Two University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff officials received a $735,000 grant from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), according to a news release.

Mansour Mortazavi, vice chancellor of research, innovation and economic development, and Seyed Amir Ghetmiri, assistant professor, obtained the funding to pursue research in middle-infrared integrated microwave photonics.

“Photonics refers to a field of research that aims to replace electron and electronic circuits with light and photonic circuits to increase the data transfer rate and data processing speed,” according to the release.

“The UAPB team will collaborate with Professor Fisher Yu from the electrical engineering department at the University of Arkansas to design, fabricate, and characterize an integrated photonic chip for high-speed data measurement and communication,” according to the release.

Future applications of photonics include integration of photonic devices on a chip like integrated circuits (ICs).

“Developing this technology demands dramatic improvements in performance and efficiency of photonic devices such as light emitting diodes (LEDs), waveguides, modulators, photodetectors, and lasers by reducing the size, weight, and power consumption. The objective of this project is to develop a photonic chip that meets these demands,” according to the release.

Ghetmiri’s approach to this project is through design, fabrication, and characterization of micro/nano photonic devices such as Lasers, waveguides, modulators, and photodetectors.

“These devices are made of newly developed semiconductor, GeSn that operates at middle infrared region which is the best choice for telecommunication purposes. This project has significant applications in defense systems, such as radar signal processing, and civilian applications such as cell phone technology, sensing, and Datacom,” according to the release.

The UAPB team thanks NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Air Force and Army for continued support.

“The funded proposal will open new opportunities to extend UAPB research capabilities and benefit students to participate in nanoscience and engineering related research,” according to the release.

Details: Vice Chancellor Mansour Mortazavi, 870-575-7140.