Joey Talghader


Research Area: Fields, Photonics, Magnetic Recording Technology; Micro and Nanostructures

5-165 Keller Hall

Area of Expertise:

Optics, and micro- and nano-mechanical systems

Faculty Affiliations:

Nano and Micro Applications Center


Ph.D., EE, 1995, University of California, Berkeley, CA, United States
M.S., EE, 1993, University of California, Berkeley, CA, United States
B.S., EE, 1988, Rice University, Houston, TX, United States


My group works in the areas of optics and micro-/nano-mechanical systems. One of our focus areas is infrared detectors. Standard uncooled detectors are designed for extreme sensitivity across the thermal infrared, but they are inappropriate for imaging high temperature regions or specific wavelength ranges. Some of our recent research has developed new ways to control the responsivity and sensing wavelengths of these detectors to accommodate these applications.

Other areas are optical coatings and heat transfer for both micro and large-scale optics. Two of the biggest challenges in optical microsystems are building devices with adequate heat conduction and integrating optical coatings that do not cause warping due to stress and thermal expansion. Some of our recent results include making stress and thermal expansion invariant coatings and negative thermal expansion thin films for matching zero expansion glasses. These projects are leading to adaptive mirrors with high heat transfer and coatings for lightweight mirrors and high power lasers.

My group is also interested in the thermal and thermoelectric properties of contact interfaces. In microfabricated systems, the roughness of contact interfaces is often on the order of a nanometer or less, which makes their behavior much different from traditional interfaces with larger roughness. With proper design and control, micromachined interfaces may have enhanced thermoelectric properties, enabling highly efficient cooling and power generation.

A final research interest lies with microsensors. A great deal of sensor research involves creating intelligent sensors that can work in a distributed network; however, there are many applications where extremely simple sensors are more appropriate. One technology on which we are working removes all processing and communication capabilities from the sensors and uses self-assembly to read out sensor data after collection. This type of sensor is particularly well suited for fluidic systems and the first devices are being applied to metal-ion detection.


[1] W. S. Chan, M. L. Mah, R. C. Bay, and J. J. Talghader. “Long- wavelength optical fiber logging for high resolution detection of ash layers in glacier ice,” Journal of Glaciology, vol.63, no. 237, pp. 17-21, February 2017.

[2] K. Olson, and J. Talghader “Spectrally dependent fluctuations of thermal photon sources, Physical Review A, vol. 94, 013822, 5 pages, 2016.

[3] A. K. Brown, A. Ogloza, K. Olson, J. Thomas, and J. Talghader, “Band Gap Dependence of Continuous-Wave Laser Induced Damage Threshold of Optics with Absorptive Contamination,” in Lasers Congress 2016 (ASSL, LSC, LAC), Boston, MA, October 30 – November 3, 2016, paper AM5A.20, ISBN: 978-1-943580-20-0.

[4] K. Olson, A. Ogloza, J. Thomas and J. Talghader, “High power laser heating of low absorption materials,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 116, 123106, 2014.

[5] A. S. Gawarikar, R. P. Shea, and J. J. Talghader, “High detectivity uncooled thermal detectors with resonant cavity coupled absorption in the long-wave infrared, IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, vol. 60, no. 8, August 2013, pp. 2586- 2591.

[6] J. J. Talghader, A. S. Gawarikar, and R. P. Shea, “Spectral selectivity in infrared thermal detection,” Invited Review Light: Science & Applications, Nature Publishing Group, vol. 1, e24, 2012, doi:10.1038/lsa.2012.24, 11 pages.

[7] N. T. Gabriel and J. J. Talghader, “Thermal conductivity and refractive index of hafnia-alumina nanolaminates,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 110, 043526 (8 pages) , August 29, 2011.

[8] Jan D. Makowski, Brady D. Anderson, Wing S. Chan, Mika J. Saarinen, Christopher J. Palmstrøm, and Joseph J. Talghader, “Mechanical Construction of Semiconductor Bandgaps,” IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics, vol. 49, no. 9, pp. 1261-1267, September 2010.

[9] M. L. Mah, M. E. Manfred, S. S. Kim, M. Prokic´, E. G. Yukihara, J. J. Talghader, “Measurement of rapid temperature profiles using thermoluminescent microparticles,” IEEE Sensors Journal, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 311-15, February 2010.

[10] N. T. Gabriel, S. S. Kim, and J. J. Talghader, “Control of thermal deformation in dielectric mirrors using mechanical design and atomic layer deposition,” Optics Letters, vol. 34, no. 13, July 1, 2009, pp. 1958-1960.

[11] W. Liu and J. J. Talghader, “Electrically tunable cavities and spatial mode control,” IEEE Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 777-785, August 2006.

[12] Y. Wang, B. J. Potter, and J. J. Talghader, “Coupled absorption filters for thermal detectors,” Optics Letters, vol. 31, no. 13, pp. 1945-1947, July 1, 2006.

[13] W. B. Song, M. Sutton, and J. J. Talghader, “Thermal contact conductance of actuated interfaces,” Applied Physics Letters, vol. 81, no. 7, pp. 1216-1218, August 12, 2002. Also reprinted in Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science and Technology, vol. 6, no. 8, August 19, 2002.