Optics and Photonics
Herbert Winful receives University Diversity and Social Transformation Professorship
Winful is recognized for promoting the university’s goals around diversity, equity and inclusion.
$1.8M to develop room temperature, controllable quantum nanomaterialsThe project could pave the way for compact quantum computing and communications as well as efficient UV lamps for sterilization and air purification.
Solar cells with 30-year lifetimes for power-generating windowsHigh-efficiency but fragile molecules for converting light to electricity thrive with a little protection.
Most powerful laser in the U.S. to begin operations soon, supported by $18.5M from the NSFWith first light anticipated in 2022, the NSF will provide five years of operations funding, ramping up as the ZEUS user facility progresses to full capacity.
Herbert Winful awarded the 2021 Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award
Winful is recognized for his decades of outstanding leadership and commitment to developing a culturally and ethnically diverse University of Michigan community.
3D motion tracking system could streamline vision for autonomous tech
Transparent optical sensor arrays combine with a specialized neural network in new University of Michigan prototype
DYNAMO achieves first observation of the “charge separation effect”
Research led by Prof. Stephen Rand, Director of the Center for Dynamic Magneto-optics (DYNAMO), has important potential for energy conversion, ultrafast switching, nanophotonics, and nonlinear optics.
Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities
Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors.
Burn after reading
A self-erasing chip for security and anti-counterfeit tech.
Mirror-like photovoltaics get more electricity out of heat
By reflecting nearly all the light they can’t turn into electricity, they help pave the way for storing renewable energy as heat.
The Future of LasersA research profile of Prof. Gérard Mourou and other ECE scientists talks about the future of lasers, from transmuting nuclear waste to shooting space junk.
Improved neural probe can pose precise questions without losing parts of the answers
It will now be possible to study brain activity when timing is important, such as the consolidation of memory.
Herbert Winful named Joseph E. and Anne P. Rowe Professor of Electrical Engineering
Winful has made fundamental contributions to nonlinear optics and the physics of tunneling, while also championing an inclusive department.
Russel Lecture: Fighting climate change with organic electronics
The researcher-entrepreneur who helped bring OLED displays to the masses envisions a future of efficient lighting and next-gen solar power.
Toward a portable concussion detector that relies on an infrared laser
By looking at tissue oxygen and cell metabolism at the same time, doctors could have a fast and noninvasive way to monitor the health of brain cells.
A 3D camera for safer autonomy and advanced biomedical imaging
Researchers demonstrated the use of stacked, transparent graphene photodetectors combined with image processing algorithms to produce 3D images and range detection.
Nobel Prize winners talk research, Nobel ceremony, and are remembered by U-M colleagues
From rubbing elbows with royalty to finding yourself a casual seatmate to a member of U2, Professor Emeritus Gérard Mourou, Prof. Donna Strickland, and their former U-M colleagues shared their experiences and reflections on the 2018 Nobel Prize ceremony.
U-M to become Mount Olympus with ZEUS, the most powerful laser to be built in the U.S.
The three-petawatt system could unlock secrets of the universe, advance cancer treatments, improve security screenings for nuclear threats, and much more.
Two members of ECE will represent U-M at the 2019 Rising Stars in EECS Workshop
The intensive workshop brings together outstanding women who are graduate students or postdocs interested in pursuing academic careers in electrical engineering and computer science.
Most powerful laser in the US to be built at MichiganUsing extreme light to explore quantum dynamics, advance medicine and more.
Beyond Apollo 11: U-M ECE’s role in advancing space exploration
For the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, U-M ECE takes a look back – and a look forward – to how our professors, students, and alums have made their mark on the field.
Prof. Winick retires, leaving a legacy that empowers students to seek life and learning outside of the lab
For the past 31 years, Prof. Winick has helped define undergraduate courses and curriculum both at U-M and abroad while inspiring all to engineer their future by understanding the past.
Kirigami can spin terahertz rays in real time to peer into biological tissue
The rays used by airport scanners might have a future in medical imaging.
