Optical physics faculty work at the interface between physics, materials science, chemistry and engineering. They utilize light to study light-matter interactions in various materials — from small molecules to carbon nanotubes and 2D semiconductors — and to understand how such interactions can be employed in designing better solar cells, sensors and other optoelectronic and photonic devices. Our optical physics faculty have also developed novel optical methods for observing electron dynamics on femtosecond time scales and on nanometer spatial scales, which reveals new physical phenomena and enables design of next-generation electronic devices.
Optical physics researchers
Research interests include physics of nanomaterials and devices, photocurrent generation, opto-magetno quantum control and ultrafast optical microscopy. The Graham Lab or Micro-Femto Energetics Lab resolves carrier relaxation, electronic transport, and energy transfer occurring on femtosecond (10-15 s) timescale with sub-micron (<10-6 m) spatial resolution. Novel ultrafast microscopy approaches are developed to optimize energy efficiency in emerging solar materials, transistors, and new quantum materials systems.
Terahertz (THz) waves are electromagnetic waves whose frequencies lie between the microwave and infrared regions. Naturally occurring THz radiation fills up the space of everyday life providing warmth, yet this part of the electromagnetic spectrum remains the least explored region. Lee's research focuses on terahertz time-domain spectroscopy and ultrafast carrier dynamics in semiconductor nanostructures and carbon nanomaterials.
Ostroverkhova's research explores the electronic and optical properties of organic materials using a variety of experimental techniques, including ultrafast time-resolved spectroscopy and single-molecule spectroscopy.