Skip to main content

Optical Physics

Matt Graham and a student conducting research in the optical physics lab.

The Micro-Femto Energetics Lab investigates how (and if) electrons in new nanoscale devices and materials can be harvested by filming what happens to electrons after they get excited by light.

Optical physics faculty work at the interface between physics, materials science, chemistry and engineering. They utilize light to study light-matter interactions in various materials — from small molecules to carbon nanotubes and 2D semiconductors — and to understand how such interactions can be employed in designing better solar cells, sensors and other optoelectronic and photonic devices. Our optical physics faculty have also developed novel optical methods for observing electron dynamics on femtosecond time scales and on nanometer spatial scales, which reveals new physical phenomena and enables design of next-generation electronic devices.