Prof. Louise Willingale creates extreme plasma conditions using high-intensity laser pulses
Willingale’s research in plasma physics advances many research areas from spectacular astrophysical phenomena to cancer treatment to fusion power.
Stephen Forrest named Henry Russel Lecturer for 2020
Stephen R. Forrest has been selected as U-M’s 2020 Henry Russel Lecturer, the university’s highest honor for senior faculty members.
Two U-M students receive scholarships from the International Society for Optics and Photonics
Hanzhang Pei (ECE) and Darwin F. Cordovilla Leon (Applied Physics) were selected for their potential contributions to the field of optics, photonics or related field.
Nooshin M. Estakhri receives the Helen Wu Award
Estakhri is a PhD student studying quantum optics and its potential to impact communication and biomedical imaging.
A Spotlight on Optics
The Optics Society at U-M hosted an Industry Spotlight event, which brought academia, industry, and community together to celebrate all things optics and photonics.
Laura Andre brings the engineering community together
EECS-ECE PhD student Laura Andre is recognized by the College of Engineering with the Distinguished Leadership Award for her outstanding contributions to the college, university, and community.
2018 Nobel Prize Laureate Gérard Mourou talks high-intensity optics
Gérard Mourou, Professor Emeritus of EECS, returned to campus to discuss winning the Nobel Prize and his work in high-intensity optics.
Extreme light: Nobel laureate discusses the past & future of lasers
Lasers of tomorrow might neutralize nuclear waste, clean up space junk and advance proton therapy to treat cancer, says Gerard Mourou.
A new $1.6M energy project to develop low cost manufacturing of white organic lighting
Prof. Stephen Forrest is developing an automated high-yield roll-to-roll process to manufacture organic LEDs for lighting.
ECE student Brandon Russell explores space phenomena in a lab
PhD student Brandon Russell is awarded the Rackham International Student Fellowship for his research on magnetic fields in high-energy plasmas, which could help advance the development of clean energy and our understanding of energetic astrophysical phenomena.
Pallab Bhattacharya to receive 2019 IEEE Jun-ichi Nishizawa Medal
Bhattacharya honored for the development and commercialization of quantum dot lasers.
$6.8M initiative to enable American laser renaissance
After Europe and Asia surpassed U.S. in high intensity laser research in the early 2000s, the Department of Energy is funding new collaborative research network to make the U.S. more competitive.
Prof. Mackillo Kira Elected OSA Fellow for contributions to quantum optics
Kira was recognized for his pioneering contributions to the theory of semiconductor quantum optics.
Nobel Prize for ‘the most powerful laser pulses known to humanity’
At U-M, Gérard Mourou advanced ‘chirped pulse amplification,’ leading to more precise LASIK eye surgery and pushing the limits of optical science.
It takes two photonic qubits to make quantum computing possible
Professors Ku and Steel are applying their expertise to take key next steps toward practical quantum computing
How to color-code nearly invisible nanoparticles
With a bit of metal, nanoparticles shine in colors based on size.
Light could make semiconductor computers a million times faster or even go quantum
Electron states in a semiconductor, set and changed with pulses of light, could be the 0 and 1 of future “lightwave” electronics or room-temperature quantum computers.
Duncan Steel is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Encyclopedia of Modern Optics, 2nd edition
Encyclopedia covers optics through light-emitting diodes.
Louise Willingale advancing scientific knowledge of plasmas
Using some of the best lasers in the world, Willingale is shedding light on the impact of solar events on Earth.
A shoe-box-sized chemical detector
Powered by a broadband infrared laser, the device can zero in on the ‘spectral fingerprint region’.
Deep UV LEDs lead to two best poster awards at ISSLED 2017
New techniques to construct deep UV LEDs prove prize-worthy.
Laser cooling with Laura Andre
Laura Andre says she “ended up just falling in love with optics.”
