The following is a list of projects proposed by CREOL, The College of Optics & Photonics Professors. After you
have been selected for the REU program, you will be asked to choose to work on
one of these projects.
Peter J. Delfyett
Projects in Ultrafast Photonics Using Semiconductor Laser Diodes
This project focuses on utilizing ultrafast semiconductor lasers for applications in telecommunications and optical signal processing. We will develop experiments to measure the ultrafast pulse distortions and spectral quality of the laser as they propagate through photonic components. Once characterized, we will employ these pulses in applications of 1 Tb/s optical communication data links and photonic analog to digital converters, photonic arbitrary waveform generators, and optical clocks for timing in digital computing environments.
Photonic Diagnostics of Random Media
We are involved in the development of a new generation of optical sensing technology with potential applications ranging from imaging of biological structures to efficient screening in pharmaceutical industry. Inspired by nature, stochastic sensing offers robust and statistically stable information about processes characterized by physical properties which vary randomly in time or space. The project will relate to the use of coherence and polarization properties of radiation at subwavelength scales for surface and subsurface diagnostics of random media such as biological tissue.
David J. Hagan
Nonlinear optical properties of Semiconductor “Quantum Dots”
This research project is based on semiconductor quantum dots (QD) which are commercially available in many different sizes from well below the Bohr Radius (strong quantum confinement) to well above (no quantum confinement). These materials are of tremendous current interest for such diverse applications as low threshold semiconductor lasers and for biomedical imaging applications. The student will carry out a systematic study of the nonlinear refraction (n2) and Two-Photon Absorption () of the QD verses the size of the micro crystals. Experimental methods involved would be Transition Electron Microscopy (TEM), the Z-Scan method and linear optical spectroscopy in order to determine the size distribution, n2 , , and the linear absorption of the QDs. The student will study are core only (CdSe) and core-shell, (CdS/CdSe) quantum dots where for the latter the core made from one semiconductor is coated by a layer of a different material.
Florencio Eloy Hernandez
Conductive NanoSurfaces and Organic Molecules: Directing Decay Mechanisms on Molecular
Scientists have been using metal nanolayers and nanoparticles to enhance single-photon induced fluorescence of organic chromophores placed in the close vicinity of metal surfaces. The origin and mechanism for such enhancement seems to be well understood. On the other hand, very little is known on multiphoton absorption enhancement via surface plasmon and the effect metal nanoparticles exert on the intersystem crossing and first triplet state of organic molecules. We propose to fulfill this gap engaging in fundamental studies of the effects that gold nanorods of different aspect ratios and gold nanospheres have on the three-photon absorption, intersystem crossing and phosphorescence of organic molecules with different dipole moment orientation with respect to the metal surface. Considering the vast need for new molecules with high order absorption cross-sections and directed decay rates for bioimaging and photodynamic therapy, this work will have a tremendous impact in bio- and nanophotonics. In order to successfully accomplish our goals we will combine advances in plasmonics, materials engineering and nonlinear optics, taking advantage of the enormous electric-field enhancement that can be achieved using surface plasmons and the possibility of carrying out radiative decay engineering (RDE) on organic molecules using metal nanoparticles. Enthusiastic REU students are invited to participate in this project. Under my supervision, undergraduates will be responsible for the functionalization of substrates, synthesis of hybrid systems and their optical characterization. Measurements of Surface Plasmon resonance bands, Fluorescence spectra and lifetimes, as well as multiphoton absorption coefficients are part of this project.
Advanced Laser Processing
The main focus of research in the group is advanced laser processing of materials, with particular focus on optical devices. Summer REU research in the group can focus into one of three main areas: (1) laser drilling for advanced microelectronics, (2) development of SiC optical sensors, or (3) laser doping of semiconductors and LED devices.
Fiber Optic Communication Systems
Currently we focus on three areas in fiber optic communication systems: 1) all-optical clock recovery and 3R (retiming, reshaping, reamplification) regeneration, 2) new modulation formats for dispersion- and nonlinearity-tolerant WDM transmission, and 3) fiber-optic backbone for 60 GHz wireless systems.
