Nanophotonic Materials Group
CREOL The College of Optics & Photonics
Chun Candidacy 14 July 2018: Chun Xia advances to Candidacy.

Optics graduate student Chun Xia successfully defended his research presentations, and was advanced to Candidacy in the Ph.D. program at CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics, UCF. Congratulations, Chun on a job well done!
AEOP Spotlight 14 June 2018: Dr. Kuebler featured by the AEOP Program.

The Kuebler Group hosts a high school student for a summer research experience each year, supported through the Army Education Outreach Program (AEOP). The AEOP featured Dr. Kuebler in its monthly spotlight of mentors.
Grabill Graduation 4 May 2018: Chris Grabill completed the PhD in Chemistry!

Chris Grabill successfully defended his PhD dissertation entiteld "Nanoscale Characterization and Mechanism of Electroless Deposition of Silver Metal." Congratulations, Dr. Grabill!
Kosan Astronaut Scholarship 21 November 2017: Nick Kosan wins the 2017 Astronaut Scholarshop.

Nick was one of two UCF students selected at UCF to receive a 2017 Astronaut Scholarship. Nick (at right) was presented the award by Astronaut Bob Cabana (at left). The Astronaut Scholarship provides $10,000 toward the costs of study in physics, astronomy, biology, chemistry, or mathematics. Congratulations, Nick!
Planning 2017 Chemistry Conclave 16 November 2017: Third-Annual Chemistry Concalve Planning Underway.

Leaders of the student-chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS) at UCF met with their counterparts at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) to plan the Third-Annual Florida Chemistry Conclave. The Conclave is an annual one-day workshop that helps chemistry students network and develop their professional skills. The Concalve is organized and run by student-chapters across Florida. Attendees of the planning meeting (from left to right) include Dr. Stephen M. Kuebler (Faculty Mentor, ACS@UCF), Ryan Wheat (President, ACS@FIT), Joshua Kreisel (President, ACS@UCF), Audrey Preston (Vice-President, ACS@FIT), Dr. Norito Takenaka (Faculty Mentor, ACS@FIT), and Riley Olson (Vice-President, ACS@UCF). The Conclave was conceived by Dr. Kuebler and Miss Lauren Gandy, the 2015 Vice-President of ACS@UCF. The Third-Annual Chemistry Conclave takes place on Saturday 27 January 2018 at FIT and the theme of this year's event is "Materials Science and Its Broader Impacts."

Greg Wins UCGSA Award 10 April 2017: Congratulations to Greg for winning the Uknighted Chemistry Graduate Student Association Member of the Year Award!

The Uknighted Chemistry Graduate Student Association (UCGSA) is a group comprised of Masters- and PhD-seeking Chemistry students that provides a student voice to the Chemistry department. Each year the executive board of UCGSA awards a Member of the Year Award to the member who has shown the most initiative and ambition that year. Gregory Miller (right) and Anthony Altomare (left, a student of Dr. Melanie Beazley) were awarded this honor by UCGSA President Katie McCormac (center, also a student of Dr. Beazley). Gregory and Anthony have both completed their first academic year of the graduate program and actively participated in the UCGSA activities throughout the 2016-2017 year. Greg was also elected as UCGSA’s Vice President for the coming year (2017-2018).

Nick Kosan in Lab 10 February 2017: Congratulations to Nick for winning the Distinguished Undergraduate Researcher Award and obtaining a RAMP Fellowship!

The Distinguished Undergraduate Researcher Award is awarded to undergraduates who have demonstrated initiative and excellence within an active research lab. Students are required to have performed research in the lab, while also maintaining academic excellence. Nick was recognized as the monthly winner for February for his project on Spatially Variant Photonic Crystals.

Nick was also separately awarded a Research and Mentoring Program (RAMP) fellowship, for his ambition to pursue graduate schooling and research. The RAMP fellowship has a combined focus on active research for a full year as well as outstanding academic achievement.

