Upcoming Events



" Game night"

Wednesday, Jan 20th, 2016

Schedule: Click here

Game Room Norris Center 6:00-8:00pm

Past Events



" Enhanced Light-Matter Interactions in Plasmonic Nanocavities"

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Schedule: Click here

Ryan 4003 3-340, 12:00-1:00pm


" InAs/InAsSb Type-II Superlattices for High-performance Long Wavelength Infrared Detectors and Imagers"

Friday, Feb 23rd, 2015

Schedule: Click here

Ford 3-340, 12:00-1:00pm


" InAs/GaSb type-II superlattices for Infrared Radiation Detection"

Friday, Jan 9, 2015

Schedule: Click here

Technological Institute Room L324, 12:00-1:00pm



"Developments in EUV Lithography & Career Coaching"

Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014

Schedule: Click here

Ryan Hall 4003


Novel Infrared Photon Detectors with Extreme Sensitivity

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Schedule: Click here

12-1 pmm, Ford ITW


Visiting MicroLink Company (April 22, 2014)

Microlink April 2014

From Polaron Trapping,Optimal Control, & Photon Assisted Tunneling to their Application in Photosynthesis, Photovoltaic Cells, & DNA

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Schedule: Click here

12-1pm, Ford ITW

Desktop Nanofabrication with Massively Multiplexed Near-field Photolithography

Monday, March 3, 2014

Schedule: Click here

12-1pm, Ford ITW


Game and Social Time!

Friday, Jan 24, 2014

Time: 6pm to 8pm

Norris Center Game Room

Come out of your lab and get socialized with your friends and meet new people!


SPIE Outreach

Lincolnwood Elementary School

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013

Our SPIE officers and volunteers have been with the students in Lincolnwood Elementary School, helping them undestand the light!



"Elements of Gettint a Well-paying Job"

Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013

Schedule: Click here

Tech A110



"NU SPIE Career Workshop"

Monday, Oct 28, 2013

Schedule: Click here

Ryan Hall 4003



"NU SPIE Kickoff Meeting"

Monday, Sep 30, 2013

Schedule: Click here

Ryan Hall 4003



Faculty Speaker: Professor Mark Hersam

"Chemically Refined Carbon Nanomaterials"

May 4, 2012

4:00 PM

Ford ITW

Click here for the slides from Prof. Hersam's talk!

Abstract Carbon nanomaterials have attracted significant attention due to their potential to improve applications such as transistors, optoelectronic devices, transparent conductors, solar cells, batteries, and biosensors. This talk will highlight our latest efforts to develop strategies for purifying, functionalizing, and assembling carbon nanomaterials into functional devices. For example, we have recently developed and commercialized a scalable technique for sorting surfactant-encapsulated single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) by their physical and electronic structure using density gradient ultracentrifugation (DGU). The resulting monodisperse SWCNTs enhance the performance of thin film transistors, infrared optoelectronic devices, photovoltaics, catalysts, and transparent conductors. The DGU technique also enables multi-walled carbon nanotubes to be sorted by the number of walls and solution phase graphene to be sorted by thickness, thus expanding the suite of monodisperse carbon nanomaterials. By extending our DGU efforts to carbon nanotubes and graphene dispersed in biocompatible polymers (e.g., DNA, Pluronics, Tetronics, etc.), new opportunities have emerged for monodisperse carbon nanomaterials in biomedical applications.

Speaker Bio: Mark C. Hersam is currently a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, and Medicine at Northwestern University. He earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 1996, M.Phil. in Physics from the University of Cambridge in 1997, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from UIUC in 2000. In 1999, he also performed research at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Laboratory under the support of an IBM Distinguished Fellowship. His research interests include nanofabrication, scanning probe microscopy, semiconductor surfaces, and carbon nanomaterials. As a faculty member, Dr. Hersam has received several awards including the Beckman Young Investigator Award, NSF CAREER Award, ARO Young Investigator Award, ONR Young Investigator Award, Sloan Research Fellowship, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, TMS Robert Lansing Hardy Award, AVS Peter Mark Award, ECS SES Research Young Investigator Award, MRS Outstanding Young Investigator Award, and five Teacher of the Year Awards. In recognition of his early career accomplishments, Dr. Hersam was directly promoted from assistant professor to full professor with tenure in 2006. In 2007, Dr. Hersam co-founded NanoIntegris, which is a start-up company focused on supplying high performance carbon nanomaterials. Dr. Hersam is a Fellow of MRS and SPIE in addition to serving as the Chair of the AVS Nanometer-scale Science and Technology Division and as Associate Editor of ACS Nano.


