Fields and Optics

Purdue Fields and Optics faculty are active in a wide variety of high-impact, multi-disciplinary research sectors, providing solutions for some of today’s most challenging and demanding problems such as renewable energy, next-generation communication networks, optical medicine, and efficient electronics. To produce such groundbreaking research, faculty members focus on both fundamental and applied science across fields such as optical fibers, integrated optics, silicon photonics, nonlinear optics, applied electromagnetics, RF/Microwave circuits and antennas, magnetism, nanophotonics, optical metamaterials, plasmonics, photovoltaics, quantum optics, microwave devices, computational electromagnetics, multi-physics modeling and simulation, and high-speed integrated circuits and systems.

Fields and optics research takes place in several laboratories.

  • The Microwave Laboratory facilitates research on microwave devices, microwave photonics, waveguides, antennas, and scattering. The laboratory provides measurement coverage up to 40 GHz, but some instruments reach to the higher millimeter-wave frequencies.
  • The Magnetics Laboratory contains facilities for performing optical and magnetic measurements. Instrumentation includes polarizing microscopes for magneto-optic observations, continuous and pulsed light sources, and electronic drive circuitry for application of magnetic fields over a wide range of frequencies.
  • The Adaptive Radio Electronics and Sensors is focused on state-of-the-art research programs on microwave semiconductor devices, RF MEMS/NEMS, wireless sensors, energy harvesting, wireless power transfer, antennas and antenna arrays, optical diffusion imaging, and high-speed interconnects. The laboratory provides measurement coverage up to 110 GHz. Part of the lab is located in the Birck Nanotechnology Center and is integrated with its world-class fabrication and characterization capabilities.
  • Advanced research in nonlinear optics, multi-photon processes, fiber and integrated optical devices, and laser characterization takes place in the Modern Optics Research Laboratory. Laser systems that generate coherent tunable radiation provide the means for the investigation of a variety of optical phenomena.
  • The Ultrafast Optics and Fiber Communications Laboratory is a world leader in broadband and ultrashort pulse photonic signal processing.  Research includes broadband arbitrary waveform generation, generation of optical frequency combs, transmission of short pulse signals through optical fibers, and hybrid photonic & radio-frequency systems in which photonics aids in the generation, transmission, and reception of ultrabroadband wireless signals.  Additional efforts focus on nonlinear optics in microresonators, novel applications of photonic integrated circuits, and manipulation of broadband correlated photons for quantum communications.
  • In the Nanophotonics & Spectroscopy Lab located in Birck Nanotechnology Center, we study light-matter interactions at the nanoscale both in free space and on-chip. In addition to the world-class fabrication and experimental facilities provided through Birck Nano Center, the Nanophotonics lab is equipped with a tunable femtosecond laser source, white light laser, near field scanning optical microscope, variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometer, and Raman microscope among others.
  • At the Photovoltaics Laboratory located in Birck Nanotechnology Center, researchers are modeling, fabricating, and characterizing the effects of new nanostructures on the absorption and thermal emission of light, which affects the efficiency and cost of energy conversion technologies.
  • The Purdue Quantum Center is a collaborative lab encompassing several faculty members across ECE and Physics, and is located in the Birck Nanotechnology Center. Research study both fundamental and applied quantum science such as cavity quantum electrodynamics, atomic/molecular/optical (AMO) physics, and quantum photonics. The PQC, launched in 2015, is one of Purdue Engineering’s preeminent research areas and is rapidly expanding already outstanding facilities and equipment to unlock and study new quantum effects/devices.
  • The Optical Imaging Laboratories in the EE and MSEE buildings investigate fundamental coherent and incoherent phenomena related to the development of new imaging methods with an emphasis on frontier scientific applications, including in vivo molecular information and high resolution imaging, to address key issues in human health. More generally, this research relates to communication, sensing an imaging in the presence of scatter.
  • The Nanophotonics Group in EE works on the interaction of light with materials at small length scales and related device concepts, the achievements of new materials with important attributes, and fundamental and applied aspects of optical forces.
  • The On-Chip Electromagnetics Lab focuses on the fundamental research of the science of Computational Electromagnetics, Multi-physics modeling and simulation, and their important applications in the design of next generation integrated circuits and systems, and other advanced engineering systems in the full electromagnetic spectrum.


More information about faculty in the Fields and Optics area.