Skip navigation

Alexandra Boltasseva

Faculty

Purdue ECE is a very special place because it hosts both fundamental science (we do quite a bit of "blue sky" science of light!), applied physics and engineering research all in one department. 

When/how did you first get interested in ECE as an area of study?

Actually, my Master degree is in applied physics even though what I did at the Lebedev institute could be considered an electrical engineering project. Still, officially I got into electrical engineering when I started my PhD project at Technical University of Denmark.

How long have you been at Purdue?

Since 2008

Main area(s) of research:

My current research focuses on discovery, design and realization of novel photonic materials, “plasmonic” nanostructures and “metamaterials” to advance optical technologies. My group is one of the leaders in the new research direction in which material engineering is introduced into nanophotonics and plasmonics – one of the most active fields within the current optics – to solve fundamental challenges in this area including lack of tunability and dynamic control, high optical loss and poor performance under realistic operational conditions. Nano-optics enabled by plasmonics changes the way we control light by utilizing "surface plasmons" - waves of free electrons that are coupled to light and strongly confined to the interface between a metal and a dielectric. Surface plasmons and plasmonic metamaterials could offer dramatic advances in the area of ultra-thin optics, data recording, photothermal therapy, sensing, and energy conversion.

I am very much excited about my current research on utilizing robust, durable materials with tailorable optical properties for advancing optical components for nanophotonics, energy conversion, photothermal therapy and harsh-environment operations, such as high-temperature sensors for gas and oil industries.

What makes Purdue ECE special?

Purdue ECE is a very special place because it hosts both fundamental science (we do quite a bit of "blue sky" science of light!), applied physics and engineering research all in one department. In addition, we all have many interdisciplinary, cross-departments/cross-college projects that allows us to tackle intriguing and interesting problems at the borders of various disciplines and technologies.


See more Women of Purdue ECE profiles here.