The Photonic Materials and Devices Lab is dedicated to the development of new materials for photonics, with a focus on information technology. The next generation of Internet technologies will require new, low-cost, high-performance photonic materials for data communication and computing — and the PMDL and its principal investigator, Robert A. Norwood, have a long history of developing polymer-based integrated photonics technologies, based both on passive optical polymers and, more recently, advanced nonlinear optical polymers that provide the capability for ultrahigh speed communication and switching. The PMDL is also engaged in photonic nanocomposite polymer development with the goal of providing the photonics community with photonic designer materials that can meet the needs of next generation networks. Major achievements of the PMDL over the last few years include sub-volt electro-optic polymer hybrid modulators, high Q (> 1,000,000) femtosecond micromachined microresonators, high-transparency high-Verdet constant magneto-optic polymer nanocomposites, and low-threshold nonlinear linear optics using liquid photonics. The lab receives funding from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and major corporations, among other entities.

Areas of Research

  • Electro-optic polymer modulators
  • Interface engineering
  • Nonlinear optical switching
  • Organic magneto-optics
  • Photorefractive polymer 3D display
  • Plasmonic infrared emitters
  • Polymer nanocomposites