2016 SURE 7 April 2016: Nick Kosan gives a presentation at SURE

Undergraduate Nick Kosan gave a poster presentation titled "Controlling Light with Spatially Variant Photonic Crystals and Waveguide Structures" at the UCF 2016 Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence (SURE).

2015 FiO 20 October 2015: Dr. Kuebler presents the group's work at Frontiers in Optics.

Dr. Kuebler gave a presentation entitled "Tight Control of Light Beams in Photonic Crystals with Spatially-Varient Unit Cells" at the 2015 Frontiers in Optics conference in San Jose, CA.

2015 FIMS 9 October 2015: Rashi gives a presentation at FIMS

Rashi Sharma gave a presentation on her work with photonic crystals and waveguides at the 2015 Florida Inorganic and Materials Symposium (FIMS) at UF.

SURE 2015 21 April 2015: Casey and Rashi give Hagerty students a tour of the Nanophotonic Materials Lab.

Casey Schwarz and Rashi Sharma gave presentations and lab tours to a group of Hagerty high school students from Sarah Even's Science Fair Class.

SURE 2015 20 March 2015: Undergrads present at 2015 SURE

Undergraduate students, Daniel Batista and Gerald Richardson, present thier work at The Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence (SURE) at UCF.

Beam Bending 20 March 2015: The Kuebler group bends light with spatially variant photonic crystals

The Kuebler group along with collaborators are celebrated for their work demonstrating the light steering abilities of spatially variant photonic crystals. This research will lead to a more effective way to transmit data rapidly on electronic circuits boards by using light. This work was recently published in Optics Express by graduate student Jennefir Digaum, profiled in various international online sources including UCF Today, Photonics Online, and Chinatopix and released as a video broadcast segment on Fox 35 news.
Links to online sources:
Creol News
UCF Today
Photonics Online

Order of the Pegasus Win 4 March 2015: Congratulations to Gerald for winning the very prestigious “Order of the Pegasus” award! Order of the Pegasus

The Order of Pegasus award is the most prestigious and significant award a student can attain at the University of Central Florida and recognizes a student’s exemplary performance by UCF bachelor's degree students in the areas of academic achievement, outstanding university involvement, leadership, and community service. It was Gerald’s dream to win this award since he learned of it as a UCF freshmen. He has no doubt made his mark at UCF through his extraordinary academics, research, and community service and will always have a presence here in more ways than one (a plaque is added to the wall of the Pegasus Lounge honoring the inductees and includes their names and a group photograph).

8 February 2015: Jennefir Digaum and Casey Schwarz present their research at Photonics West 2015

Jennefir Digaum presented his research titled "Polarization Sensitive Beam Bending using a Spatially Variant Photonic Crystal".
Dr. Casey Schwarz presented her research titled "Fabrication and Characterization of Micro-structures Created by Direct Laser Writing in Multi-layered Chalcogenide Glasses ". Both presentations were very well received.
Ping Casey Photonics West 2015

Robert Katims Joins 5 January 2015: Robert Katims joins the Nanophotonic Materials Group!

Robert Katims is an undergraduate student majoring in Chemistry. He will be working with Chris Grabill on electroless metallization.

Year of Light 2015 1 January 2015: Happy New Year! 2015 was proclaimed the "International Year of Light".

This global initiative will highlight to the citizens of the world the importance of light and optical technologies in their lives, for their futures, and for the development of society. This is a big year for optics, CREOL, and an unique opportunity for our group to use the work we do to inspire, educate, and connect on a global scale. Go light!