Student Speaker: Chao-Hsiang Chen

Low noise detection with quadrature squeezing using pulsed traveling-wave optical fields

Thursday, April 19, 2012

12:00 PM

Tech L324

Abstract: Interest in generating higher quantum noise squeezing in order to develop methods to enhance optical measurement below the shot-noise limit in various applications has grown in recent years. The noise suppression from squeezing can improve the SNR in coherent optical systems when the returning signal power is weak, such as optical coherence tomography, LADAR, confocal microscopy and low-light coherent imaging. Unlike the generation of squeezing with a continuous wave, which is currently developed mainly for gravitational wave detection in LIGO project, the study of pulsed-traveling waves is focused on industrial, medical and other commercial interests. The motivation is to explore the possibility of using quasi-phase matched crystals to generate the highest possible degree of quadrature squeezing with pulsed traveling-wave laser sources in free space configuration. In order to achieve this goal, efforts to test the various effects from spatial Gaussian modes and relative beam waist placement for the second-harmonic pump were carried out in order to further the understanding of limiting factors to pulsed traveling wave squeezing. 20mm and 30mm-long periodically poled lithium noibate (PPLN) crystals were used in the experiment to generate a squeezed vacuum state. A maximum of 4.2 ± 0.2dB quadrature squeezing has been observed, and the measured anti-squeezing exceeds 20dB. The phase sensitive amplification (PSA) gain and de-gain performance were also measured to compare the results of measured squeezing.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Chao-Hsiang Chen recently acquired doctorate degree in physics from Northwestern University. He acquired bachelor and master of science from National Taiwan University. During the doctorate study, Chen has been working under Prof. Prem Kumar's advisorship on various topics in nonlinear and quantum optics.

Social Event: Buffalo Wild Wings

Friday, March 2, 2012

6:00 PM

Student Speaker: Wei Zhou

"Manipulating and Amplifying Optical Fields by Strongly Coupled Plasmon Resonator Arrays"

Thursday, February 23, 2012

12:00 PM

L324 (EECS Conference Room)

Speaker Bio: Wei Zhou is currently finishing his Ph.D degree in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University under the supervision of Professor Teri W. Odom. We received his B.S. in Physics in 2004 and M.S. in Optics in 2007 at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. His research focuses on designing and interrogating strongly coupled plasmon nanoresonator systems for applications in biosensors, nonlinear optical devices, lasers, and solar cells. He has also worked on developing novel nanofabrication techniques to create plasmonic nanostructures with designed geometries over large areas.

Abstract: Plasmon resonator arrays exhibit dramatically different optical properties from isolated ones because of strong near-field or far-field electromagnetic interactions between individual units. They can be used to trap, manipulate and amplify local optical fields for applications including biosensors, nonlinear optical devices, and solar cells. Unlike isolated resonators, coupled resonator arrays can also support Bloch modes for which the optical energy is delocalized over the entire system. This nonlocal effect leads to a dispersive optical response and thus a great spectral tunability. In this talk I will discuss three different types of coupled plasmon resonator systems I have fabricated and studied including: (1) plasmonic nanoparticle (NP) arrays, (2) metal-insulator-metal (MIM) nanocavity arrays, (3) planar plasmonic crystals. Each system demonstrates quite different, yet fascinating, behavior. Beyond the interesting physics of the electromagnetic coupling process these examples serve to highlight the versatility and potential of the soft nanofabrication techniques developed in our group.


Speaker: Susan Caplan

"How to Market Yourself Like Steve Jobs"

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

12:00 PM

Tech L324

Speaker Bio: Susan Caplan is an acknowledged writer and skilled business communication and marketing strategist with excellent verbal, written, presentation and interpersonal skills. She works in the manufacturing, packaged goods and service industries helping companies to enroll and engage employees and customers around corporate goals and initiatives. Susan specializes in employee engagement, change management, work/life and diversity initiatives, marketing, sales and training.

Abstract: There are lessons we can learn from the late Steve Jobs on how to position yourself in the marketplace during your job search. Susan Caplan will lead the session and also discuss how to build an elevator/sales pitch and utilize online tools available to you to make your job search strategic. Getting the career you want takes preparation, planning and utilizing all the tools available. Leave nothing to chance; make your job search strategic.

