BU Today


ENG prof is BU PI in DOD grant

Luca Dal Negro, an ENG assistant professor, helps bring DOD grant to BU.


Luca Dal Negro, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering department of electrical and computer engineering, is Boston University’s principal investigator for the University’s participation in a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) on Electrically-Pumped Silicon-Based Lasers for Chip-Scale Nanophotonic Systems.

Dal Negro’s optics of nanostructures research group at BU will receive $100,000 annually for three years from a grant provided by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The $3.6M total grant, sponsored by the Department of Defense, involves seven other research institutions, Caltech, Cornell University, Lehigh University, MIT, Stanford University, the University of Delaware, and the University of Rochester.

Dal Negro will contribute to the multidisciplinary project by providing expertise in the subject of silicon (Si) nanocrystals physics and fabrication, which ranges from the spectroscopic investigation of Si nanostructures to the development of accurate experimental techniques and physical modeling for the understanding of light amplification in energy-coupled Si nanostructures.

“The aim of this project is to fabricate the first silicon-based laser,” says Dal Negro. “The payoff, or ultimate impact, of that achievement would be the enabling of an optical technology based on silicon … at the moment, it’s done by more costly materials.”