OSE Seminar by Interim Dean of A&S, Dr. Arash Mafi on Laser Cooling of Yb-doped Silica Glass

Departmental News

Prof. Arash Mafi

Posted: September 6, 2022

Date: Thursday, September 08, 2022

Time:  12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

Location:  at PAIS, 2540


Prof. Arash Mafi

UNM Interim Dean of College of Arts and Sciences


Laser cooling of a solid is achieved when a coherent laser illuminates the material in the red tail of its absorption spectrum, and the heat is carried out by anti-Stokes fluorescence of the blue-shifted photons. Solid-state laser cooling has been successfully demonstrated in several materials, including rare-earth-doped crystals and glasses. Silica glass, being the most widely used optical material, had evaded laser cooling attempts for many years. I will present our success in the net cooling of high-purity Yb-doped silica glass samples that are primarily developed for high-power fiber laser applications, where special care has been taken in the fabrication process to reduce their impurities and lower their parasitic background loss.


Professor Arash Mafi earned his Ph.D. in theoretical high energy physics from The Ohio State University in 2001. Following postdoctoral appointments at the University of Arizona in Physics and The Optical Sciences Center, he joined Corning Incorporated as a Senior Research Scientist working on optical fibers and liquid crystal displays. He moved to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2008, where he was an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, before joining the University of New Mexico in 2014. He is currently a Professor of Physics and Astronomy. Prof. Mafi served as the General Chair of the Optical Science and Engineering (OSE) Graduate Program in 2015 and as the Director of the Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM) 2016  to 2021. Since July 2021, he has been serving as the Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.