About the Lab

Research in Optical Characterization and Nanophotonics (OCN) laboratory focuses on developing and applying advanced optical characterization techniques to the study of solid-state and biological phenomena at the nanoscale. Under the direction of Professor Ünlü, we have an interdisciplinary group of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and visitors including guest faculty, students, and often high school students and teachers working on a broad range of research projects. Our laboratory has a vertically integrated structure where researchers ranging from high school students to senior professors work together on truly interdisciplinary research topics.

Nanophotonics addresses a broad spectrum of optics on the nanometer scale covering technology and basic science. Compared to the behavior of isolated molecules or bulk materials; the behavior of nanostructures exhibits important physical properties not necessarily predictable from observations of either individual constituents or large ensembles. Current projects include development of high-resolution subsurface imaging techniques based on numerical aperture increasing lens (NAIL) for the study of semiconductor devices and circuits and spectroscopy of quantum dots; optical characterization of carbon nanotubes; biosensors based on microring resonators; and development of new nanoscale microscopy techniques utilizing interference of excitation as well as emission from fluorescent molecules. In addition to microscopy, optical resonance is nearly ubiquitous in our research projects including development of resonant cavity enhanced photodetectors and imaging biosensors for DNA and protein arrays.

Our research findings are frequently reported as journal and conference papers. We have regular journal club meetings where faculty and students give presentations on recent scientific findings.

OCN is located on the 7th floor and basement of Photonics Center Building (8 Saint Mary’s Street) and includes state-of-the-art equipment. We have close ties to the Department of Physics and Department of Electrical Engineering.