We are studying both the basic physics and device applications of dielectric whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) optical microresonators. This work is being done in collaboration with Prof. Donna K. Bandy of the OSU Physics Department and Prof. Bret N. Flanders of the Physics Department at Kansas State University. An example of the microresonators under study is a sub-millimeter sphere of fused silica, made by melting the end of an optical fiber. In a WGM the light, trapped by total internal reflection, skims just under the sphere’s surface as it circulates around the sphere at its equator. Tunable laser light can be coupled into a WGM from a tapered optical fiber adjacent to the sphere in its equatorial plane.
Extremely low losses enable light in a WGM to make tens of thousands of round trips in the microresonator. In addition, the WGM’s evanescent component, outside the resonator, allows the light to interact with material in the ambient or on the resonator’s surface. Together, these two properties enable numerous applications. In addition to the fundamental optics of microresonators, our research topics include chemical and surface-effect sensing, quantum-dot microlasers, classical analogs to quantum-optical phenomena, evanescent coupling enhancement, and fast optical coupling control. More specific information may be found by navigating around this website.