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The scientific mission of the Applied Photonics Research Group is to use photons to study and manipulate objects and information. It is an applied research group which means that we are interested in practical applications as well as fundamental science. These applications include information and sensing technology. Through campus visits and outreach efforts we will introduce cutting edge concepts to the public and bring them into primary, secondary, and university science classrooms. Our broader mission is to produce trained scientific experts, intellectual property, and published knowledge, which have a positive local, regional, and global impact.

Dilution Refrigerator Lab

Dilution Refrigerator Lab

UC Merced and its students have benefitted from the availability of two Oxford DR200 dilution refrigerators which were recently relocated to the BSP building from the Castle research facility at UC Merced. These instruments have operated for the past 12 years. Over this period, 2 postdoctoral scientists, 8 graduate students and 8 undergraduate students have been trained on system operation and have performed their research. Two faculty, Raymond Chiao and Jay E. Sharping, have incorporated this instrumentation into their research. Notably, 3 PhD. students have gone on to be employed in settings where similar instruments are used (2 at LLNL and one at NIST). Since the system was installed, we have obtained 5 grants and published more than 10 articles which would not have been possible without the dilution refrigerators.


The dilution refrigerators have a sample space which can be customized and fitted with experiments and samples. Superconducting magnets can also be used.

Photonics Lab

Visible light lab

The photonics section is divided into two areas. Above we see the visible light lab. This separate room can be made darker for background free measurements.

IR Light Lab

The other photonics area is an IR area. Many measurements can be made with the room lights on, so it is convenient to share the space with the dilution refrigerators.

Safe Table

Several optical tables are outfitted with safety curtains, light sources, and test and measurement equipment. 

Lab layout