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Electro-Optics and Photonics Research


Our challenging courses complement our unparalleled research opportunities. We offer 20 dedicated electro-optics labs on campus and have access to research and development facilities at the University of Dayton Research Institute, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and local industries to provide you with a path to success. 

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Department Research Centers and Labs

Director: Swapnajit Chakravarty

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Director: Paul McManamon

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Director: Mikhail Vorontsov

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Director: Andrew Sarangan

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Director: Guru Subramanyam

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Areas of Research

  • LiDAR and free-space optical communications
  • Silicon photonics
  • Digital and dynamic holography
  • Atmospheric optics
  • Thin-film optical engineering
  • Optical lithography
  • Optical information processing
  • Nonlinear optics
  • Nanophotonics and metamaterials

Faculty Research and Expertise

Dr. Imad Agha is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and the Department of Electro-Optics and Photonics. He came to the university in 2013 after two years as a research associate in the nanofabrication research group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. His doctoral thesis work in nonlinear optics was completed under Alexander Gaeta at Cornell University in 2009, and his postdoctoral work was completed in the group of Philippe Grangier in the Institut d’Optique in Paris. His current research interests are quantum optics and nonlinear optics, plasmonics and infrared photodetection.

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Dr. Partha Banerjee is a professor of electro-optics and photonics at UD, where he served as director and then chair from 2012-2020. Previously, he was chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering from 2000-2005. At UD, Dr. Banerjee has established the Holography and Metamaterials Lab, where he supervises research engineers and graduate and undergraduate students. He also supervises M.S. and Ph.D. students who are pursuing their research at Air Force research labs. He was general chair of OSA’s Digital Holography in 2010, 2016, 2019 and 2021. To date, Dr. Banerjee has published five textbooks, over 150 refereed journal papers, over 180 conference papers/presentations and holds one patent. He has supervised 26 Ph.D. dissertations and 17 M.S. theses. Dr. Banerjee is a fellow of OSA, SPIE and IoP. He received the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, the Sigma Xi excellence award, the Dayton Area Associated Society Council’s Best Researcher Award, IEEE Dayton Section Photonics Society Award, the UD Alumni Research Award and the Vision Award. In recognition of his contribution to holography, he received the Holoknight award in 2019. 

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Dr. Chakravarty’s current research focuses on semiconductor photonic integrated circuits and nanophotonic devices for applications in chemical and biological sensing, and high speed data communications in the near-infrared and mid-infrared wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. Dr. Chakravarty has over 50 refereed journal papers, 11 issued patents and 85 conference papers/presentations. He has previously supervised three Ph.D. dissertations and mentored several NSF REU undergraduate students and senior design teams. Dr. Chakravarty is a senior member of IEEE, SPIE and OSA. Prior to joining UD, Dr. Chakravarty worked in industry in various research and development positions at IMEC, Philips-Lumileds and KLA-Tencor.

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Dr. McManamon’s research includes primarily lidar, non-mechanical beam steering, spatial heterodyne and directed energy. Dr. McManamon was the 2006 president of SPIE. He is a fellow of SPIE, AIAA, IEEE, OSA, AFRL, DEPs and MSS. He chaired the 2014 National Academy of Science’s study on “Laser Radar.” He co-chaired the 2012 NAS study on “Optics and Photonics: Essential technologies for our nation,” that recommended the National Photonics Initiative (NPI). The NPI has so far resulted in the $610 million AIM center and is working on other initiatives. He was vice chair of the “Seeing Photons” 2010 NAS study. Dr. McManamon was chief scientist for AFRL’s Sensors Directorate until his retirement from the Air Force after 40 years as a civilian employee. He has published two books on LiDAR.

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Dr. Sarangan’s current work includes novel concepts in phase change materials, optical thin films, photodetectors and nanofabrication. His prior work includes development of a large-area nanoscale lithography using laser interference, glancing angle deposition of nanostructured thin films and vanadium dioxide and GST phase change materials. He has built and maintains a single-PI nanofabrication cleanroom. In addition to federal agencies, his work is also supported by industries such as Lam Research Corp. and Gentex Corp. He authored a textbook titled “Nanofabrication — Principles to Laboratory Practice,” as well as two book chapters, over 40 refereed journal papers, four patents (two licensed) and over 70 conference papers/presentations. He has supervised 11 Ph.D. dissertations and 20 M.S. theses. He received the 2018 Vision Award for Excellence at UD.

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Dr. Mikhail Vorontsov is a professor of electro-optics and photonics, founder of the UD Intelligent Optics Lab (IOL) and CEO for the start-up company, Optonicus LLC. He has published over 300 papers and four books. Dr. Vorontsov is a fellow of SPIE, OSA and ARL and principal investigator for the AFOSR MURI Deep Atmospheric Optical Turbulence.

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Dr. Ed Watson is a Distinguished Researcher in sensor technologies for the University of Dayton Research Institute and holds adjunct appointments in the Department of Electro-Optics and Photonics and Department of Electrical and Computer Science. He is also chief executive of Vista Applied Optics, a small optical consulting firm. He retired in 2012 from the Sensors Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), after 30 years of federal service. His research interests include laser radar, optical phased array technology including common RF/EO apertures and novel remote sensing such as low light level imaging, pattern recognition and speckle characterization of remote objects. He has a Ph.D. degree in optics from the University of Rochester, an M.S. degree in optical sciences and a B.S. degree in physics from the University of Arizona. He is a fellow of OSA, SPIE, MSS and AFRL. He is the recipient of the Baker Prize from IEEE and the Kingslake Medal from SPIE.

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Electro-Optics and Photonics, Dr. Andrew Sarangan, Department Chair

Fitz Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2951