1 December 2014: The group congratulates Gerald Richardson and Anna Lewis on their Order of the Pegasus nominations!

The group congratulates Gerald Richardson and Anna Lewis on their Order of the Pegasus nominations! The Order of Pegasus award is the most prestigious and significant award a student can attain at the University of Central Florida and recognizes a student’s exemplary performance by UCF bachelor's degree students in the areas of academic achievement, outstanding university involvement, leadership, and community service. Gerald has been nominated by Dr. Ehasz, the vice president of SDES (Student Development and Enrollment Services). His nomination was due to his involvement with the Student Academic Resource Center (SARC), where he worked as a Supplemental Instruction leader for the past eight semesters. Gerald was also nominated by the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences by Dr. German, the dean of the College of Medicine. Anna has been nominated by the College of Sciences. She is one of only 4 students to be nominated by this college. This nomination is a tremendous achievement and reflects all the hard work they have put into academics, research, and community making them model UCF students.
Order of the Pegasus

FOCUS 13 November 2014: Jennefir presents his latest work at the Federation of Optics College and University Students (FOCUS) conference in Madellin, Columbia.

Jennefir's research focuses on the tight control of light beams through spatially-variant photonic crystals (SVPCs). He showed that through multi-photon direct laser writing in the photo-polymer SU-8 he could fabricate three-dimensional SVPCs that were able to direct the flow of light around a 90 degree bend. Here, he is demonstrating to optics students and faculty from Columbia how Orlando can be both the "The Happiest Place On Earth" and one of the best places on earth for novel research in optics. Jennefir was also awarded the 2nd place oral presentation award.

Rashi Candidcacy 26 September 2014: Rashi passed her Candidacy Examination for her degree in Ph.D. in Chemistry.
Gerald Homecoming 24 September 2014: Kuebler-Group member selected for UCF's Homecoming Court.
MCAP Cover 8 September 2014: The Kuebler-Group publication gets the cover of Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics!

Stephen M. Kuebler,* Ananthakrishnan Narayanan, Dale E. Karas, and Keley M. Wilburn, "Low-distortion surface functionalization of polymeric microstructures." Macromolec. Chem. Phys. 2014, 215, 1533-1542; DOI: 10.1002/macp.201400226.

This report describes new approaches for functionalizing the surface of polymeric microstructures that avoids swelling and other distortions that can compromise the performance of a micro-device. Undergraduate co-authors Kaley Wilburn and Dale Karas conducted key experiments which verified that the surfaces had been successfully functionalized. The approach opens new routes for micro- and nano-scale devices that can find applications in the microelectronics, health science, advanced optics and telecommunications. The work was featured on the journal cover.

