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Holonyak Lab student to present three papers at upcoming conference

8/31/2020 1:07:36 PM

While many Americans used the first few months of quarantine to catch up on television or bake sourdough bread, Holonyak Lab student Pawel Strzebonski used that time to write three presentation proposals for the IEEE Photonics Conference. He recently found out that all three abstracts were accepted for presentation at the virtual conference taking place in September.

“I was stuck at home and not in the lab so I had time to write conference abstract submissions,” said Strzebonski, an electrical and computer engineering (ECE) student. “I had some ideas for calculations and simulations that I thought could go somewhere. It ended in three

Pawel Strzebonski
Pawel Strzebonski

proposals that got accepted.”

The three ideas Strzebonski pursued all have a different end emphasis. The first will focus on experimental results, the second experimental application, and the third has purely theoretical and computational components.

"We encourage our students to innovate and pursue new ideas and directions, but in May we were unable to get into our research labs,” said Kent Choquette, Holonyak Lab faculty member and Strzebonski’s adviser. “What this demonstrates is that you can restrict our graduate students from a lab, but you cannot contain their creativity.”

Strzebonski and Choquette hope the presentations at the conference will spark interest in the greater community. The first paper, "Surface-etched laterally structured semiconductor laser diodes for mode engineering," is part of an ongoing project in Choquette’s research group to make optical mode engineered lasers have a higher beam quality. The second, “Machine learning for modal analysis,” looks at how to characterize the various mode profiles of a laser in a simpler way.

"The problem I'm trying to solve is determining the mode profiles of a laser without knowing the mode supporting waveguide structure,” said Strzebonski. “I'm proposing a process where I can take a series of multi-moded images of the laser beam at various power levels and, knowing how much power is in each mode, I can use machine learning to determine what the mode profiles look like without measuring the individual modes directly."

The third paper, “Beam-steering in 2D via non-linear mapping of 1D beam-steering” involves shifting the direction of laser beams in 2 dimensions by using the unique properties of the laser modes. This paper has potential applications in autonomous vehicles and feature recognition. Strzebonski believes this work could increase the capabilities of current systems, while simplifying their design.

All three papers will be presented virtually as part of the IEEE Photonics Conference to be held Sept. 27-Oct. 1. Strzebonski will pre-record the presentations and then be on-hand for a live question-and-answer session after each talk is presented.

Choquette is a Sony Faculty Scholar, the Abel Bliss Professor in Engineering and a professor in ECE.