CREOL, The College of Optics & Photonics
Dr.  William Silfvast

Dr. William Silfvast

Emeritus Professor of Optics

Laser Plasma Laboratory

Email (Work)



CREOL A115 (Office)


William T. Silfvast received both a B.S. degree in Physics and a B.S. degree in Mathematics (1961) and a Ph.D. in Physics with a minor in Mathematics (1965) from the University of Utah.

From 1967 to 1989 he worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories, becoming a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff in 1983.  In 1990 he joined the faculty of the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where he was a Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering as well as a member of the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL).  In 1999 he also became a Professor of Optics at the College of Optics.  He was a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow at Oxford University in 1966-67 and a Guggenheim Fellow at Stanford University in 1982-83.  He was Chair of the Department of Physics at the University of Central Florida from 1994 to 1997.

Professor Silfvast is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and the IEEE.  He has carried out pioneering work in the fields of metal vapor lasers, recombination lasers, photo-ionization-pumped lasers, laser plasmas, and EUV lithography. He has discovered more than 100 new laser transitions in various gases and plasmas including the blue and ultraviolet He-Cd lasers, of which he played a significant role in their commercial development. He has authored more than 100 technical papers and holds 30 patents. He has published both a first edition (1996) and a second edition (2004) of a book entitled “Laser Fundamentals” with Cambridge University Press. He is presently an Emeritus Professor of Optics and The Townes Institute at the College of Optics and Photonics/CREOL at the University of Central Florida. In 2010, in recognition of the celebration of the 50th year since the first demonstration of the laser, he was selected as one of 27 ‘Laser Luminaries’ (laser pioneers) honored for significant early discoveries.

He presently resides with his wife, Susan, in Medford, Oregon. In addition to his interest in lasers and optics, he loves playing the cello, writing, woodworking, gardening, cooking, golf, traveling, and grandchildren.

Awards & Honors

Fellow of IEEE
Fellow of Optical Society of America
Fellow of the American Physical Society
2000 Distinguished Researcher of the Year at UCF
2000 Emertus Professor of Optics
1999 NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship at Oxford University 1999-2003
1983 Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff, AT&T Bell Labs
1982 Guggenheim Fellowship at Stanford University 1966-67

Recent Publications

William T. Silfvast
"Laser Fundamentals"
Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed.
Kazutoshi Takenoshita, Simi George, Chiew-Seng Koay, Jose Cunado, Robert Bernath, Christopher Brown, Moza Al-Rabban, William Silfvast, Martin Richardson
"Characterization of the Tin-doped droplet laser plasma EUV soruces for HVM"
Proceedings of SPIE, Advanced lithographyvolume 6517, 2007
Simi A. George, William T. Silfvast, Kazutoshi Takenoshita, Robert Bernath, Chiew-Seng Koay, Gregory Shimkaveg, Martin C. Richardson, Moza Mohammad Al-Rabban, H. Scott
"EUV Generation from Lithium Laser Plasma for Lithography"
Proceedings of SPIE, Advanced lithography, volume 6151
Simi George, Moza Al-Rabban, Kazutoshi Takenoshita, William Silfvast, Gregory Shimkaveg, Martin Richardson
"Out-of-band Spectroscopy of the Tin Droplet Target"
5th International Symposium on EUV Lithography, Barcelona, Spain
Silfvast, W. T.
"The amazing cadmium atom"
Ieee Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics. 6(6) 1400-1407
Klosner, M. A.; Silfvast, W. T.
"Xenon-emission-spectra identification in the 5-20-nm spectral region in highly ionized xenon capillary-discharge plasmas"
Journal of the Optical Society of America B-Optical Physics. 17(7) 1279-1290
Howard Bender
"Analysis of the operation and plasma dynamics of extreme-ultraviolet and soft x-ray lasers"
PhD Dissertation, CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics
Marc Klosner
"Intense capillary discharge plasma extreme-ultraviolet sources for EUV lithography and other EUV imaging applications"
PhD Dissertation, CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics

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