Physical Optics and Electronics Group
Prof. Rajeev Ram


Group News


A microbioreactor was used to control synthetic gene networks engineered in yeast. The flexibility of this platform was demonstrated through the switchable production of two different therapeutic proteins (interferon and human growth hormone). The experiments were performed by Ningren Han in close collaboration with Pablo Perez-Pinera in Tim Lu’s Group and reported in Nature Communications.


The first integrated photonic platform for trapped ion quantum computing was reported in Nature Nanotechnology. This is the first element of a scalable architecture for integrated trapped ion quantum computing developed by Karan Mehta.



The first microprocessor with an optical network was reported in Nature. This demonstration marks the culmination of a decade of work started at MIT and continued through collaborations at Berkeley and the University of Colorado at Boulder. The work has been widely discussed.


Nature Photonics spotlights Jin Xue’s paper on the first thermophotonic visible LED. This paper demonstrated a blue Gallium Nitride LED whose performance improve as its temperature rises – potentially eliminating the need for heat sinks which are currently the most expensive part of an LED bulb. This demonstration is also seen as a necessary step towards the realization of 100% efficient visible LEDs – building on our previous work demonstrating 100% infrared LEDs.



Nature Photonics and OSA spotlight Duanni Huang and Parthi Santhanam’s paper on using a thermophotonic LED to approach the Shannon Capacity limit for a communication channel.


Ningren Han presents paper on “Microfluidics for Control of Synthetic Biology” at the International Conference on Microsystems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (MicroTAS) in San Antonio, Texas.


Karan Mehta presents a poster on “Nanophotonic and CMOS-integrated Architectures for Trapped Ion Quantum Information Processing” at the International Conference on Atomic Physics in Washington DC.


Karan Mehta’s paper demonstrating a trapped ion qubit on a CMOS chip was published in Applied Physics Letters.


William Loh’s paper demonstrating an optoelectronic filter capable of extracting a weak signal buried 56 dB below a neighboring strong signal 1 GHz away was published in Nature Scientific Reports.


Joe Summers and Katey Lo join the POE lab in June and August as Post-Doctoral Associates, respectively.


Eugen Zgraggen, a M.S. student at ETH, Zurich Switzerland. visited the POE group to advance his thesis research in carrier injection modulators in CMOS photonics in the spring and summer of 2009.

Mariana Fernandes, a Ph.D candidate in the MIT|Portugal program in the Bioengineering Focus Area, also was a visiting student during the spring and summer of ’09 researching the development of new wearable technologies to monitor brain activity, using electro-optic methods in NeuroEngineering.


Kevin Lee was awarded the National Institute of Health (NIH) Training Grant.


Mass Tech Transfer Center grant was awarded to support research spin-out of Harry Lee’s bioreactor technology.


Joe Summers, a post-doc from Mt. Holyoke College, has joined the Physical Optics and Electronics Lab for the summer to work on 3D thermal imaging of optoelectonics. His area of research also includes photonic integrated circuits for optical communications.


Alumnus Farhan Rana was awarded the DARPA 2008 Young Faculty Investigator Award.


Alumnus Kevin Pipe and his team have received a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Kevin will direct the research on passive and active control of heat transfer at interfaces.


Kevin Lee was awarded the Widmer Poster Prize at the microTAS 2007 Conference in Paris held 7th – 11th October 2007


Reja Amatya, Jason Orcutt, Kevin Lee, and Tauhid Zaman presented papers at CLEO’07 in Baltimore, Maryland in May.


Tom Liptay successfully defended his thesis on April 9th titled, “Spectral Properties of Semiconductor Nanocrystals and their Applications”


Peter Mayer will be defending his thesis: “High-power thermoelectric power generation and nanoscale thermal metrology.”


Elizabeth Bruce has rejoined MIT to work on technologies for streaming biopharmaceuticalmanufacturing with the Center for Biomedical Innovation (CBI).


The group has returned from its West Coast Tour in April. The group visited the labs of Steven Quake, Stephen Block, Jelena Vukovic at Stanford, Arun Majumdar, Ming Wu, and Luke Lee at UC Berkeley as well as JDSU’ s planar waveguide fabrication facility in Milpitas. The visit was topped off by a party with Alums Erwin Lau, Ravi Dalal, Fatih Yanik, and Mathew Abraham joining the current group in Lafayette.


Harry Lee successfully defended his thesis on March 10th.

From L to R: Tom Liptay, Kevin Lee, Ravi Dalal, Hatice Altug (Fatih's wife), Fatih Yanik, Harry Lee, Jason Orcut, Raja Amatya, Tauhid Zaman, Danielle (Matthew's wife), Matthew Abraham, Erwin Lau, Rajeev Ram

(Click image for a larger version) From L to R: Tom Liptay, Kevin Lee, Ravi Dalal, Hatice Altug (Fatih’s wife), Fatih Yanik, Harry Lee, Jason Orcut, Raja Amatya, Tauhid Zaman, Danielle (Matthew’s wife), Matthew Abraham, Erwin Lau, Rajeev Ram

Alumni Updates

Song-Ho Cho has joined Samsung Electronics Corporation in Korea.

Fatih Yanik is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.

Kevin Pipe is Assistant Professor of Mechancial Engineering at University of Michigan.

Gustavo Gil is a Photolithography Process Engineer at Intel Corporation in Phoenix, Arizona.

Erwin Lau is currently at UC Berkeley.

Steve Patterson is Principal Scientist at nLight, Vancouver, Washington.

Jianyao Chen is with Lightconnect.

Ravi Dalal was married in May 2006. Ravi defended his thesis this summer receiving his PhD in Physics from Stanford. He is currently working as a scientist at Pacific Biosciences in Menlo Park, CA.