Adjunct Faculty

Lukas Novotny

Adjunct Professor of Optics
Doctor of Technical Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, 1996


Short Biography

Professor Novotny earned his Dipl. El-Ing (MS in electrical engineering) in 1992 and his Dr. sc. techn. (Doctor of Technical Sciences) in 1996, both from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. His doctoral research was in close collaboration with the IBM Research Laboratory in Switzerland and dealt with theoretical questions in near-field optics. After three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington, working on new schemes of near-field optical microscopy and single molecule spectroscopy, Professor Novotny joined the faculty of the Institute of Optics in 1999 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 2003 and full professor in 2007. After thirteen years at the Institute of Optics, he decided to move back to his home country and accepted a position as full professor at his alma mater ETH in Zurich. Even though an ocean separates the two institutions, he still maintains strong ties to Rochester through his position as adjunct professor. Professor Novotny is author of "Principles of Nano-Optics", published by Cambridge University Press, now in its second edition.

Professor Novotny's general interest is in the area of experimental and theoretical optics. He is interested in the application of optical science and technology to the study of nanoscale phenomena ranging from solid-state physics to biology. He is exploring ways to surpass the diffraction limit of classical optics and studying the physics of nanometric systems, such as quantum dots or biological proteins. By extending concepts developed in antenna theory to the optical regime, his group demonstrated chemically-specific optical imaging with spatial resolutions down to 10 nm.