Georgia Tech photonics research highlighted

May 29, 2014
If you ever try a free-associative experiment to see what first comes to mind when considering the phrases "U.S. universities" and "optics and photonics," chances are that you will end up with one or more (most likely all) of the following: The University of Arizona's College of Optical Sciences, The University of Rochester's Institute of Optics, and the University of Central Florida's College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL).
John Wallace 720

If you ever try a free-associative experiment to see what first comes to mind when considering the phrases "U.S. universities" and "optics and photonics," chances are that you will end up with one or more (most likely all) of the following: The University of Arizona's College of Optical Sciences, the University of Rochester's Institute of Optics, and the University of Central Florida's College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL).

But, of course, a multitude of other universities around the U.S. do leading-edge photonics research (they can be found in all their glory almost anywhere you look in Laser Focus World); rather than try to list some of these institutions here, I will simply note that The Optical Society's Applied Optics journal is, in its June 1, 2014 issue (Vol. 53, issue 16), highlighting photonics research at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech; Atlanta, GA) by including four invited papers from Georgia Tech in a special section.

I encourage you to look through the papers as much as you are able (you can read the abstracts for free, but you'll need a subscription to Applied Optics to read the papers in their entirety). Here they are:

"Standards for ultrashort-laser-pulse-measurement techniques and their consideration for self-referenced spectral interferometry" (http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.53.0000D1)
In this paper, Michelle Rhodes and Rick Trebino of Georgia Tech, along with Günter Steinmeyer of the Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (Berlin, Germany), review issues arising in the measurement of ultrafast laser pulses in the hopes that other researchers will concentrate on them as well. In particular, they discuss these issues (including coherent artifacts) in relation to a new ultrafast measurement technique called self-referenced spectral interferometry.

By the way, if you're ever at, say, SPIE Photonics West and see a guy in a cowboy hat amongst the exhibits, it could well be Georgia Tech's Rick Trebino, who also heads Swamp Optics (located in Atlanta), a company specializing in ultrafast-pulse characterization. (Another likely cowboy-hat wearer you might run across is Ron Schaeffer, a veteran of the laser-manufacturing industry and a contributing editor to Industrial Laser Solutions.)

"Modeling of multiple-optical-axis pattern-integrated interference lithography systems" (http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.53.000D12)
Here, Donald Sedivy and Thomas Gaylord of Georgia Tech calculate, using ray-tracing and Fourier analysis, the image quality and collimation produced by a multiple-optical-axis pattern-integrated interference-lithography system. Pattern-integrated interference lithography is the use of multibeam interference to create large periodic arrays of microstructures in photoresist, using equipment far simpler than that used for fabricating computer chips. Using multiple optical axes (an array of microlenses) can allow the creation of smaller array periods; Sedivy and Gaylord determine in their calculations what's possible and what's not for the technique.

"Composition optimization of scintillating rare-earth nanocrystals in oxide glass–ceramics for radiation spectroscopy" (http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.53.000D21)
In this report, a Georgia Tech group discusses its study of a type of scintillator (for use in radiation spectroscopy for isotope identification) that, unlike the usual single macroscopic crystal, is composed of scintillating nanocrystals in a glass matrix; the material is easy to form into a wide variety of shapes.

"Multifilter phase imaging with partially coherent light" (http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.53.000D29)
This paper highlights the result of three Georgia Tech researchers' exploration of a new approach to phase imaging, using partially spatially coherent Köhler illumination from an extended incoherent source (especially useful in life sciences, phase imaging allows the imaging of many types of mostly transparent biological specimens). The technique is shown to have high resolution, low noise, and great flexibility.

About the Author

John Wallace | Senior Technical Editor (1998-2022)

John Wallace was with Laser Focus World for nearly 25 years, retiring in late June 2022. He obtained a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and physics at Rutgers University and a master's in optical engineering at the University of Rochester. Before becoming an editor, John worked as an engineer at RCA, Exxon, Eastman Kodak, and GCA Corporation.

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