Cooling off with lasers
Lasers are typically thought of as hot. What if they were able to cool?
Precise pulses explore light’s magnetismA new laser will investigate an unusual magnetic effect that may lead to efficient solar energy harvesting.
Doubling the power of the world’s most intense laser
It could enable tabletop particle and X-ray sources as well as the investigation of astrophysics and quantum dynamics.
John Nees elected OSA Fellow
Nees recognized for work with ultrafast lasers
Almantas Galvanauskas elected OSA Fellow
Prof. Galvanauskas was recognized for his pioneering work with fiber lasers.
Ultrashort light pulses for fast “lightwave” computers
Extremely short, configurable “femtosecond” pulses of light demonstrated by an international team could lead to future computers that run up to 100,000 times faster than today’s electronics.
Prof. Zetian Mi elected SPIE Fellow for contributions to photonic devices and artificial photosynthesis
Prof. Mi conducts research in the area of semiconductor optoelectronics, specifically in the areas of III-nitride semiconductors, low dimensional nanostructures, LEDs, lasers, Si photonics, artificial photosynthesis and solar fuels.
Parag Deotare receives AFOSR Award for research in Nanoscale Exciton-Mechanical Systems (NEXMS)
Prof. Deotare’s work will deepen our understanding of the underlying physics of exciton-mechanics interactions and help engineer novel devices for energy harvesting and up-conversion.
Steve Rand: expanding technical education in India
“India’s progress toward becoming a global economic power-player has generated an unprecedented need for a larger, highly trained workforce of engineers, scientists and technicians,” Rand said.
A better 3D camera with clear, graphene light detectors
While 3D films are currently made using multiple cameras to reconstruct each frame, this new type of camera could record in 3D on its own.
Layered graphene beats the heat
An international team of researchers, led by faculty at the University of Michigan, have found that a layered form of graphene can expel heat efficiently, which is an important feature for its potential applications in building small and powerful electronics.
Next generation laser plasma accelerator
One of the most promising avenues for achieving new target levels of high peak intensity and high average power in an ultrafast laser system is to turn to fiber lasers.
Stephen Forrest named Peter A. Franken Distinguished University Professor
Prof. Forrest is internationally-renowned and easily one of the most prolific inventors in academia today.
Cheng Zhang awarded Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship for research on nanophotonic materials and devices
Cheng works with Prof. L. Jay Guo on research projects in the field of micro/nano-scale optical device physics and fabrication.
The future of solar: $1.3M to advance organic photovoltaics
The grant is aimed at advancing organic photovoltaics, a carbon-based version of solar technology that promises to change the way the sun’s energy is collected.
Ted Norris receives Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award
Prof. Norris is an internationally recognized expert in the field of ultrafast optics.
Celebrating Gérard Mourou: From ultrafast to extreme light
Mourou put the University on the map in ultrafast optics when he established the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science in 1991.
New research program to investigate optical energy conversion
The fundamental objective of the research initiative is to uncover, explain, and exploit dynamic magneto-optical processes and materials for new technological capabilities.
A new way to make laser-like beams using 250x less power
With precarious particles called polaritons that straddle the worlds of light and matter, University of Michigan researchers have demonstrated a new, practical and potentially more efficient way to make a coherent laser-like beam.
Student Spotlight: Elizabeth Dreyer – Ambassador for Optics
Elizabeth’s research is to understand how a new interaction between light and matter can generate electricity.
New tech could lead to night vision contact lenses
The detector developed by University of Michigan engineering researchers doesn’t need bulky cooling equipment to work.
What are quantum computers going to do for us?
Michigan Engineering professor Duncan Steel explains how quantum computing works, using quantum bits that take on superpositions of 0 and 1 simultaneously.
Anatoly Maksimchuk elected Fellow of APS
Dr. Maksimchuk is a world leader in the field of high intensity laser plasma interactions.
New algorithms and theory for shining light through non-transparent media
Their technique utilizes backscatter analysis to construct “perfectly transmitting” wavefronts.
