths, and convert that to the surface profile or the refractive index variation of a specimen.

Gopinath Group

The Gopinath Group studies lasers and optical devices for communications, imaging, sensing in the mid-infrared, chip-scale atomic clocks, brain imaging, and light detection and ranging (LIDAR).

Research areas in the group include ultrafast lasers, beam combining, mid-infrared sources and materials, nonlinear optics, microscopy, electrowetting adaptive optical devices, and spectroscopy. The research is in the applied physics field, incorporating elements of electrical engineering, materials science, physics and bioengineering. The ultimate goals of the research are to develop lasers and devices that are compact, efficient, and cost-effect to be applied to daily life.

Jeong Group

The Jeong Group investigates the future generation “soft” biomedical devices for advanced healthcare and biomedical research. 

Research areas in our group include design and fabrication of flexible/stretchable electronics, photonic microsystems, and microfluidic devices for various applications such as health/wellness monitoring, disease diagnosis and therapy, prosthetics, and human-machine interfaces. We pursue interdisciplinary approach, involving knowledge and techniques from electrical engineering, materials science and engineering, biomedical engineering, and physics. Our interests lie in developing wearable functional artificial skin systems, implantable “soft” and/or “transient” devices, and endoscopic optical microscopes and photonic sensors.

McLeod Group

Our research is at the interface of optics and soft materials science with applications to lithography, integrated optics, computational imaging and cellular biology. 

We specialize in the interaction of light and soft, organic materials. Applications include fabrication of polymer diffractive and refractive optical elements, 3D printing of optical polymers and biomimetic hydrogels, super resolution lithography and ionically mediated transistors and electro-optics. We accomplish these goals via the development of new optical materials, creation of high precision quantitative microscopy techniques, development of optical lithography platforms and modeling of coupled diffraction/reaction/diffusion systems. Our ultimate goal is to create novel optical, electronic and biological devices with currently unachievable capabilities.

Mickelson Group

The Mickelson group focuses on integrated optics for communication and sensing. 

Their work encompasses modeling, design, fabrication and measurement of materials, devices and systems. Materials studies include those of electro-optic polymers, device studies encompass modulators and multiplexers, and system studies include  processor to processor as well as rack-to-rack communication in digital systems.

Moddel Group

The Moddel group conducts research in quantum engineering device technology, including rectenna solar cells and ultra-high-speed diodes. 

The group investigates new thin film technologies for energy conversion. These include the emerging technology of rectenna solar cells, which harvest solar energy using sub-micon antennas and ultra-high-speed diodes. The diodes are metal/insulator/metal tunneling diodes and graphene geometric diodes. The near-term application under development is the use of these optical rectennas for waste heat harvesting. The group also investigates exotic energy technologies, such as harvesting ambient zero-point energy using Casimir cavities.

Park Group

We work on developing photonic devices using nanoscale materials and conduct extensive numerical modeling, synthesis and fabrication of nanostructures and optical characterizations to demonstrate novel optical phenomena.

The Park Group conducts research on light-matter interaction in nanoscale materials and structures. Metallic nanostructures exhibit strong optical responses arising from the collective oscillation of free electrons, which is called surface plasmon. Using the surface plasmon nanostructures, one can strongly influence various optical processes such as absorption, emission and energy transfer. We conduct fundamental studies on these phenomena and also develop novel applications in energy technology and medicine. Another focus area is mid-infrared photonics which offers a new platform for sensing, communications, etc. We are developing novel nonlinear optical devices based on chalcogenide which exhibits strong nonlinearity in the mid-infrared region.

Piestun Lab

The research in the Piestun group deals with the control and processing of optical radiation at two significant spatial and temporal scales, the nanometer and the femtosecond. 

The research is driven by the interest in the existence of new phenomena occurring at these scales and the fascinating applications in new devices and systems.

Popovic Group

The Popovic Group works on nanoscale photonic devices and systems on chip, and is focused on the invention of novel micro and nanoscale device technology based on various types of light-matter interaction. 

Our goal is to enable more powerful microchip technology with applications from supercomputers and datacenters, through RF, microwave and space applications, to sensing and signal processing technology. Our focus is developing deep physical insight and using it to innovate device technology from first principles.  Recent results include: first bulk CMOS chip-to-chip optical link, the dark state laser concept, CMOS entangled photon pair source, zero-change CMOS electronics-photonics integration, advanced modulators, detectors and wavelength converters.

Shaheen Group

We carry out research in a variety of areas aimed at advancing solar energy harvesting devices, developing new optoelectronic materials and devices, and studying fundamental processes in biological systems. 

The central mission of our work is to find creative and insightful solutions to scientific problems both basic and applied, using a combination of experimental research and computational simulation to guide our efforts. Some of our activities include carrying out electronic and photophysical characterizations and modeling of photovoltaic devices made from new materials; fabricating and characterizing organic field effect transistors (OFETs) and organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs) made from new materials and implementing new mechanisms of device operation; and studying microbial systems through culturing bacteria under various environmental conditions to better understand how interactions between cells lead to specific behaviors and patterns of the whole colony.

Wagner Group

The Wagner Group (KAOS) develops systems and devices for optical information processing and multidimensional signal processing utilizing coherent and nonlinear optics utilizing both ultrafast and ultrastable lasers for demanding applications such as true-time-delay RF antenna array beamforming and computational imaging using dynamic structured light for Fourier telescopy and microscopy.

 The KAOS group concentrates on Fourier optics and computational imaging, optical computing and signal processing, nonlinear optics and spatial-spectral holography, and RF photonics for array processing. Our research in optical information processing focuses on utilizing the unique computational properties of optical physics and devices to produce special purpose optical signal processing systems with significant computational advantages over conventional microelectronic digital approaches. Alternative computational paradigms that are well matched to the capabilities and limitations of optical devices and systems are being investigated including analog signal processing, ensemble quantum computing, fault tolerant computing, and deep neural networks for machine learning.

A major application area for our research has been in RF photonic signal processing for microwave imaging, target recognition, squint-free adaptive beamforming and jammer nulling for advanced radar systems. We also utilize stabilized tunable lasers to address spectral-hole-burning materials in order to record spatial-spectral holography for multidimensional signal processing applications, including dispersion compensation and modal demultiplexing for spatially multimode fiber optic communication systems. Ultrafast and supercontinuum lasers are utilized for nonlinear optics and multiwavelength optical processing systems exploting the vast optical bandwidth throughout the visible and IR as an additional computational resource. And finally, novel approaches to acousto-optic devices, physics, and systems are being developed for applications in quantum computing, dual-comb spectroscopy, laser stabilization, true-time delay beamforming, as well as dynamic structured light computational imaging for Fourier telescopy and microscopy.

Van Zeghbroeck Group

The Van Zeghbroeck group focuses on semiconductor device research, including growth and characterization of graphene-based devices, nano-structured Metal-Semiconductor-Metal photodetectors, modeling and simulation of AlGaAs/GaAs QW DBR silicon dual junction photovoltaic devices, and fabrication and characterization of GaAsBi heterojunction bipolar transistors.