Gradient-index (GRIN) materials have an index of refraction that varies as a function of position. Research in our group focuses on glass and plastic GRIN lenses to be used in optical systems. These elements are useful to a lens designer since they provide additional degrees of freedom, and thus can improve system performance. Research topics currently pursued range from the beginning of the process (fabricating the GRIN materials) to end applications (designing and tolerancing the optical systems).
Nonimaging optics is the study of the transfer of radiation between a source and target. Unlike traditional optics, systems are not constrained to the point-to-point transfer of light, instead focusing on the total flux transfer. Our research focuses on both solar concentrator and illumination design:
Solar Concentrators—Devices that attempt to transfer the maximum possible flux to the smallest possible target.
Illumination—Designs that work to meet prescribed design conditions, such as irradiance uniformity, intensity uniformity, and high efficiency.