Kyu Hyun Kim receives Emil Wolf Outstanding Student Paper Award at Frontiers in Optics Meeting
Mr. Kim was the first to demonstrate that both light and vibration could be used simultaneously in sensing.
New laser shows what substances are made of; could be new eyes for military
By shining the laser on a target and analyzing the reflected light, researchers can tell the chemical composition of the target.
A new laser paradigm: An electrically injected polariton laser
“It is no longer a scientific curiosity. It’s a real device.”
Using HERCULES to probe the interior of dense plasmas
Thanks to HERCULES, scientists are now able to study very dense plasmas — a crucial step in nuclear fusion and astrophysical research.
Super-fine sound beam could one day be an invisible scalpel
“We believe this could be used as an invisible knife for noninvasive surgery,” Guo said. “Nothing pokes into your body, just the ultrasound beam.”
Ted Norris named Gérard A. Mourou Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
In the tradition of our best faculty at Michigan, Ted is a phenomenal teacher and mentor as well as researcher. Congratulations!
A new way to cool materials with light
The work advances the scientific understanding of laser cooling technologies currently being pursued to explore the boundary between classical and quantum physics.
A smarter way to make ultraviolet light beams
The researchers have optimized an optical resonator to take an infrared signal from relatively cheap telecommunication-compatible lasers and boost it to an ultraviolet beam.
Celebrating the birth of a new science
The discovery of nonlinear optics was just one of several Michigan “firsts” that occurred about fifty years ago, and underscores the importance of involving undergrads in research.
Heather Ferguson awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
Heather is studying Optical Sciences here at the University and will continue her research in this field – congratulations!
New NSF Center for Photonic and Multiscale Nanomaterials
“Advances in photonics depend critically on new materials, and this new center brings together top minds to focus on two of the most exciting new directions in materials for nanophotonics.”
New laser could treat acne with telecom technology
The laser could treat acne by targeting the oil-producing sebaceous glands, which are known to be involved in the development of the skin disease.
Nonlinear Optics at 50: A Symposium
As the birthplace of nonlinear optics, the University of Michigan is proud to host a symposium which will bring together some of the pioneers in the field.
Solar power without solar cells: A hidden magnetic effect of light could make it possible
This new technique could make solar power cheaper and, with improved materials, more efficient.
HERCULES laser rivals a synchrotron for short pulse x-ray beams
By using the wiggling motion of electrons in a plasma bubble generated by the ultrashort laser pulse, researchers produced X-rays comparable to that produced in a synchrotron facility.
New work resolves long-standing questions about short pulses in quantum cascade lasers
Can the laser’s pulse propagate in such a way that it does not change its energy, and leaves the system in the excited state? Does the pulse speed up during propagation?
WIMS and CUOS among 60 Years of Sensational Research by NSF
The WIMS has impacted health care, environmental monitoring, the national infrastructure while CUOS specializes in ultrafast lasers.
Tal Carmon receives Young Investigator Award for research in lasers and optics
The award will support Professor Carmon in three years of basic research on continuous on-chip extreme UV emitters.
Duncan Steel will advance quantum information processes in new MURI
Steel will concentrate his efforts on solid state systems, specifically with epitaxially grown InAs/lGaAs semiconductor quantum dots.
Ted Norris and CUOS: Reaching new frontiers in ultrafast optical science
Comprised of electrical engineers, astrophysicists, physicists, materials scientists, biomedical engineers, and doctors, CUOS explore ultrafast laser applications.
In tunneling physics, a decades-old paradox is resolved
Professor Winful sheds light on one of the most perplexing mysteries of quantum tunneling.
Eric Tkacyk receives Best Paper Award for research in biomedical optics
Tkaczyk hopes that his technique will be used to further the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. Congratulations!
Gérard A. Mourou: In pursuit of new directions in science
“The future of CUOS is bright,” said Mourou. “Nothing will stop the flow of discoveries.”