Solid State and Photonics Laboratory (SSPL)
From Stanford Electrical Engineering Department Graduate Handbook
Revision as of 14:52, 21 April 2008 by Wikiuser
Ingrid Tarien, Administrative Associate, AP 211, (650)723-0206, ingrid at ee.stanford.edu; Information, 723-0107
The Solid State and Photonics Lab, founded in September 1997, is the part of Electrical Engineering at Stanford that researches new devices, materials, and physical concepts, and explores some of the applications and systems enabled by such novel technology. This Lab represents a new grouping of faculty from the former Solid State Laboratory, together with Electrical Engineering faculty in the Ginzton building, giving a new emphasis in the Department's efforts in these areas.
One of the important roles of the Lab is to form a bridge from basic science and technology to devices and applications. The benefits of such a bridge can flow in both directions, both creating devices and technologies that enable new levels of performance in systems, and also stimulating basic investigations in exciting and fertile areas.
In the Lab, there is basic physical work on surfaces and interfaces, as well as investigations of the electrical and optical properties of nanostructures and the electronic structure of highly correlated materials. Work on the fundamentals of fabrication technologies includes electron-beam lithography, and radical approaches such as scanning tip arrays. Basic work in optics and optoelectronics includes advanced concepts in nonlinear optics such as electromagnetically-induced transparency that can make certain substances exactly transparent while retaining their remarkable nonlinear properties, novel laser sources, and fundamental quantum phenomena such as light where even some of the quantum noise is "squeezed" out. There is also work on the basics and applications of high-temperature superconductors.
Novel and high-speed electronic device structures are being researched, both in silicon and in compound semiconductors such as gallium arsenide. A broad variety of optoelectronic devices are being examined, including tunable lasers with micron dimensions, and high-speed optical modulators. Many of these devices are based on so-called "quantum well" semiconductor structures that exploit the novel quantum-mechanical properties of very thin layers of semiconductor materials. New applications of the optoelectronic devices being researched include dense, high-speed optical intereconnections to silicon circuits.
Work on new sensing and measuring techniques includes fiber optic acoustic sensors and sensor arrays, ultrasonic sensors for semiconductor process monitoring and other applications, and scanning probe microscopes. New materials and structures are being developed for read and write heads for very high density magnetic storage.
Optical communication systems and associated physics and device technologies are being studied. In single-mode fiber systems, new modulation and detection techniques are being used to improve robustness and spectral efficiency. For multimode fiber systems, adaptive spatial-domain optical filtering is employed to increase transmission capacity. Free-space optical communication systems, along with associated micro-electro-mechanincal systems, are under investigation.
The above topics represent only a sampling of the research in the Lab. There are approximately 15 faculty associated with the Lab. They are housed largely in the Ginzton Lab and the extension of the adjacent Center for Integrated Systems building (CIS-X), with some members also in Building 550 and SLAC.