Anna Reward 26 August 2014: Anna Lewis (BS in Chemistry) was recognized as the winner of the August 2014 Distinguished Undergraduate Researcher Award (DURA). Her research project was Photochemical Response and Etching Behavior of Chalcogenide Films. The Distinguished Undergraduate Researcher Award is awarded each month by the UCF Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR). The OUR selects a student from a pool of faculty-endorsed applicants based on their academic achievement, research involvement, and research accomplishments. Congratulations Anna!
Anna Job 23 August 2014: Anna Lewis (BS in Chemistry) has accepted an internship with Flex Optronix, a UCF start-up company. She will be involved in the research and development of new types of micro-structured optical devices. Congratulations Anna!
Dr. Kuebler Talk 21 August 2014: Dr. Kuebler gave an invited talk on nanophotonic materials and devices to PhD students and faculty in the Nanoscience Program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Gerald and Aadit 7 August 2014: Hagerty High School student Aadit Vyas (third from left) and UCF Undergraduate Gerald Richardson (second from left) complete summer research with the Kuebler group and present their results. Both were co-supervised by Kuebler-Group Post-Doctoral Associate Dr. Casey Schwarz (first from right) and assisted by Chemistry graduate student Chris Grabill (first from left). Aadit was supported by the AEOP/REAP program and Gerald was partly supported by the Office of Research and Commercialization Undergraduate Research Initiative.
Dr. Anirrudha Dutta 1 July 2014: Dr. Anirrudha Dutta successfully defended his dissertation on 1 July 2014 entitled "Quantitative Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy of Thick Samples of Gold and Silver Nanoparticles on Polymeric Surfaces", earning the PhD in Physics at UCF. Dr. Dutta conducted his research under the direction of Dr. Helge Heinrich, and was partly supported by NSF grant no. 0809821, "Electroless Metallization onto Polymeric Surfaces: Synthesis, Analysis, and Modeling for Achieving Controlled Nanoscale Morphologies", PI: Stephen M. Kuebler; co-PIs Helge Heinrich and Aniket Bhattacharya; 7/1/08 - 6/30/11. Congratulations Ani!.
Dr. Casey Schwarz 1 17 June 2014: Dr. Casey Schwarz (Post-Doctoral Associate in the Kuebler Group) led a mini-workshop entitled "Women in Research: Paths to Successful Careers" with co-facilitator Dr. Sarah "Stacy" B. Barber (Associate Professor, Anthropology). Attendees reviewed important questions about careers for women in research including how to overcome barriers, how to balance a family and having a life, and various career paths. This activity was held as part of the 2014 Summer Undergraduate Research Academy (12-14 June 2014, Univ. of Central Florida).
Vivek Kumar 9 June 2014: Dr. Kuebler with Vivek Kumar and his parents. In 2011, and while a student at Paul J. Hagerty High School, Vivek conducted summer research supported by an AEOP/REAP fellowship.
Gerald Richardson 21 May 2014: Kuebler-Group undergraduate student Gerald Richardson (fourth from left) and other UCF undergraduate researchers meet with Florida Governer Rick Scott (fifth from left) and UCF President Dr. John Hitt (second from left). The Governer visited UCF College of Medicine for the United States Tennis Association's announcement of the new tennis center at Lake Nona.
Dr Casy Schwarz 4 Feburary 2014: Dr. Casey Schwarz presented a talk in Photonics West Conference, San Francisco on the topic "Processing and properties of Arsenic Trisulfide chalcogenide glasses for direct laser writting of 3D micro structures".
Henry Williams 13 December 2013: Dr. Henry Williams completes the PhD in Chemistry. Congratulations, Henry!
Tatiana May 2013: Tatiana's last day in NPM group

The Kuebler Group on May 2013 with Tatiana, outside student union.
Grubbs 4 February 2013: Dr. Robert H. Grubbs visited the NPM Group!

Professor Robert H. Grubbs (2005 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry) visited with students in the Kuebler Group on 4 February 2013 and learned about their projects.
Crane 19 November 2010: NPM begins the move to a new lab!

The Kuebler research group began moving laser tables from its old lab to a brand new location in Phase II of the Physical Sciences building. The group expects to make the official move in December.

Jackson Middle 17 November 2010: Dr. Kuebler's group visits Jackson Middle School

For their latest outreach activity, members of the Kuebler group met at Jackson Middle School to teach science students all about waves, refraction, interference and even fiberoptics! After about five minutes of lecture, students had the chance to witness each of these scientific concepts firsthand at six interactive stations. While Dr. Kuebler demonstrated the patterns of actual waves in water, Anan Narayan and Chris Grabill used lasers to illustrate their lessons. Meanwhile, Kristen Lynch explained fiberoptics and how the Internet works! At the final station, Henry Williams demonstrated just how each of these concepts relate to the Nanophotonic Materials Group's research.

1 November 2010: Jennefir Digaum joins the Nanophotonic Materials Group!

Jennefir Digaum received his BS in both Physics and Electrical Engineering at the Mindanao State University, as well as the Erasmus Mundus Masters of Science from University of St. Andrews and Heriot Watt University, Vrije University and Ghent University. He wrote his Master's thesis about a Photonics lab-on-a-chip for detecting biomolecules, where his group developed a micro-detection unit for fluorescence and absorbance detection. He has also worked as a failure analysis engineer at Intel. Welcome to the group!