Event flier

Slides from Susan's talk


Student Speaker: Ionut Trestian

"Taming User-Generated Content in Mobile Networks via Drop Zones"

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cook 2058

12:00 PM

Speaker Bio: Ionut Trestian received his B.S. degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, in 2007. He is currently finishing his Ph.D degree in Computer Science and Engineering at Northwestern University under the supervision of Professor Aleksandar Kuzmanvoic. His research interests include network measurement, social behavior of Internet users, handhelds, and cellular networks. During his PhD, Ionut published his work in the most prestigious networking conferences and journals such as: ACM SIGCOMM, IEEE INFOCOM, and IEEE/ACM Transaction on Networking.

Abstract: Smartphones have changed the way people communicate. Most prominently, using commonplace mobile device features (e.g., high resolution cameras), they started producing and uploading large amounts of content that increases at an exponential pace. In the absence of viable technical solutions, some cellular network providers are considering to start charging special usage fees to address the problem.

Our contributions are twofold. First, we find that the user generated content problem is a user-behavioral problem. By analyzing user mobility and data logs of close to 2 million users of a cellular network, we find that (i) users upload content from a small number of locations, typically corresponding to their home or work locations; (ii) because such locations are different for different users, we find that the problem appears ubiquitous, since user-generated content uploads grow exponentially at most locations. However, we also find that (iii) there exists a significant lag between content generation and uploading times. For example, we find that 55% of content that is uploaded via mobile phones is at least 1 day old.

Second, based on the above insights, we propose a new cellular networkarchitecture. Our approach proposes capacity upgrades at a select number of locations called Drop Zones. Although not particularly popular for uploads originally, Drop Zones seamlessly fall within the natural movement patterns of a large number of users. They are therefore better suited for uploading larger quantities of content in a postponed manner. We design infrastructure placement algorithms and demonstrate that by upgrading infrastructure in only 963 base-stations across the entire United States, it is possible to deliver 50% of total content via the Drop Zones.

This work was presented in April 2011 at IEEE INFOCOM 2011 in Shanghai, China and an extended version was recently accepted for publication in IEEE/ACM Transaction on Networking.

Invited Speaker: Susan Caplan

"Using Social Networking Tools to Market Yourself"

Friday, December 2, 2011

1PM, Tech M152

Susan Caplan is an acknowledged writer and skilled business communication and marketing strategist with excellent verbal, written, presentation and interpersonal skills. She works in the manufacturing, packaged goods and service industries helping companies to enroll and engage employees and customers around corporate goals and initiatives. Susan specializes in employee engagement, change management, work/life and diversity initiatives, marketing, sales and training.

Please bring cash if you would like to purchase a copy of her book, Marketing Yourself to the Real World, available for the reduced price of $10.


Student Speaker: Dibyendu Dey

"Plasmonic Nanoantenna for High Sensitive Chip-Scale Bio-Sensing"

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ford 3-340

Biography: Dibyendu Dey is currently working on his dissertation under the supervision of Prof. Hooman Mohseni at Bio-inspired Sensors and Optoelectronics Laboratory (BISOL) at EECS, Northwestern University. Dey is originally from Kolkata, India and did his undergraduate from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. In BISOL, he has worked on developing novel Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCL), Nanosphere Photolithography, Near-field Imaging, Plasmonic Nanoantenna and building Chip-scale Bio-sensors. He also worked on developing Si-Ge avalanche photodiodes while interning at Intel Labs.

Overview of Talk: Our group Bio-Inspired Sensor and Optoelectronics Laboratory (BISOL), lead by Prof. Hooman Mohseni, has been working on various topics, such as type II detector and imager, Quantum Cascade Lasers, Quantum Well Infrared Detectors (QWIP), Casmir and optical force measurement, and most recently on developing plasmonic nanoantenna which are useful for bio-sensing. It has been a collaborative effort from many researchers especially the current and previous graduate students -Dr. Omer Gokalp Memis, Dr. Wei Wu, John Kohoutek, Ryan M. Gelfand, Alireza Bonakdar, Iman Hassani Nia and Vala Fathipour.

In this talk, I will present recent activities on building chip-scale mid-infrared bio sensors. Mid-IR bio-sensing is a challenging task as the interaction between tiny molecules (dimension in order of nm) with mid-IR light (wavelength in order of um) is extremely weak. We have used plasmonic nanoantennae to squeeze the optical mode in a very small volume to enhance this interaction. I will also discuss our recent experimental finding on how a small AFM tip movement can change the cavity mode of the QCL. I will discuss some methods to deliver molecules to specific locations of the nanoantenna which can lead to building a chip-scale bio-sensor.



Student Speaker: Yanbo Bai

"High Performance Quantum Cascade Lasers"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ryan 1004



Click here for events from the 2010-2011 academic year.