Robert A. Norwood

  • Faculty Affiliation: OSC Professor
  • Research Specialty: Photonics
Professor of Optical Sciences
Curriculum Vitae: 
Office Location: 
Meinel 533
Mailing Address: 

College of Optical Sciences
The University of Arizona
1630 E. University Blvd.
P.O. Box 210094
Tucson, AZ 85721-0094

Phone Number: 
520-626-0936
Fax: 
520-626-6219
Education: 
  • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1988
  • B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1983
  • B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1983
Employment: 
  • Professor: The University of Arizona, College of Optical Sciences, 2009-present
  • Research Professor: The University of Arizona, Optical Sciences Center/College of Optical Sciences, 2004-2009
  • Vice President and Chief Technology Officer: Photon-X Inc., 1999-2004
  • Senior Technical Leader: Allied Signal, Corporate Research and Technology, 1998-1999
  • Senior Project Leader: Allied Signal, Corporate Research and Technology, 1996-1998
  • Senior Research Scientist: Allied Signal, Corporate Research and Technology, 1995-1996
  • Staff Physicist/Project Leader: Hoechst Celanese, Corporate Research and Development, 1993-1995
  • Senior Research Physicist: Hoechst Celanese, Corporate Research and Development, 1992-1993
  • Supervisor: Hoechst Japan Ltd., Advanced Technology Lab, 1992
  • Senior Research Physicist: Hoechst Celanese, Corporate Research and Development, 1990-1991
  • Research Physicist: Hoechst Celanese, Corporate Research and Development, 1988-1990
  • Visiting Instructor: Haverford College, 1988
  • Research and Teaching Fellow: University of Pennsylvania, Department of Physics, 1983-1988
Professional Affiliations and Activities: 
  • American Chemical Society: Chemistry of Materials, Reviewer  
  • American Institute of Physics: Applied Physics Letters, Reviewer
  • American Institute of Physics: Journal of Applied Physics, Reviewer
  • American Physical Society: Member
  • APS Division of Laser Sciences/IEEE Photonics Society/OSA: Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, Program Committee, Member, 2004 
  • APS Division of Laser Sciences/IEEE Photonics Society/OSA: CLEO, Program Committee, Member, 2003 
  • APS Division of Laser Sciences/IEEE Photonics Society/OSA: CLEO, Program Committee, Member, 2002
  • IEEE: Member
  • IEEE: IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, Associate Editor, 2010-present
  • IEEE Communications Society/IEEE Photonics Society/The Optical Society (OSA): Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition, Program Committee, Member, 2004 
  • IEEE Communications Society/IEEE Photonics Society/OSA: OFC, Program Committee, Member, 2005 
  • IEEE Communications Society/IEEE Photonics Society/OSA: OFC, Program Committee, Member, 2003
  • IEEE Communications Society/IEEE Photonics Society/OSA: OFC, Subcommittee D, Optical Switching and Wavelength Routing Devices, 2006 
  • National Science Foundation: Review Panelist, 2005
  • Organic Thin Films: Program Co-Chair, 2000 
  • Organic Thin Films: Program Co-Chair, 1999
  • Organic Thin Films ’02 and Polymer Photonic Devices, Program Committee, Member, 2003
  • Organic Thin Films ’01 and Polymer Photonic Devices: Program Committee, Member, 2002
  • Organic Thin Films ’00 and Polymer Photonic Devices: Program Committee, Member, 2001
  • Organic Thin Films ’99 and Polymer Photonic Devices: Program Committee, Member, 2000
  • Organic Thin Films ’98 and Polymer Photonic Devices: Program Committee, Member, 1999
  • Organic Thin Films ’97 and Polymer Photonic Devices: Program Committee, Member, 1998
  • OSA: Fellows Committee, Chair, 2010
  • OSA: Fellows Committee, Member, 2009
  • OSA: Journal of the Optical Society of America B: Reviewer  
  • OSA: Optics Letters, Reviewer 
  • OSA: Optical Materials Express, Associate Editor, 2011-present
  • SPIE:  Linear and Nonlinear Optical Properties of Organic Materials VI Conference,  Chair, 2006
  • SPIE: Linear and Nonlinear Optical Properties of Organic Materials V Conference, Chair, 2005
  • SPIE: Linear and Nonlinear Optical Properties of Organic Materials IV Conference, Chair, 2004
  • SPIE: Linear Optical Properties of Fibers and Waveguides Conference, Chair, 2003
  • SPIE: Linear Optical Properties of Fibers and Waveguides Conference, Chair, 2002   
  • SPIE: Linear Optical Properties of Fibers and Waveguides Conference, Chair, 2001
  • SPIE: Linear Optical Properties of Fibers and Waveguides Conference, Chair, 2000
  • SPIE: Linear Optical Properties of Fibers and Waveguides Conference, Chair, 1999
Awards and Honors: 
  • OSA: Fellow, 2008
  • SPIE: Fellow, 2008
Courses: 
OPTI 471A
OPTI 510R
OPTI 539A
OPTI 553
Specific Research Interests: 

fundamental work on photonic crystals; bio-inspired microresonators; organic magneto-optic materials; polymer nanoparticle composites and nanoimprinting technology; advanced device work on high-speed electro-optic modulators; silicon photonics; integrated magneto-optic devices; organic photovoltaics; 3-D display technology; photorefractive polymers; ultrafast all-optical switching; liquid photonics, where nonlinear optical liquids are used together with hollow core optical fibers to achieve a variety of advance photonic functions including ultralow power Raman generation, all-optical switching and Brillouin lasing; optical and electronic polymers; interdisciplinary work at the interface between materials development and device physics

Research Summary: 

The Photonic Materials and Devices Lab is dedicated to the development of new materials for photonics, with a focus on information technology. The next generation of Internet technologies will require new, low-cost, high-performance photonic materials for data communication and computing — and the PMDL and its principal investigator, Robert A. Norwood, have a long history of developing polymer-based integrated photonics technologies, based both on passive optical polymers and, more recently, advanced nonlinear optical polymers that provide the capability for ultrahigh speed communication and switching. The PMDL is also engaged in photonic nanocomposite polymer development with the goal of providing the photonics community with photonic designer materials that can meet the needs of next generation networks. Major achievements of the PMDL over the last few years include sub-volt electro-optic polymer hybrid modulators, high Q (> 1,000,000) femtosecond micromachined microresonators, high-transparency high-Verdet constant magneto-optic polymer nanocomposites, and low-threshold nonlinear linear optics using liquid photonics. The lab receives funding from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and major corporations, among other entities.

Research Staff

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