Patrick L. LiKamWa
Electro-Chemical Etching of Semiconductor Nanostructures
When electrons are confined in semiconductor volumes on nanometer scales,
the altered optoelectronic interaction brings out many useful optical
properties. One approach to achieving nanometer sized structures is to etch
the semiconductor through a surface coated mask. In order to achieve a high
degree of verticality in the etching, an electrical current is used to
assist the chemical etching process. This project aims at developing the
electro-chemical etching technique as a viable tool for producing
Martin C. Richardson
Femtosecond Laser Written Waveguides in Amorphous Chalcogenide Films
This project will involve the construction of an optical system designed to write photo-structural changes in As2S3 glass films. Such writing induces a refractive index modification to the glass, allowing waveguide structures to be written. The student will work with a small group of graduate students work on a project developing a new technique to make on-chip photonic structures with femtosecond lasers. The student will build a special refractive near field interferometer for the analysis of the refractive index of thin glass films. This will be a unique instrument, and will provide data that should be publishable in peer-reviewed journals.
Martin C. Richardson
The next generations of advanced lithography for computer chip manufacture flat follow Moore’s Law with the semiconductor industry, will use laser-produced plasmas as sources of short wavelength radiation. The laser plasma laboratory at CREOL is one of the leading groups in the world developing these sources. The student involved in the project will use special transmission grating, and grazing incidence grating x-ray spectrometers to analyze the spectral emission of these sources. The student will work directly with a senior graduate student on this project. There is a high probability that this project will lead to publications in scientific journals and papers presented at scientific conferences.
Martin C. Richardson
New solid-state laser development
Our Laser Development Laboratory is involved in the development of specialized, complex, usually high power, solid-state lasers for specialized applications. For example, this year we are developing several special laser systems, including an ultra-high intensity, femtosecond laser system capable of powers of ~10 TW that will also be used for plasma studies at CREOL, and for novel micro-machining applications this summer. The student who joins this group will obtain hands-on experience in laser building and measuring the characteristics of lasers, under the supervision of a senior scientist or graduate student.
Winston V. Schoenfeld
Stability of CdZnO/ZnO Multi-quantum Well Active Regions
This project will focus on investigating the thermal stability of CdZnO/ZnO multi-quantum well (MQW) active regions. Such MQWs are epitaxially grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) at relatively low growth temperatures (< 400C) to achieve high crystalline quality and to avoid phase segregation issues. Typical overlayers in epitaxial structures require higher temperature growth, and future device processing often involves thermal processes that exceed this growth temperature. The focus of this project to is determine the thermal stability of such MQW active regions by subjecting them to rapid thermal annealing (RTA) processing at various temperatures and investigating their stability through photoluminescence (PL), x-ray diffraction (XRD), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis.
Optical Properties of Solgel Derived Nanocrystalline Thin Films
Nanomaterials have tremendous potentials in mechanical, thermal and optical applications. Herein, we propose to prepare nanocrystalline metal sulfide thin films on select substrates. Metals will include Cu, Ag, and Au. The films will be heated to various temperatures to follow the particle growth, and subsequently optical properties will be studied as a function of particle size and morphology. The undergraduate student will be involved in optical measurements and synthesis of these nanofilms.
Eric W. Van Stryland
Z-Scan of Nonlinear Materials by White Light
The purpose of this project is to demonstrate the ability to create a stable White Light Continuum (WLC) for use in performing
Z-scan to characterize the nonlinear optical properties of materials. This
method has the potential for being favored over traditional Z-scan techniques
by significantly reducing the amount of time spent realigning the
system after each change in wavelength. This will be particularly useful in
identifying nonlinearities in materials with unknown properties.
Liquid Crystal Photonics and Displays
The Photonics and Display Group at College of Optics and Photonics, University of Central Florida, focuses on following five subjects: 1) adaptive-focus liquid crystal and liquid lenses, 2) photonic crystal lasers and bio-inspired photonics, 3) laser beam steering using optical phased array, 4) liquid crystal molecular engineering, and 5) liquid crystal display devices and modeling.
The visiting students are expected to closely interact with our Ph.D. students and research scientists to explore new science and technology and generate high quality publications. We will have group meeting every week. All the students and research scientists take turn to report their progresses and to stimulate ideas from each other. Besides actively participating in the research, the visiting students will be trained to make effective oral presentations.
To view our group research activities and student awards, please visit our website:
Boris Y. Zeldovich
Theoretical Studies of Wave Propagation
The student will work one-on-one with Dr. Zel’dovich on several aspects of wave propagation, as applied to optics and to quantum mechanics.
See projects from other years: