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Optics & Photonics Laboratory

University of Michigan

Herb Winful: Profile

Prof. Herb Winful specializes in nonlinear optics and lasers. He describes his research, his teaching, and his symbiotic relationship with the arts community on campus.

Ted Norris: Profile

Prof.Ted Norris focuses on ultrafast optics and femtosecond lasers, and their applications in optoelectronics and biomedicine.

News Feed

Prof. Herbert Winful receives IEEE Photonics Society Quantum Electronics Award

For pioneering the field of nonlinear optical periodic structures and for foundational contributions to nonlinear dynamics of semiconductor laser arrays.

PhD student Laura Andre is awarded Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship from SPIE

Andre was chosen for her outstanding research and commitment to outreach activities.

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.

John Nees wins Research Scientist Award from the College of Engineering

Nees is honored for his excellence in research and scholarship, as well as his distinguished career as a key member of the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science.

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 Michigan

Using extreme light to explore quantum dynamics, advance medicine and more.

Commission co-chairs: Climate change solutions need broad commitment

An update on the work done by U-M’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality, co-chaired by Prof. Stephen Forrest.

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.

U-M alum is key player in first-ever image of a black hole

EECS-ECE alum Dr. Katie Bouman has helped expand our knowledge of the universe in a big way by shining light on one of the darkest mysteries in the cosmos.

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.

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.

A world-shaking discovery 100 years in the making

Prof. Nergis Mavalvala detailed the history and science behind the discovery of gravitational waves as the inaugural recipient of the M. Alten Gilleo Distinguished Lectureship

$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

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’.

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?

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.

Zetian Mi elected OSA Fellow

Mi recognized for his work with full-color LEDs and more

John Nees elected OSA Fellow

Nees recognized for work with ultrafast lasers

Almantas Galvanauskas elected OSA Fellow

Galvanauskas recognized for his 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.

Herb Winful – professor of optics, friend of the arts

Winful discusses life in education

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.

CUOS: Pushing the limits of optical science

This national center, established in 1990, confirmed Michigan’s leadership in the field.

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.

Gift launches M. Alten Gilleo distinguished lecture series in optical sciences and optoelectronics

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.

Cheng Zhang receives Optical Sciences Scholarship

Cheng is a 4th year PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering working in field of micro/nano-scale optical device physics and fabrication.

Ted Norris receives Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award

Prof. Norris is an internationally recognized expert in the field of ultrafast optics.

Thomas Frost receives Best Paper Award for achieving a HQ QD red laser

Lasers emitting in the 600nm wavelength range have applications in medicine, optical information processing, optical storage, and more.

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.

T-ray converts light to sound for weapons detection, medical imaging

U-M researchers demonstrated a unique terahertz detector and imaging system that could bridge the terahertz gap.

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.

How a metamaterial might improve a depression treatment

The headpiece design is a big departure from today’s figure 8-shaped devices made of just two coils.

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.

Four EECS Faculty recognized with College of Engineering Awards

Congratulations to these outstanding faculty members!

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.

Using imprint processing to mass-produce tiny antennas could improve wireless electronics

The antenna is typically the largest wireless component in mobile devices, and shrinking it could leave more room for other gadgets and features.

Sung Ho Park receives 2011 IEEE MTT-S Scholarship

Sung Ho plans to design photoconductive antenna arrays with optimal radiation efficiency and broadband operation.

Morteza Nick receives Best Paper Award at IMS2011

Morteza introduces a new voltage-controlled-oscillator design technique that offers significant advantages in terms of size, DC power consumption and frequency tunability.

Iverson Bell awarded NSF Fellowship for Research in Space Propulsion

Bell is investigating how to use an electrodynamic, propellantless propulsion concept to push against the Earth’s magnetic field in order to maneuver satellites and counteract drag.

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.

Ted Norris honored with Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award

Norris was praised by students and faculty alike for his abilities as a mentor, researcher, and educator.

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.

Eric Tkaczyk Named Fulbright Fellow and Whitaker Scholar

Tkaczyk plans to put his degrees to work in Estonia, where he hopes to develop a portable and affordable cataract assessment technology.

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.

Duncan Steel awarded 2010 APS Frank Isakson Prize

Steel was chosen for contributions to nonlinear optical spectroscopy and coherent control of semiconductor heterostructures.

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.

Emmett Leith (1927 – 2005): Inventor of Practical Holography

We now celebrate the life of a remarkable individual – a brilliant innovator, visionary researcher, remarkable teacher, and gentle friend.

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.”