Photonics is focused on materials and devices for photonic sensors and sources, scalable high-energy lasers, secure communications via quantum networking, and protection of sensors and human eyes against high-power and short-pulse laser threats.

Semiconductor Physics (Vis-NIR through Terahertz)

Investigate carrier dynamics and transport in semiconductor materials used in optoelectronic devices, such as infrared (IR) detectors, solar cells, UV detectors and emitters, and liquid/semiconductor junctions using unique Vis/near-IR through terahertz (THz) ultrafast spectroscopy in combination with modeling and data analysis.  Specific areas of interest include:

-Ultrafast Spectroscopy of Electronic, Optoelectronic, & Structural Materials: Femtosecond spectroscopy with ultrashort pulses tunable from 200 nm to 10,000 nm, probing dynamics, and transport of electronic and phonon excitations in condensed matter.

-Carrier Localization and Recombination Dynamics in Semiconductor Alloys: Investigate the impact of alloy and interface fluctuations in semiconductor alloys on carrier transport and recombination using femtosecond pump-probe, electroabsorption, and luminescence.

-Radiation and Doping Effects on Minority Carrier Lifetimes in Wide Bandgap Semiconductors: Investigate the impact of radiation dosage and doping on minority carrier lifetime using a time-resolved pump probe and luminescence.

-Nonlinear Optical Properties of III-Nitride Polar and Nonpolar Heterostructures: Employ ultrafast spectroscopy to investigate the optical switching dynamics in III-Nitride polar and nonpolar heterostructures for optical modulators.

-Wide Band Gap Semiconductor Physics: Investigate carrier dynamics and transport in semiconductor materials used in light-emitting devices (LEDs), lasers, and photodetectors and energy conversion devices operating in the ultraviolet (UV) through visible spectral range using unique UV-visible ultrafast spectroscopy facility, in conjunction with modeling and data analysis.  Principal Investigators: Gregory Garrett, Blair Connelly, Meredith Reed.

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Gregory Garrett 301-394-1966

III-V Materials for Topological Insulators

This program focuses on the growth and materials characterization of III-V semiconductor materials to examine their use as topological insulators. Investigation of Weyl semi-metallic phases induced by pressure or ordering and induced superconductivity in InAsSb. Growth and transport studies of 2-dimensional InN/GaN quantum well structures.

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Stefan Svensson 301-394-0605

Center for Semiconductor Materials and Device Modeling

The Center for Semiconductor Materials and Device Modeling brings together industry, academia, and other government agencies in a collaborative fashion to continuously push semiconductor research forward for the mutual benefit of all partners. The center focuses on advancing the state of the art in multiscale modeling of electro-optical materials and devices at and across the relevant scales in order to realize materials by design for Army near-term and future needs.

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Meredith Reed 301-394-0603

Superconductors, Topological Insulators, and Related Heterostructures

(a) The objective is to explore unique electronic states at the topological insulator/high-temperature superconductor interface.  We are doing research on materials and processing that will enable us to investigate the unique electronic states between topological insulators and high-temperature superconductors. Topological insulators (TIs) are electronic materials that have a bulk bandgap and gapless conducting surface states that are protected by the topological and symmetry characteristics of their band-structure. Majorana fermions have been predicted, but not yet observed, to exist at the TI/ superconductor interface. We are investigating the Molecular Beam Epitaxial (MBE) growth of stanene, the two-dimensional monolayer of elemental tin that is predicted to be a 2D TI, and PbSnTe, PbSnSe topological crystalline insulators. TI/ high-temperature superconductor heterostructures will be grown and studied for evidence of Majorana fermions.   

(b) The objective is to investigate high-temperature Rare Earth Barium Copper Oxide-based (REBCO) High-Temperature Superconductors (HTS) for a potentially wide range of applications. The goal is to increase the critical current density of REBCO superconductors by pinning enhancement and precise control of energy transfer and mass transfer by Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD). Basic and applied research on materials growth of REBCO with process parameter optimization, superconductivity measurements and characterization, and performance evaluation in certain aspects. Additional phenomena such as persistent current relaxation and normal zone propagation will be studied, as well as potential application of REBCO in sensor development.

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Patrick Folkes 301-394-1042

II-VI Infrared Research and Development

ARL’s II-VI infrared research and development program studies and develops the next evolution of infrared materials and devices using the II-VI semiconductor alloys.  Areas of interest include material growth via molecular beam epitaxy, device design and modeling, device characterization (including focal plane array performance), passivation, annealing, and mitigation of defects.

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Priyalal Wijewarnasuriya 301-394-0963

Active Imaging (LADAR, LIDAR, Laser Radar) and Integrated Photonics

ARL is developing active imaging systems for applications such as mapping, navigation, and robotics.  Minimizing size, weight, and power while enabling optimized scanning for efficient extraction of image information is essential for achieving system requirements.  Currently, ARL is investigating optical phased arrays and integrated photonics to achieve these goals.  Collaboration is sought in multiple areas, especially the design and fabrication of compact Tx/Rx elements with associated array interconnection methods.  ARL has sophisticated nanofabrication facilities on site and a connection to the AIM Photonics Institute that may be leveraged to support a joint effort.

