Electromagnetics Research Laboratory


ET Building 121

Lab coordinator

Adam Mock
ET Building 130C

Teaching/learning activities in the lab

While the electromagnetics research lab is primarily used for research, the PI incorporates research into teaching and learning activities as much as possible. This is primarily done via lab tours for students in EGR 120 (Introduction to Engineering) and lab demonstrations related to course content in EGR 388 (Introduction to Electromagnetics), EGR 397D (Applications of Electromagnetics) and EGR 496 (Communication Systems). Electromagnetics-related senior capstone projects supervised by the PI are also done in the electromagnetics research lab.

Research equipment (hardware and software)Fiber connectorization station.

  • 4 ft. x 8 ft. vibration-isolated optical table (Newport)Vytran large diameter fiber cleaver.
  • Anritsu optical spectrum analyzer (600nm-1750nm)
  • 2 three-dimensional translation stages with sub-micron resolution (Newport)
  • Superluminescent diode at 1550nm
  • Laser diodes at 1480nm and 1550nm
  • Free space to fiber coupling optics
  • Erbium doped fiber amplifier (33 dBm)
  • High-speed infrared detector
  • Frequency resolved optical gating (FROG) short pulse characterization system
  • Various fiber optics and optomechanical components (attenuators, isolators, mirrors, lens, circulators, etc.)
  • Large diameter fiber cleaver (Vytran)
  • Vacuum chamber and mass flow controllers for gas sensor characterization
  • Stanford Research Systems 8 GHz signal generator
  • In-house developed three-dimensional finite-difference time-domain code for both single and multiple processors

Research projects in the lab

  • Passively mode-locked fiber lasers using graphene. The goal of this project is to generate sub-picosecond optical pulses using a fiber ring laser with graphene saturable absorber. The fiber ring laser is driven by an erbium doped fiber amplifier (EDFA). Graphene is a nanomaterial that has received considerable attention recently. Its experimental discovery in 2004 was awarded the 2010 Nobel prize in physics. It has a number of interesting properties including exceedingly high mechanical strength and electrical conductivity. It also exhibits nonlinear absorption similar to that of single wall carbon nanotubes. Applications of the ultrashort pulse fiber ring laser range from medicine to telecommunication. A specific application considered in this project is micrometer laser micromachining of glass fiber. Achieving large pulse energy will be important for success in this project.
  • Infiltrated photonic crystal fiber devices. The goal of this project is to infiltrate the internal air voids in photonic crystal fiber with optically influencing materials. These include colloidal quantum dot solutions for optical amplification, gold or silver metal for surface plasmon devices or graphene for saturable absorption. Infiltrating hollow-core microstructured optical fiber will lead to an enhanced and nearly ideal light-matter interaction promoting larger gain coefficients in the case of quantum dot infiltration, improved surface plasmon coupling in the case of metal infiltration, and lower power for reaching intensity threshold in the case of graphene infiltration.
  • Theoretical and computation design and analysis of micro-photonic and nano-photonic devices. The electromagnetics research lab utilizes finite-difference time-domain methods for the electromagnetic analysis of photonic devices. The goal of this analysis is the exploration of novel optical phenomena associated with geometrical features at or smaller than the wavelength of light. The lab utilizes high performance workstations at CMU as well as distributed computing at Michigan State University's High Performance Computing Center.