Prof. Dr. Kathleen​ RICHARDSON

Director and Professor at the Clemson University, Florida, USA
Prof. Kathleen RICHARDSON
Prof. Kathleen RICHARDSON
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Kathleen A. Richardson, Director & Professor of the Materials Science and Engineering Department of the Clemson University, School of Material Science and Engineering, is visiting Jena in March 2012.

Currently, Dr. Richardson is a professor and past Director of the School of Materials Science and Engineering, where she has been since 2005. Prior to coming to Clemson, she spent 13 years as professor at the (now) College of Optics and Photonics, (CREOL) at the University of Central Florida. She joined UCF in 1992 following several years at the University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics, where she conducted research on ion-exchange strengthened laser glass, passive and active liquid crystal-based optics, and sol gel-derived materials. All of her academic degrees are from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Prof. Richardson currently leads the Glass Processing and Characterization Laboratory (GPCL) within the Center for Optical Materials Science Engineering and Technology (COMSET) at Clemson, where her team carries out synthesis and characterization of novel glass and glass ceramic materials for optical applications. Her research programs examine the role of structure/property relationships in a range of glass and ceramic media and, in addition to supervising research programs in infrared glasses for use in integrated optics applications, her group also has industrial and government supported research programs evaluating materials for precision (glass) molded optics, the use of non-oxide glasses in chem-bio planar sensors, and in nano-composites for advanced detection applications. Her group is internationally recognized for their expertise in the compositional engineering of infrared glasses for bulk, thin film or fiber-based optical applications. Dr. Richardson is a fellow of OSA, SPIE, the Society of Glass Technology (UK) and the American Ceramic Society.

Lecture 1: Exploiting Intrinsic Material Properties for Improved Integrated Chalcogenide Waveguide Resonators for mid-IR Sensing

Time: June 1, 2011, 14:00
Place: Fraunhofer IOF, Albert-Einstein-Str. 7, 07745 Jena

Abstract: Chalcogenide glass (ChG) materials have made in-roads into near- and mid-infrared photonic devices in both thin film and fiber form. Compact, on-chip, planar chalcogenide devices produced by CMOS-compatible processing techniques by our groups have been shown to exhibit comparable or superior performance metrics to those of commercially available surface plasmon resonance (SPR)-based systems when evaluated for device sensitivity, component footprint, and/or sensing response. Results of recent efforts to further enhance this performance in lithographically produced, micro-disc resonator-based sensors to increase sensitivity (to sub-ppm levels or less) while maintaining excellent specificity, and fabrication process compatibility, are presented. Using techniques to reduce loss and tailor optical characteristics of the planar chalcogenide devices utilizing attributes of chalcogenide glasses often considered "material limitations" (including low glass transition, limited solventspecific chemical durability and near-bandgap photosensitivity), we demonstrate enhancements to ChG device performance from the use of thermal reflow, solution-based glass film deposition and near bandgap film illumination. Post-fabrication trimming based on the intrinsic photosensitivity of the chalcogenide glass are exploited to compensate for fabrication imperfections of ring resonators.

Lecture 2: Engineering Glasses for Next Generation Optics

Time: March 20, 2012, 14:00
Place: Fraunhofer IOF, Albert-Einstein-Str. 7, 07745 Jena

Abstract: The compositional design of new optical materials, specifically optical glasses, requires understanding of a wide variety of application and performance specific target material attributes in addition to the structure/property understanding that blends materials chemistry and physics. Often, a new material is defined as a result of a question to the glass scientist, such as "can you make a material that has properties A, B and C, transmits with loss less than D dB/m, over the spectral range E to F µm's and can be thermally cycled over the temperature range G-H ºC, without degradation?" The response to such a request typically requires a dialogue on prioritization of attributes and consideration of costs and timelines for such a development. While the creation of new glass compositions requires varied amounts of melt development time (typically months to years), it is impossible to realize a favorable solution without considering the design of the material in a holistic manner - with an understanding of fabrication, production and application conditions and constraints.

Recent efforts in Clemson's Glass Processing and Characterization Laboratory (GPCL) have examined a range of glass and glass ceramic materials suitable for use in the infrared (IR). Depending on the spectral range of use, candidates have been primarily heavy metal oxide for near- and mid-infrared (NIR and MIR) fiber applications, or non-oxide chalcogenide glasses for bulk, molded optics or as target materials for subsequent deposition into glass films on Si for integrated chemical sensors. This breadth of material chemistry and form, illustrates the material engineering factors that must be considered for each distinct application. Two specific examples are highlighted here: (a) design of an athermal chalcogenide glass for use in bulk optical systems, and (b) chemically durable chalcogenide glass waveguides and resonators for planar, on-chip IR chemical sensors.