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Ellen Holthoff 301-394-3802

Growth of III-V-Nitride Materials and Devices

Growth of materials and device structures targeting sources and detectors operating in the spectral region from ultraviolet to terahertz, using 2 Molecular Beam Epitaxy facilities uniquely configured for high-temperature growth (> 1100 C) and with novel sources (Boron, Be, Nd) and a custom metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) system. Investigate the dynamics of group III adlayer formation, surface mobility, and adsorption, as well as impurity incorporation in III-N material growth at high growth temperatures comparable to those employed for commercial MOCVD processes.  Specific areas of interest include:

-Novel Transparent Hole Injection Schemes for UV Emitters (ALC): Investigate the incorporation of novel impurity and polarization-enhanced doping schemes to simultaneously improve hole injection and UV extraction efficiency.

-Rare Earth Doped III-Nitride Heterostructure Materials and Devices (ALC): Investigate the incorporation of rare earth ions into III-Nitride heterostructures and diodes and the impact of large tunable electric fields on the optical properties of the rare earth ions.

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Anand Sampath 301-394-0104

Organic Materials for Nonlinear Optics

Develop and investigate organic materials exhibiting nonlinear properties such as nonlinear refraction, two-photon absorption, and reverse saturable absorption.  Research includes chemical synthesis, analysis, photo-physical characterization, and modeling to develop structure-property relationships.

Principal Investigator:

Mr. William Shensky 301-394-0937

Advanced Solid-State Lasers

Development of state-of-the-art solid-state laser technologies to enable medium- to high-power lasers. Research areas include both bulk solid and fiber gain media in various near- and mid-infrared wavelength ranges, for both CW and pulsed operation.

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Zachery Fleischman 301-394-1142

Quantum Memories and Components for Quantum Communication and Networking

Investigate quantum systems capable of generating, storing, and processing entangled quantum information. Integrate quantum memories, including neutral atom and atomic ions, in an entangled quantum network connected through fiber and free-space. Explore and develop components needed for remote entanglement between quantum devices, include quantum frequency conversion, high-efficiency photon retrieval and transmission, and integrated interference and detection of photon pairs. Develop modular and compact quantum devices, including detectors, quantum interfaces, and quantum memories for integration into a quantum network. Develop theoretical models for the behavior of quantum devices and theoretical protocols and applications for a distributed entangled quantum network.

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Fredrik Fatemi 301-394-1531

Hybrid Solid-State Quantum Systems for Networking, Sensing, and Simulation

It is now possible to control quantum states in myriad media, from optical and microwave photons to trapped ions and atoms, low-dimensional semiconductor nanostructures, and mechanical oscillators. However, no single medium can meet all of the demands for realizing quantum technologies in sensing, computing, and communication networks and interfacing them with existing classical infrastructure. Therefore, it is crucial to develop hybrid quantum systems by merging the strengths of different media. In the laboratory of Quantum Materials and Photonics (QMaP), we focus on developing solid-state qubits and related integrated hybrid systems as quantum simulators, quantum sensors, quantum memories, and nodes for distributing entanglement in a quantum network.  Research collaborations in the following areas are solicited: (i) defect spin qubits in wide-bandgap semiconductors and atomically thin van der Waals 2-D materials, (ii) quantum coherent control of electrons and nuclear spins in semiconductor and photonic crystal nanostructures, and (iii) nonequilibrium many-body effects in light-matter hybrid systems.

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Chih-Wei Lai 301-394-2874

Specialty Electronic Materials and Sensors Cleanroom (SEMASC)

The US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Specialty Electronic Materials and Sensors Cleanroom (SEMASC) currently occupies 10,000 square feet of class 100 and 4800 square feet of class 10 cleanroom space and is a unique research asset for the US Army and the domestic research community.  The facility houses an extensive array of micro- and nano-fabrication tools, which enable researchers to work with new materials, engineer materials with unique microstructures, realize a wide array of sensors and devices, and assemble devices into ultra-compact multi-functional systems.  Flexible and extensive processing technologies exist within the facility to work with silicon-based materials, III-V and II-VI compounds, biomaterials, and energetic materials to fabricate devices with critical dimensions down to 10 nm.  It is an unparalleled resource for achieving future Army systems with aggressive Size Weight and Power (SWaP) requirements.  Additionally, product costs scale favorably with volume; and the performance and functionality of many devices improve with reducing dimensions.

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Paul Sunal 301-394-1374

Semiconductor Research Nanofabrication Center (SRNC)

The Semiconductor Research Nanofabrication Center (SRNC) is a vehicle to enable collaboration between a broad set of regional research nanofabrication facilities to provide government, academia, and industry with a more robust and complete research nanofabrication and metrology capability.  The accessible benefits from membership include the following:

  • Serves as a platform for building local fabrication facility community and marketing expertise of member facilities
  • Provides potential investors perspective on available intellectual property and a clearly defined path to licensing
  • Enables rapid development of prototypes using advanced materials with modest investment
  • Increases exposure of technology, lab use, and accelerated technology transition
  • Provides access to comprehensive resources and materials for the rapid realization and transition of sophisticated nano-devices and systems.

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Paul Sunal 301-394-1374