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Dr. Martin C. Richardson

Dr. Martin C. Richardson

Pegasus Professor and University Trustee Chair, Northrop Grumman Prof of X-ray Photonics; Prof of Optics & Photonics

Laser Plasma Laboratory

Email (Work)


407-823-6819 (Office)
407-823-3570 (Fax )


CREOL 126 (Office)


Martin Richardson graduated from Imperial College, London, in Physics (1964) and gained his Ph.D in Photon Physics from London University in 1967 as the first student to graduate in lasers under the advisement of the late Daniel Bradley. For his thesis he studied the spectral characteristics of laser modes, investigated non-linear optical processes in dense plasmas and developed a new high power dual frequency laser. Although lasers were then still considered ‘a solution looking for a problem’, after the award of the 1964 Nobel Prize to Townes, Prokhorov and Basov for inventing the concept of the laser, many new laser research teams were being created worldwide. Richardson joined one of the first laser groups investigating laser and plasmas in the Division of Gerhardt Herzberg at the National Research Council Laboratories in Ottawa. Mode-locking as a technique for creating ultrashort laser pulses had just been invented, and he was the first to create plasmas in gases by amplified single ultrashort laser pulses. He stayed at NRC until 1979, making contributions to the development of new lasers, including patents on the discharge-pumped CO2 laser that launched the Lumonics corporation, nonlinear optics, mid-IR laser selective dissociation of molecules, the precursor to laser isotope separation, and the development of ultra-fast optical diagnostics. His work on laser-produced plasmas lead to the creation of the first Canadian team focused on laser fusion. Collaborations with the Lebedev Institute resulted in the development of the picosecond streak camera. In 1974 Richardson spent five months in the Soviet Union in the laboratories of Alexandr Prokhorov at the Lebedev Institute.

In 1980 he joined the University of Rochester where he worked for nine years as group leader for laser fusion experiments for the then new 24-beam OMEGA laser system at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics. He also held an adjunct faculty in the Institute of Optics. While at Rochester he was also involved in x-ray laser and laser-plasma x-ray spectroscopy investigations.

In 1990 he and William Silfvast established the Laser Plasma Laboratory at CREOL, the Center of Research in Electro-Optics & Lasers at UCF, developing research programs in ultrafast laser development, laser-plasma studies, EUV/X-ray lithography and microscopy and laser materials processing. These research activities expanded to include femtosecond laser structuring of materials, laser spectroscopy and sensing and high-intensity laser filamentation studies in the atmosphere. In 2003 he was appointed the Northrop Grumman Professor of X-ray Photonics as part of major $24M donation to UCF. He was made a Trustee Chair of the University in 2006, and appointed as the first and founding director of the Townes Laser Institute in 2007.

Professor Richardson has throughout his career taken an intense interest in the education of his students. In Canada he introduced schemes through which students from Canadian universities could study for their Ph.D’s at NRC-Canada. He directs an NSF International REU program, and has initiated an Atlantis program for students to obtain a international MS degree between UCF and the universities of Bordeaux, Jena and Clemson. Some of his students gain co-tutelle Ph.D degrees with the University of Bordeaux. He is particularly interested in advancing science in under-developed countries, and in enabling equal rights for women through science.

Professor Richardson has held visiting scientific positions at the Max Born Institute in Berlin, the Institute for Laser Engineering (ILE) Osaka University, the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, and other institutions in Australia, Canada, France, Qatar and the former Soviet Union. He has published over 400 scientific articles in professional scientific journals, and has presented numerous invited and plenary talks. He holds ~ 20 patents, with several pending and has chaired many international conferences including IQEC, ICHSP, and several SPIE meetings. He is a former Associate Editor of JQE, a recipient of the Schardin Medal, and a Fellow of OSA.

Awards & Honors

Fellow of AAAS
American Physical Society (APS) Fellow
International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) Fellow
IEEE Photonics Society Fellow
Optical Society of America (OSA) Fellow
2015 UCF Millionaires Club
2015 Fulbright-Tocqueville Professorship (2016)
2015 Fellow, Institute of Physics (IoP), London, U.K
2014 Jefferson Science Fellowship, National Academy of Sciences at t U.S. State Department
2014 UCF Millionaires Club
2014 University Trustee Chair (renewal)
2014 Research Incentive Award (RIA)
2014 Jefferson Fellowship
2013 Docteur Honoris Causa Université de Bordeaux
2013 UCF Millionaires Club
2013 SPIE Harold E Edgerton Award
2013 Harold E. Edgerton Award
2012 UCF Millionaires Club
2012 Pegasus Professor Award
2012 Sustaining Member Canadian Association of Physicists
2011 UCF Millionaires Club
2010 UCF Millionaires Club
2009 UCF Millionaires Club
2008 UCF Millionaires Club
2007 UCF Millionaires Club
2007 Pegasus Professor Award
2007 Director The Townes Laser Institute
2006 Office of Research & Commercialization Millionaire's Club
2006 UCF Millionaires Club
2006 University Trustee Chair
2006 Researcher of the Year
2006 Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant
2005 UCF Millionaires Club
2005 Research Incentive Award
2000 Teaching Incentive Program (TIP) Award
1998 Professorial Excellence Program (PEP) Award
1995 IR&D 100 Award
1990 Fellow, Japanese Society for Promotion of Science
1976 Schardin Medal, German Physical Society

Recent Publications

S. Shabahang, F. A. Tan, J. D. Perlstein, G. Tao, O. Alvarez, F. Chenard, A. Sincore, L. Shah, M. C. Richardson, K. L. Schepler, and A. F. Abouraddy
"Robust multimaterial chalcogenide fibers produced by a hybrid fiber-fabrication process"
Optics Materials Express, submitted
Daniel Thul, Martin C. Richardson
"Propagation of Tailored Filaments"
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida, Orlando
Justin Cook
"Photothermal Lensing in Mid-Infrared Materials"
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida, Orlando
I. Mingareev and M. Richardson
"Laser Additive Manufacturing: Going Mainstream"
OSA Optics and Photonics News, February 2017
J. Szilagyi, H. Parchamy, M. Masnavi, and M.C. Richardson
"Spectral irradiance of singly and doubly ionized zinc in low-intensity laser-plasma ultraviolet light sources"
Journal of Applied Physics, 121(3), 033303
P. Roumayah
"Design and verification of multi-terawatt ti-sapphire lasers for use in a mobile filamentation system"
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida, Orlando
I. Mingareev, S. Isenberg, and M.C. Richardson
"High-density micro-perforation of stainless steel using ultrafast lasers"
International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics (ICALEO)
Martin C. Richardson, Rodrigo Amezcua Correa, Axel Schülzgen, and Lawrence Shah
"Multi-kW class fiber lasers: a perspective on the future"
SPIE Security + Defense, Conference 9990 High-Power Lasers: Technology and Systems, Edinburgh, UK, 2016
M. C. Richardson, R. Amezcua-Correa, A. Schülzgen, and L. Shah
"Multi-kW class fiber lasers: a perspective on the future"
SPIE Security & Defense, paper: 9990-20, Edinburgh (UK).
S. Shabahang, A. Sims, G. Tao, L. Shah, M.C. Richardson, and A.F. Abouraddy
"Multi-octave mid-infrared supercontinuum generation in robust chalcogenide nanowires using a thulium fiber laser"
OSA Photonics and Fiber Technology Congress, Sydney, Australia, 5 - 8 September


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