Boston University

Optical Characterization and Nanophotonics Laboratory









Hatice Altug

Boston University
Assistant Professor
PHO 828
Office: (617) 358-4769



*Ultrafast photonic crystal nanocavity lasers  
*Slowing light on-chip using photonic band gap materials
*Advanced Nanofabrication
*High-throughput biosensor integrated with microfuidics

We have recently demonstrated ultrafast photonic crystal nanocavity lasers with response times as short as a few picoseconds and demonstrated direct modulation speeds far exceeding 100GHz, are designing plasmonic structures that can confine light on-nanometer scales, and have demonstrated slowing light on-chip more than two order of magnitude using coupled cavity arrays. These structures open up new opportunities for sensing and are important for non-linear effects and optical information processing respectively. We are also designing plasmonic and photonic crystal structures to develop label-free, high-throughput, portable and ultra-sensitive biosensors to detect biomolecules. We are also integrating with microfluidics to handle small volumes of biological samples.The Altug lab is also developing state-of-the-art fabrication techniques for plasmonic and nanophotonic devices and new techniques to pattern biomolecules on the surface of nanophotonic and plasmonic devices. The above AFM picture shows captured viruses on the surface. The capture antibody spots with dimension as small as 10um are patterned with a modified AFM tool (Nanoenabler from Bioforce).

The capability to confine and manipulate photons at nanometer-length scales can open up unprecedented opportunities both in the fields of classical and quantum information processing, as well as in fundamental life sciences. Our group is developing nanophotonic devices for optical communications and on-chip biosensing. For communication applications, we are developing ultrafast lasers, ultra-efficient light emitting diodes and photonic crystal devices that can slow down the light. For biotechnology applications, we are using plasmonic nanostructures and photonic crystal cavities for realization of high-throughput, ultra sensitive and label free biosensors. To accomplish our goals, we are developing new computational modeling and advanced nanofabrication techniques including nano/bio-patterning and microfluidics. Our biosafety level-2 lab is capable of cell culturing and includes a modified AFM for surface functionalization. Our lab also houses state-of the art optical measurement equipments and computational clusters.

Hatice Altug is an Assistant Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Boston University. She received her Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 2006, and her B.S. degree in Physics from Bilkent University (Turkey) in 2000. During her PhD, she is awarded Intel and IEEE LEOS Fellowships. Her research involves design and implementation of high performance and ultra-compact nano-photonic devices and sensors including lasers and all-photonic switches and their large-scale on-chip integration for communication and bio-sensing applications. Previously, Altug worked on multiple quantum well electro-absorption modulators for optical interconnects, three dimensional metallic photonic crystals, microscopic theory of vortex states in superconductivity, phase transition in superconducting NbTi wires, and electron conductance quantization in metal nano-contacts. Her work on ultrafast photonic crystal nanocavity work has been featured on the cover of Nature Physics, and highlighted in Nature Photonics and Laser Focus World magazines. Her work on nanocavity lasers received Best Paper and Research Excellence award in IEEE LEOS Conference in 2005. She received the first place award in the Inventors’ Challenge competition of Silicon Valley with her work on micron scale all-optical switches. Her work on slow light and nano-cavity lasers has been featured on the cover of Applied Physics Letters and highlighted in several magazines.


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