Facilities, Equipment and other Resources

Professor Averitt’s laboratory includes a front end system consisting of a 12-fs oscillator seeded amplifier producing 3.0 mJ sub-35-fs pulses at 800nm. An optical parametric amplifier, DFG crystals (AgGa2S, GaSe), THz generation crystals (ZnTe, GaSe, GaP), and harmonic generation crystals permit broad spectral coverage with short pulses from 0.001 eV – 6.0 eV. THz-TDS, OPTP, time-resolved mid-infrared and visible spectroscopy are available on this system. In addition, there is a separate system consisting of a 12-fs oscillator used for terahertz-time domain spectroscopy. Optical cryostats (4K-500K) for temperature dependent studies are available. We have several computers available for electromagnetic simulations using, primarily, MATLAB and Microwave Studio.

Spectral range of interest for our condensed matter and metamaterial studies.

Optical-Pump THz-Probe Setup – Come see the real deal in our lab!

COMING SOON: Professors Rothschild, Erramilli, Averitt from the Physics Department and Prof. Ziegler from the Chemistry Department have been awarded an NSF Major Research Instrumentation grant “MRI: Development of an Ultra-fast Optical Spectroscopy System for Multi-disciplinary Studies” for the development of a broadband high-sensitivity pump-probe system for  condensed matter, biological, and chemistry based studies. This system will be located in the Photonic Center (Prof. Erramilli’s lab) and will consist of a 6 mJ 1KHz sub-35-fs amplifier with two optical parametric amplifiers.  A host of studies spanning from the far-infrared through the visible are planned and we would love to hear your ideas as this system is intended to be widely available to the research community at Boston University and beyond!

At Boston University we have created laboratories and processing facilities with complementary, not redundant, capabilities. In the Photonics Center, we have an Optical Processing Facility with standard contact lithography, dielectric and semiconductor RIE, evaporators, sputtering machines, and a laser mask writer. In the Nanomaterials Research Facility in Physics we have electron beam writing and associated evaporators. These facilities are all being organized under the auspices of a University-wide group so that open access for researchers and students is ensured. These resources are described below.

Photonics Center Optical Processing Facility
Photonics Center Optoelectronics Processing Facility: The Photonics Center has built and staffed a new state-of-the-art optioelectronics processing facility (OPF) with uv-photolithography capability, e-beam and thermal evaporators, rapid thermal annealer, surface profilometery, reactive-ion etcher, plasma enhanced etch and chemical vapor deposition, optical characterization, and many other capabilities all in a large clean-room in the Center. We have a new deep-trench RIE running standard Bosch process for silicon-based MEMS.

Photonics Center Precision Measurement Facility
The Photonics Center currently supports a precision measurement facility with an FTIR spectrometer including microscope capabilities, Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope, Atomic Force Microscope, and Nano-indenter. We have recently acquired a new Zygo interferometer a new spectrophotometer with excellent spectroscopic capabilities, and a J. A. Wollam spectroscopic ellipsometer.

Nanofabrication in the Physics Department Nanomaterials Research Facility
The Nanomaterials Research Facility has recently been upgraded and includes extensive equipment for semiconductor device fabrication. We have a JEOL JSM 6400 scanning electron microscope with a Deben beam blanker, currently used for imaging and beam writing. The resolution of the electron beam at 40 kV is determined to be 3 nm, leading to a lateral resolution of 10 nm for imaging and writing. The entire 2000 sq.ft. space is being brought back into clean room specifications. Associated support equipment in the facility includes a 1.0mm mask aligner (with an associated clean room), wet processing facilities, furnaces, a thermal evaporators, a deep UV flood source, probing and bonding facilities. The facility routinely fabricates and images sub-1000 ? structures that are central to contemporary materials science.  Nanofabrication will also be facilitated by Nanoscale Research Facility under the guidance of Raj Mohanty.

Integrated Optics and Packaging Facility at the Boston University Photonics Center
Funded partially by the Department of Defense, Boston University Photonics Center has built a new integrated optics packaging to characterize and package a wide variety of integrated optics devices, for applications in biosensors as well as optical communications. The facility combines a 400 sq. ft. class 100 clean room with class 10000 outer space for characterization and packaging capabilities of hybrid optical components. The focus is on novel technologies for the integration of “best-of-breed” components, creating active and dynamic photonic modules, together with PDMS stamp development and local biological element flow control on the chip. The facility has two components: Processing: Flip-chip bonding, wafer bonding, precision laser welding, novel silicon trench self-alignment, as well as many process capabilities in the existing Photonics Center Optoelectronics Processing Facility (see above). Characterization:  several measurement stations for testing integrated optical telecommunication devices, advanced waveguide measurements and material characterization. 

Photonics Center Optical CAD Facility Boston University Photonics center has an optical CAD facility with a Sun workstation and several PC's.  The available software tools include ray tracing, optical design, lens design, and beam propagation software.  This optical CAD facility makes it possible to incorporate the optics designs made on Code V, a comprehensive program for the design and analysis of optical systems.

Physics Department
Research and Educational projects at the Boston University Physics Department benefit enormously from the availability of excellent support for mechanical and electronic design, fabrication, and computing.  The following sections highlight the major aspects of these facilities.

The Scientific Instrument Facility (SIF) is located in the basement of the Physics Research Building and is funded through the Physics Department.  The SIF is a superbly equipped machine shop with a shop director, a project director, a staff of eight machinists, a welder, and an assembly director.  The shop has over 10,000 square feet of climate-controlled workspace with truck access, crane coverage, and a high bay area.  It is a modern, fully-equipped shop with both manual and computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines: five CNC knee mills, two manual knee mills, four high-precision tool room lathes, two CNC lathes, a CNC horizontal boring mill, three CNC vertical machining centers, three large manual lathes, and two surface grinders.  The shop also has all the machinery needed for stock preparation, including a large shear, an automatic cutoff saw, and a large bending brake.  In addition, the shop has complete welding and leak-checking capabilities.

The Electronics Design Facility (EDF), located in the Physics Research Building, has a full-time staff of four engineers and several student technicians and is actively seeking an additional senior engineer. The EDF offers advanced electronics design, prototyping, and testing capability in support of our research program.  Custom integrated circuit (IC) and printed circuit board (PCB) design is done in-house on state-of-the-art CAD tools, including a system provided by Mentor Graphics under its Higher Education Program.

Department Of Physics | Boston University | 590 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617 353 2619 | Email: raveritt@physics.bu.edu