Outreach on Oct 24 2010
Outreach on Oct 24 2010
24 October 2010: Outreach during National Chemistry Week 2010

Research students in the Kuebler group joined the ACS Orlando Section in hosting a National Chemistry Week activities booth at the Maitland Farmers' Market that showed visitors how chemistry is important and relevant to their everyday life. Young people learned about molecules in the air we breathe - including the good, the bad, and the ugly! - and made edible models of these molecules with pretzel sticks and colored marshmallows. Adults were invited to select "bags of atoms" that contained answers to intriguing questions from the world of chemistry, including: (1) Just how small is a molecule? (2) When salt is added to water, does the total volume increase or decrease, and why? (3) How important is chemistry to our economy?
Café Scientifique
Café Scientifique
6 October 2010: Dr. Stephen Kuebler speaks to Orlando chapter of Café Scientifique

Dr. Stephen Kuebler met with members of Café Scientifique to present his lecture on "Sharpening the Focus of Laser Beams for Nano-Scale Fabrication, Imaging, and Information Storage." The group, which consists of both scientific experts and lay community members, meets at Taste Restaurant in College Park, FL, on the first Wednesday of every month, where members listen to plain language discussions on specific topics of science or technology.
Jabbour defense
Jabbour defense
20 August 2009: Toufic Jabbour successfully defends his PhD thesis!

Toufic Jabbour successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled "Design, Analysis, and Optimization of Diffractive Optical Elements under High Numerical Aperture Focusing" on 20 August 2009. He has now completed all requirements for the doctoral degree in optics at UCF. His degree will be conferred by the President of UCF in December 2009. He will soon depart Orlando to start a post-doctoral research position at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Congratulations Dr. Jabbour!
August 2009: Christopher Grabill starts the PhD with our group!

Chris Grabill was admitted to the PhD program in chemistry at UCF and is continuing his research with the Kuebler group. Congratulations, Chris, and welcome aboard!!
Christopher Grabill May 2009: Christopher Grabill graduates from UCF with the BS in chemistry!

Chris Grabill successfully completed all requirements for the major in chemistry and earned the BS degree from UCF. Congratulations, Chris!!!
Seminole Community College 6 October 2008: Marco Melino leads outreach presentation at Seminole Community College

Optics PhD candidate Marco Melino introduced students at Seminole Community College to the fascinating world of optical metamaterials and nanophotonics, as a guest lecturer in their Physical Sciences Seminar course. Marco's presentation was conducted as part of the Kuebler-Group peer-to-peer education outreach effort. The encounter included hands-on demonstration of optical diffraction from a 3D photonic crystal and shearing interferometry. Click here to learn more about the Kuebler-Group outreach education activities.

15 February 2008: Dr. Kuebler receives an Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Dr. Kuebler was selected to receive an Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award by the UCF College of Sciences. Click here to learn more about Dr. Kuebler’s teaching and outreach education activities.
January 2008: Kuebler Group awarded an NSF CAREER Grant !!

In January 2008 Dr. Stephen M. Kuebler and the NPM Group were awarded a CAREER Grant by the National Science Foundation. This award (no. 0748712) is supported jointly by the Division of Materials Research and the Chemistry Division of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate. The award, entitled "CAREER: Three-Dimensional Multi-Scale Metallodielectric Materials", provides support over a period of five years for the investigation of new processes for creating optically functional three-dimensional metallo-dielectric meta-materials. All members of the NPM group helped collect the preliminary data that supported the proposal leading to this award. Way to go team!!!
Amir Tal 3 July 2007: Masters student Amir Tal graduates !!

On 3 July 2007 NPM Group member Amir Tal successfully defended his Masters of Science in Optics thesis entitled "Three-Dimensional Micron-Scale Metal Photonic Crystals via Multi-Photon Direct Laser Writing and Electroless Metal Deposition". Amir started a new position as an optical design engineer on 13 August 2007 with Coastal Optical Systems in West Palm Beach, Fl. Congratulations, Amir !!!
Welcome Amanda Dupuy 8 May 2007: Welcome Amanda Dupuy !!

Undergraduate Amanda Dupuy is a Student Mentor Academic Research Team (SMART) fellowship recipient and the newest member of the NPM Group. Amanda is investigating methods for electroless metallization and studying how the material processing conditions affect the nanoscale morphology of the deposited metal.
Marco Melino 8 May 2007: Welcome Marco Melino !!

