Optics and Photonics

The area of optics and photonics, including biophotonics, transcend various fields. Optical networks form the backbone of most Internet and voice communication traffic, and as utility (cable and phone) companies begin to offer multiple combined network services, demands on bandwidth will soar. Other optics-related areas — such as imaging (including bioimaging), optical motion tracking and optical sensing — will become increasingly pervasive. Moreover, optics and photonics is an enabling technology for advances in other fields such as nanotechnology by providing material characterization.

Optical Motion Tracking Technology for Biomedical Applications

Prof. B. Armstrong

Applying the patented RetroGrate Reflector (RGR) technology to track X, Y, Z and pitch, roll, yaw from a single image, Prof. Armstrong is working with an international collaboration to develop methods to improve magnetic resonance imaging by tracking subject movement 100 times per second and adapting the MR imaging process. He is also working with collaborators at UWM to develop a low-cost, single-camera 3D tracking system that can be applied to problems in bio-mechanics, including human motion analysis for injury risk assessment. With his former student, Armstrong has recently published "Precision Landmark Location for Machine Vision and Photogrammetry: Finding and Achieving the Maximum Possible Accuracy (London: Springer-Verlag, 2007).

Other Research Topic: Image metrology

Advanced Materials for Opto-Electronic Device and Sensing Applications

Prof. N.Kouklin

EE Research

A Raman spectrum of multiwalled nanotubes subjected to acid treatment showing that increase in the number of defect states (D-band) is responsible for the enhancement of the water solubility, observed.

One of the critical research areas at the EE group is associated with the development of novel optical materials suitable for light generation, sensing and optical energy harvesting. On this front, we are directly involved with the investigation of the primary mechanisms responsible for the emission, absorption and transport of light in novel nano-semiconductors and oxides and their heterojunctions produced electro-chemically and Vapor Transport Techniques.

Other Research Topics:

  • Organic/inorganic hetero-structures for efficient and multi-spectral detection applications
  • Optical effects in carbon-nanotubes
  • Optical methods for biological sensing and detection
  • Raman spectroscopy of nanostructures

Optical Sensing Network for Power System Fault Detection

Prof. C. T. Law

The reliability of electric power systems can have tremendously effect on our daily life. The impact is even more detrimental if the power outage spreads across a wide region. A case in point was the blackout on August 14, 2004 that covered large areas of the northeastern United States and Canada. Our group in collaboration with Dr. Yu’s Power group at UWM has proposed a fiber optics based sensing network that can potentially be a solution to long-standing problems in power system reliability and restoration. A powerful combination of high-speed fiber optics communication channel and a seamless integration of optical sensors into an optical fiber show achievable promise of fast fault signal transmission, rapid identification of fault location and superb coordination of power protection devices. The proposed sensing network will open up opportunities in developing novel fault detection algorithms that revolutionize procedures in locating and clearing faults as well as providing backup.
Other Research Topics: Optical communication, Nonlinear optical devices, Wave propagation, Optical computing, Scientific data visualization, X-ray sources

Photoacoustic Imaging

Prof. H. Zhang

Photoacoustic imaging is a hybrid imaging technology that detects the laser induced ultrasonic waves to image the physiologically-specific optical absorption contrasts. Photoacoustic imaging is advantageous over traditional optical imaging in that it penetrates deeper while maintains a good spatial resolution. Photoacoustic imaging is advantageous over traditional ultrasonic imaging in that it has high contrast and is free of speckle.

Other Research Topics: Bio-optical imaging, Tissue optics, Novel microscopy, Multi-modality imaging, Tumor physiology and hemodynamics, Neurovascular coupling and brain activities