Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy, UNM
BS – Electrical Engineering, summa cum laude, Catholic University of America
MS – Electrical Engineering, Catholic University of America
PhD – Electrical Engineering (Electro-Physics), State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo
Dr. Sheik-Bahae joined the faculty in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of New Mexico in 1994 and is currently a Professor in both the Department of Physics & Astronomy and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Prior to his arrival at UNM, Dr. Sheik-Bahae served as an Associate Research Professor at the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL) at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Sheik-Bahae’s current research activities are focused in the areas of laser cooling in solids; ultrafast phenomena, nonlinear optics; and optically pumped semiconductor disk lasers.
Particular Knowledge and Skills
Dr. Sheik-Bahae has made key theoretical and experimental contributions to the field of solid state laser cooling. In 2009, Dr. Sheik-Bahae and his team reported the first laser cooling in solids to cryogenic temperatures. In 2011, Dr. Sheik-Bahae received gap funding from STC for this technology. The research results, demonstrating optical refrigeration as the only current solid-state cooling technology with clear advantages over existing cooling technologies, were published in the prestigious journal Nature Photonics. The UNM results were hailed as a breakthrough for presenting the first demonstration of an all-solid-state cryocooler. Other scientific contributions include invention of the Z-scan technique to measure optical nonlinearities of materials; development of a quantum mechanical theory for predicting ultrafast electronic optical nonlinear coefficients of semiconductors. Dr. Sheik-Bahae has several issued and pending patents.
Dr. Sheik-Bahae’s awards include receiving the Optical Society of America’s (OSA) 2012 R. W. Wood Prize; recognition in 2007 by the IEEE-LEOS for authoring the most cited paper (for Z-scan) in the history of the IEEE-JQE journals; becoming an OSA Fellow in 2000; and receiving the Engineer of the Year Award from IEEE/LEOS in 1990. His professional service includes serving as General Chair of the Optical Science and Engineering Program at UNM from 2003-2009; as current Director of the Consortium for Laser Cooling in Solids; and as former Topical Editor for the Journal of Optical Society of America, among his many other professional appointments.