ECE Booz Allen Colloquium: "Going Where No Plasma or Laser Has Gone Before..."

Friday, December 4, 2015
3:00 p.m.

Carrie Hilmer
301 405 4471


Distinguished Colloquium in Electrical and Computer Engineering 
Hosted by Booz Allen Hamilton

"Going Where No Plasma or Laser Has Gone Before: Microcavity Plasmas, Microphotonic Resonators and Biomolecular Lasers"

Professor J. Gary Eden
University of Illinois


The relentless drive to shrink the size of electronic devices has transformed communications and data storage to a degree scarcely imaginable two decades ago. A similar revolution is now well underway in two seemingly disparate fields - optics and low temperature plasmas. Non-equilibrium, low temperature plasma, for example, has been found to have extraordinary properties when confined to cavities of mesoscopic dimensions. Arrays comprising as many as hundreds of thousands of such microplasmas have given birth to several new technologies, including the commercialization of a new form of lighting (thin and flat “light tiles”) and water disinfection systems.

Lasing from biomolecules of medical importance, such as flavin mononucleotide (FMN, a derivative of Vitamin B2) and red fluorescent protein, has recently been observed in microresonators. FMN produces stimulated emission in the 565-575 nm spectral region and its polarization, spectral, and temporal properties are a sensitive probe of its environment. Furthermore, two lasant molecules connected by 5 nm of protein have been shown to allow for excitation transfer from one biological laser to another. These and other wonders of biomolecular lasers and microplasma systems attest to the accuracy of the statement (with apologies to Captain Kirk) that plasmas and lasers are now going where none have ventured before. 


J. Gary Eden received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland in 1972, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois (Urbana) in 1973 and 1976, respectively. He was appointed a National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in 1975 and, from 1976 until 1979, he made several contributions to visible and ultraviolet lasers as a research physicist in the Optical Sciences Division of NRL. For his co-discovery of the first proton beam-pumped laser, he received the Research Publication Award from NRL. Since joining the faculty of the University of Illinois in 1979, he has been engaged in research in laser physics, molecular and ultrafast laser spectroscopy, photonics, and the science of microcavity plasmas. He has served as Assistant Dean in the College of Engineering, Associate Dean of the Graduate College, and Associate Vice-Chancellor for Research. Currently, he is the Gilmore Family Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and is an affiliate faculty member in the Departments of Bioengineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering.

Dr. Eden has authored more than 300 technical publications and 75 awarded patents, and is a Fellow of the IEEE, the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, the AAAS, and the SPIE. He has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics and Progress in Quantum Electronics, and is currently Associate Editor of Applied Physics Reviews (AIP) as well as a member of the Editorial Board of Scientific Reports. He has received numerous awards, including the OSA C. E. K. Mees Medal, the IEEE Photonics Society Aron Kressel Award, the SPIE Harold E. Edgerton Award, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, and the Distinguished Service Award from the IEEE Photonics Society. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Inventors, in 2014. He is a co-founder of Eden Park Illumination and EP Purification. 



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