Fields and Optics

Current research in electromagnetic fields and optics includes studies on high-speed optical communication, optical fibers, nonlinear optics, magnetism, modeling of interconnects, and microwave devices.

Optics offers tremendous bandwidth for high-rate communications and information access. Device-level research incorporates femtosecond fiber lasers, fiber dispersion compensation, optical pulse shaping, pulse coding, code-division multiple-access (CDMA) fiber communication, etched optical fiber filters, optical interactions, and solid state dye lasers. Research on optical applications provides new forms of communication, computation, and imaging. Investigations are currently examining optical imaging technology, smart pixel devices, and synthesis of computer generated holograms.

Electromagnetics, magnetism, and microwave research includes both device-level research and new applications of the technology. High-speed communication in digital VLSI circuits exhibits significant degradation from cross-talk effects, discontinuities, and lossy dielectrics. Software packages for simulating ultra-high-speed VLSI communication and interconnects are being designed. Biomedical applications of magnetic imaging, particularly MRI, are being analyzed to improve safety and efficiency. Innovations in microwave waveguides have been conceived and prototyped.

Fields and optics research takes place in several laboratories.

  • 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 Microwave Laboratory is used for research programs on microwave semiconductor devices, optical diffusion imaging, and high-speed interconnects. The laboratory provides measurement coverage up to 40 GHz.
  • 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 equipped with several lasers capable of generating ultrashort pulses on a femtosecond time scale. These facilities support research on ultrafast laser and pulse shaping technology, ultra-high-speed optical communications and networking, and characterization of ultrafast electronic and optoelectronic devices.


More information about faculty in the Fields and Optics area.