Alfred University News

Alfred University professor receives funding for research into digital processing of laser and optical materials

Yiquan Wu
Yiquan Wu

Yiquan Wu, professor of materials science and engineering at Alfred University, has received nearly $600,000 in federal funding to support his research on the digital processing of laser and optical materials.


ALFRED, NY— Yiquan Wu, professor of materials science and engineering at Alfred University, has received nearly $600,000 in federal funding to support his research on the digital processing of laser and optical materials.

Wu’s research project—supported and managed by U.S. Department of Defense Joint Technology Office through the Office of Naval Research—is aimed at developing structures that can control the laser beam when it is amplified and passed through optical materials.

Powerful lasers generate tremendous heat, which can limit the output of power. The new structures Wu seeks to develop have a high thermal conduction, which can dissipate heat quickly, thus improving the laser’s output of power. Using digital processing, scientists can fabricate optical ceramics which are of a quality comparable to that achieved by conventional processing methods. Added benefits of digital processing include freedom of design and production of complex shapes, Wu noted.

The project initially received a three-year federal grant to fund research into digital processing of ceramic optical materials for laser applications. After an on-site review of the project’s progress, Wu successfully received the additional funding—$599,814 from the Office of Naval Research—to support his continued research.

 Wu, a fellow of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS), is a recipient of several prestigious awards, including National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigator Award, and the ACerS Global Star Award. Wu was named the SUNY Empire Innovation Professor in 2018, and received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities from the State University of New York (SUNY).