The Optics and Lasers Physics Program conducts research that relates to a wide variety of issues, pertaining to the exciting fields of optical systems, nonlinear optics, laser physics, laser spectroscopy and optical sensing.
One area of laser materials research is directed towards the development and investigation of novel vibronic active media for tunable lasers, passive Q-switches, and mode lockers. Nonlinear optical materials are also being developed and characterized for optical switching and power limiting applications using wavelength tunable Z-scan, degenerate four-wave mixing, and power limiting spectroscopy.
Laser physics research programs include developing spatially dispersive multiline and ultrabroadband lasers, tunable near infrared color center lasers, and optically and electrically pumpable broadly tunable mid-IR lasers based on II-VI wide band semiconductors doped with transition metal ions. Another focus of this program is on the development of laser-based techniques for environmental monitoring and medical diagnostics on the micro- and macroscopic levels including Raman characterization of protein crystals and time-resolved laser induced fluorescence and Raman spectroscopies of normal and malignant tissues. The optics and lasers physics faculty are the leading force of the multi-institutional NSF-funded Center for Optical Sensors and Spectroscopies (COSS). Additional information on research programs in optics and laser physics can be found at the faculty member's website by clicking on the name of a faculty member listed below. Short synopses of current research projects in this research area can also be found by clicking here.