In spring 2008 optics graduate student Mr. Marco Melino joined our research group. Marco comes from Italy and most recently completed his B.S. in Industrial Engineering and the M.S. degree in Material Engineering from the Politecnico di Torino, Italy in 2005 under the mentorship of Professor Marco Sangermano. From September 2006 to August 2007 he researched in the Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Department of the Centro Ricerche Fiat S.C.p.A., Orbassano (TO) Italy, where he completed his thesis and worked as an analyst developing manufacturing processes for the optical and automotive industry. Marco was admitted to the College of Optics, UCF and joined the NPM group in Spring 2008. Welcome to the group, Marco!
2 February 2007: NPM Group member Toufic Jabbour's research is published in Optics Letters!

Toufic Jabbour and Stephen M. Kuebler, "Axial field shaping under high-numerical-aperture focusing," Opt. Lett., 2006, vol. 32(5), pp. 527-530.
14 October 2006: NPM Group member Yun-Sheng Chen presented a paper entitled "Fabrication of Three-Dimensional Micron-Scale Metallic-Dielectric Composites and Functional Devices" at the Florida Inorganic Mini-Symposium, hosted by the Inorganic Division of the Department of Chemistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
Science Seminar 9 October 2006: NPM Group member Amir Tal teaches students in the "Science Seminar" course at Seminole Community College about his research in nanophotonics (9 October 2006, Maitland, FL).
Advanced Functional Materials 29 August 2006: NPM-Group research makes cover of Advanced Functional Materials !!

Yun-Sheng Chen, Amir Tal, David B. Torrance, and Stephen M. Kuebler, "Fabrication and characterization of three-dimensional silver-coated polymeric microstructures," Adv. Funct. Mater., 2006, vol. 16(13), pp. 1739 - 1744.
May 2006: Congratulations to Yigit "Ozan" Yilmaz who graduated with an MS in optics from CREOL-UCF!

Ozan is the first graduate of the NPM Group. In addition to completing a rigorous program of course work, Ozan was very active in research. His work included (1) contributing toward the development of the NPM-Group's multi-photon 3D microfabrication system and (2) studying a novel microphotonic structure that can be used to efficiently guide light by total internal reflection in a low-refractive-index waveguide supported on a high-index substrate. Ozan is now pursuing the PhD in optics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Good luck Ozan!
26 March 2006: Dr. Stephen M. Kuebler chaired a special symposium entitled "Micro- and Nano-Scale Patterning Via Multi-Photon Activated Processes" at the 231st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, held in Atlanta, GA, USA, 26-30 March 2006. Guest presenters included:
  • Prof. John Fourkas (Univ. of Maryland)
  • Prof. Stephen M. Kuebler (Univ. Central FL)
  • Prof. Egbert Zojer (Univ. of Graz)
  • Prof. Chris K. Ober (Cornell)
  • Prof. Paul Campignola (Univ. of Connecticut)
  • Prof. Joseph W. Perry (GA Tech)
  • Mr. Jian Zhou (Perry Group, GA Tech)
  • Dr. Wenting Dong (Perry Group, GA Tech)
  • Prof. Satoshi Kawata (Univ. of Osaka and RIKEN)
  • Prof. Martin Wegener (Univ. of Karlsruhe)
  • Prof. Robert G. Denning (Univ. of Oxford)
  • Ms. Stephanie A. Pruzinsky (P. V. Braun Group, UIUC)
  • Prof. Shoji Maruo (Univ. of Yokohama)
  • Mr. Seokwoo Jeon (J. A. Rogers Group, UIUC)
We gratefully acknowledge financial support for the symposium provided by the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (grant no. 42322-G5) and the ACS Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering. Thank you to these agencies and all speakers and attendees for your participation.
6 February 2006: Publication

Toufic Jabbour and Stephen M. Kuebler, "Vector diffraction analysis of high numerical aperture focused beams modified by two- and three-zone annular multi-phase plates," Optics Express, 2006, 14, 1033-1043.
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