MSE Colloquium Speaker Michelle Sander

  • Starts: 3:00 pm on Friday, February 22, 2019
  • Ends: 4:00 pm on Friday, February 22, 2019

Michelle Sander

Boston University

Assistant Professor, ECE & MSE

Faculty Host: Sahar Sharifzadeh

Student Host: Tianlun Huang

Refreshments at 2:45 PM

Infrared laser technology: from ultrafast thulium fiber lasers to label-free vibrational photothermal imaging


Thulium fiber lasers operating in the eye-safe wavelength region from 1.7 µm to 2.2 µm are attractive for applications in gas/environmental sensing, biomedical diagnosis and surgery and nonlinear conversion. In this talk, we will discuss how femtosecond pulses in particular at high repetition rates of GHz can be generated directly within a laser cavity. The rich underlying polarization and nonlinear dynamics that lead to different pulse operation regimes from stable solitons to chaotic extreme pulsation will be presented. The second part of this talk will focus on the enabling potential of infrared lasers for mid-infrared vibrational photothermal spectroscopy in the fingerprint region. Photothermal spectroscopy can reveal characteristic details about molecular compounds with high sensitivity and specificity without requiring any external labeling or tagging. This technique can offer sub-diffraction limited resolution for label-free analysis of chemical signatures of subcellular features in biological systems. A novel nonlinear photothermal operating regime with characteristic spectral narrowing, bifurcation and strong enhancements will be presented as a new pathway for material characterization and to characterize non-equilibrium phase transitions.


Dr. Michelle Sander is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Boston University and an affiliated faculty with the Materials Science and Engineering Division. She is a member of the BU Photonics Center, the BU-BUMC Cancer Center, the Center for Neurophotonics and the BU Nanotechnology Innovation Center. She received her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Optics and Quantum Electronics Group. Previously, she graduated with a German Diploma degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research interest include the development of innovative novel ultrafast fiber lasers, characterization of femtosecond dynamics and applications to vibrational spectroscopy and infrared nerve stimulation. Dr. Sander received a NSF CAREER Award, an AFOSR Young Investigator Award and was selected as OSA Ambassador, a lifetime distinction.

15 Saint Mary's Street room 105

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