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OSE Ph.D. & M.S. Defenses

OSE Ph.D. Candidate - Capt. Shawn Hackett

Defense Date and Time: Thursday, November 3, 2016 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Location: Room 190, Physics & Astronomy Building

Dissertation Title:
"High Power Optically Pumped Semiconductor Disk Lasers for Sodium Guidestar Applications"

Committee Members:

  • Professor Mansoor Sheik-Bahae (Chair)
  • Professor Majeed Hayat - ECE
  • Professor McGraw - PHYC
  • Dr. Robert Johnson - AFRL

Optically Pumped Semiconductor Disk Lasers (OPSLs) are shown to provide a much more compact and less expensive source for illumination of the sodium layer of the mesosphere for use as a sodium guidestar via single and two photon excitation schemes.

OSE Ph.D. Candidate - Mr. Ruichao Zhu

Defense Date and Time: Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room 146, Center for High Technology Materials

Dissertation Title:
"Scatterometry at 50 nm Half Pitch Features"

Dissertation Committee Members:

  • Dr. Steve Brueck (Chair)
  • Dr. Mansoor Sheik-Bahae (PHYC)
  • Dr. P. R. Schunk (Advanced Materials Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories)
  • Dr. Francesca Cavallo (ECE)

Metrology technologies are the essential adjunct to Semiconductor manufacturing. An optical metrology, can provide a real-time, high throughput, non-contact, non-destructive accurate and flexible measurement, which no other technologies can provide. Scatterometry, as an optical metrology, was chosen to measure a 50 nm half pitch feature structures for both metallic grating sample and resist grating sample. Our results show that even for a laser wavelength ten times larger than the sample pitch, scatterometry can still provide enough characteristic structure information. A limitation study for both metallic and resist grating shows the fundamental limitation of scatterometry for different materials and structures based on current noise levels. We have demonstrated that scatterometry have a potential capability to measure a 10 nm feature size with a 405 nm laser.

Ph.D. Candidate - Mr. Zhou Yang

Dissertation Date and Time: Monday, October 17, 2016, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: Room 1131, Physics and Astronomy Building

Dissertation Title:
"Novel concepts in semiconductor disk lasers"

Dissertation Committee Members:

  • Prof. Mansoor Sheik-Bahae - Chair
  • Prof. Arash Mafi
  • Prof. Daniel Feezell
  • Dr. Jeffrey Cederberg (currently at MIT Lincoln Lab)

Optically-pumped semiconductor disk lasers (SDLs) have received much attention in recent years for myriad of applications requiring intracavity access, good beam quality, wavelength versatility, and high output powers. The traditional scheme of these lasers feature a semiconductor distributed Bragg reflector (DBR) integrated with the active region, together forming an active mirror in an external free-space cavity. The active mirror component is fabricated by either epitaxial growth or post-growth processing. This places certain restrictions on SDL design, as material system choices become limited. It further hinders laser performance with regard to its thermal management and laser bandwidth (tuning range).

This dissertation is concerned with developing SDL’s without the integrated semiconductor DBR in order to mitigate the aforementioned restrictions. We exploit epitaxial lift-off and van der Waals bonding technique to investigate novel DBR-free SDL geometries. Active regions are directly bonded onto various destination substrates, such as right angle prisms forming a total internal reflection (TIR) geometry or optical windows in a transmission arrangement. A quasi-continuous operation is demonstrated using TIR geometry while schemes for continuous-wave operation are proposed in standing wave as well as various monolithic ring cavities. We demonstrate a standing wave monolithic SDL cavity, and analyze its performance.

With the transmission geometry, multi-Watt CW operation is achieved by employing single-crystal CVD diamond windows as heatspreaders: 2 W output power is obtained at 1.15 µm, and more than 6 W is collected at 1 µm. Numerical thermal analysis results suggest that DBR-free SDLs outperform traditional SDLs in thermal management when employing two diamond heatspreaders sandwiching the active region. Additionally, significantly broader wavelength tuning range (80 nm) is demonstrated compared with typical SDLs, in agreement well with our extended integrated modal-gain model. Implications of such bandwidth enhancement for modelocking operation and ultrashort pulse generation is presented.

Finally, we propose a novel gain-embedded meta-mirror (GEMM) concept based on the subwavelength grating structures. Our theoretical analysis show that an SDL constructed based on this concept offers superior thermal management capability with promising potentials for high-power scaling.

Ph.D. Candidate - Mr. Behsan Behzadi

Dissertation Date and Time: Thursday, April 5, 2018 from 10 AM -11:30 AM 
Location: CHTM, Room 103

Dissertation Title:
"Novel Compact Narrow-linewidth Mid-Infrared Lasers for Sensing Applications"

Dissertation Committee Members:

  • Mani Hossein-Zadeh (ECE)
  • Ravinder K. Jain (ECE)
  • Jean-Claude Diels (PHYC)
  • Ganesh Balakrishnan (ECE)


Compact and low-cost narrow-linewidth (NLW) mid-infrared (MIR) lasers are of primary importance due to their several applications including spectroscopy, chemical and biochemical sensing, security and industrial monitoring.

Starting with fabrication of spherical microcavities based on MIR transparent materials, I have demonstrated the feasibility of achieving quality factors in excess of 10 million in Whispering-Gallery Mode (WGM) microresonators made of different types of soft glasses. Next, using doped spherical microresonators, I have demonstrated a new NLW MIR microlaser with ultra-low threshold. In particular all aspects of a room temperature continuous wave Er:ZBLAN WGM microlaser with wavelength of 2.71 μm has been carefully characterized and studied. The analysis describes the origin of the measured mode structure and polarization. To amplify the output power of this laser, I have designed and fabricated a MIR fiber amplifier with a record gain of 30 dB at 2.71 μm that facilitated the characterization process and boosted the MIR power level to usable level while preserving its linewidth. 
Next, I have studied intracavity absorption spectroscopy based on active and passive high quality WGM MIR microresonators and microlasers. The outcome of this analysis shows that ppm level sensitivity is achievable using these devices. 

Finally, I have modeled the performance of two newly proposed configurations for NLW MIR generation based on stimulated Raman emission. First, I studied a new family of Raman fiber lasers, capable of generating any NLW MIR line in the 2.5-9.5 μm spectral region. I demonstrate the feasibility of this MIR laser family and identify the condition for single-mode operation, threshold conditions, impact of nonlinearities and lay the foundation for the first experimental demonstration. Next, I explore the performance of silicon based on-chip lasers and the parameters that have prevented expanding their wavelength to MIR range. Using the outcomes of my study, I propose and then analyze a new architecture for compact on-chip silicon Raman laser capable of generating single NLW lines around 3.2 μm with sub-mW threshold pump power. 

MS Project Presentation - Mr. Wei-Chung Tu

Dissertation Date and Time: Friday, April 6, 2018 from 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM 
Location: CHTM, Room 103

Dissertation Title:

"Design and development of confocal microscope combining Raman Spectroscopy and Atomic Force Microscope"

Dissertation Committee Members:

  • Prof. Mansoor Sheik-Bahae
  • Prof. Francesca Cavallo
  • Prof. Ganesh Balakrishnan
  • Dr. Alex Ukhanov


This project is composed of two parts. The first part shows how we optomechanically designed and built a confocal microscope that can perform spectroscopy and microscopy at the same time. The second part shows how we used the confocal microscope that we built to perform Raman Spectroscopy. This confocal microscope has great potential and many applications. One of the applications is that when the confocal microscope is combined with an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), AFM will show us the surface of the material, and the Raman Spectroscopy will help us identify the material. This will enable us to analyze the material more comprehensively and efficiently.