Rainer Martini

Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies (SES)

School: School of Engineering and Science

Department: Physics

Building: Burchard

Room: 610

Phone: (201) 216-5634

Fax: (201) 216-5638

Email: rmartini@stevens.edu

Website

Education
  • PhD (1999) RWTH Aachen (Physics)
  • BS (1995) University Bonn (Physics)
Research

The recent and ongoing developments in material growth, processing and structuring down to the nanometer scale gives access to a new dimension of control in the matter-light interaction. This allows for new as well as much more efficient use of well-known phenomena, relying in most cases on the quantum-mechanical nature of the interaction. Dr. Martini's research explores these newly accessible phenomena in favor of more effective imaging, sensing and / or communication devices – targeting some of the major problems that today's world is facing. In particular the following areas represent the main focus of the ongoing research in his laboratory:

Direct all-optical modulation of laser and detectors: The optical electrical conversion of information at each communication is one of the major bottlenecks in communication technology. In his our laboratory different approaches are used to achieve direct optical modulation of lasers and detectors to achieve an all-optical and hence ultrafast wavelength converter – and in turn multiplexer and de-multiplexer devices. Within the last years he and his co-workers have proven the direct optical amplitude modulation of mid-infrared Quantum Cascade Lasers up to a frequency of 7 GHz – limited only by detector speed.

New form of optical modulation: Aside from the expected amplitude modulation, his lab has achieved a fast (2GHz) frequency modulation. This gives rise to a direct optical FM modulation of lasers and hence allowing more robust and stable data transmission. Possible additional features are the simultaneous modulation via optical and electrical means, which would allow for higher level modulation such as phase modulation, QPSK, and QAM.

Novel techniques in Free-Space Optical communication: The application of yet unused spectral wavelength like the Mid- and Far- Infrared spectrum is one of the core research areas in his laboratory – where his laboratory has achieved international reputation of being the authority in IR-FSOC.

New form of Infrared Imaging Devices and their application: Mid- and Far-Infrared Imaging devices have become popular in multiple areas reaching from security aspects to medical diagnostics and material inspections. Within Dr. Martini's laboratory new wavelength conversion techniques are applied to allow for simpler but more powerful imaging concepts towards an easier access to this specific section of the spectrum.

New broadband imaging devices: Based on some results of the above mentioned infrared conversion approach, Dr. Martini and his co-workers were able to build a camera system allowing for monitoring and analysis of beam patterns. Unique to this device is its ability to observe and measure beam profiles ranging from 400nm (UV) down to 110 GHz, covering the whole range from UV, Vis, NIR, MIR, FIR, to RF.

General Information

Rainer Martini is an Associate Professor of Physics, and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the Schaefer School of Engineering and Sciences. Dr. Martini is recognized as one of the pioneer and leading experts in mid- and far-infrared technology and its application in the area of communication, spectroscopy, and imaging. He leads the Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy and Communications Laboratory, which focuses on the development of novel optical modulation schemes and their implementation in real world application. His research accomplishments include the first demonstration of the coherent amplification of short – pulse THz radiation, establishing the first stable mid-infrared free-space optical link, the fastest MIR communication link, and a novel broadband imaging process allowing visualization of radiation ranging from 400nm (UV) to the millimeter wave region (100 GHz). His actual research includes also a new non-resonant optical modulation scheme for lasers in the mid- and near- infrared spectral region with the potential of increasing the communication bandwidth drastically. Dr. Martini has received multiple teaching awards and the 2011 Advancement of Innovation Award from the NJIHoF.

"Popular” articles about his research:
"Laser Beam Telegrams", Popular Mechanics, July 2011, p. 14
"Ultrafast Laser Communications achieved with lasers”, Photonics Spectra, June 2011,p.22
"Optical illumination modulates Quantum Cascade Laser", Laser Focus World, November 2010, p. 14
"Fast wavelength modulation", Nature Photonics Research Highlight, Vol. 4, September 2010, p. 581

Experience

05/1999 – 07/1999: Coordinator and administrator of the “Center of Competence for Lateral Structuring in sub - 100nm Regime (NanoClub)” at the Advanced Microelectronic Center Aachen (AMICA), AMO GmbH, Aachen, Germany. Coordination and public relation of R&D activities of more then 20 industrial and 50 academic partners.

Institutional Service
  • Board of Trustee Member
  • Faculty committe for Undergraduate Engineering Optics Member
  • Graduate Curriculum Committee Member
  • SES Doctoral Committee Chair
  • SES Executive Committee Member
  • SES Leadership Committee Member
  • Patent Committee Member
  • SES Garduate Studies Committee Chair
  • Committee for revision of the BS Physics Member
  • Stevens Alumni Association Board of Directors Member
  • Online / Hybrid Teaching Advsoiry Committee Member
  • Physics Department Graduate Program Revision Task Force Member
  • Graduate Education Contingency Committee Member
  • SES Masters Task Force Committee Chair
  • Implementation Task Force for Workday Student Member
  • Faculty Member on the Board of Trustees Member
Professional Service
  • IEEE WIESE 2021 Member of the Technical Program Committee
  • Intenational Conference on Plasma Spectroscopy (IPS) Member of the Member of the International Committee
  • Journal "Optics" Founding Editorial Board Member
  • Conference Optics-2021 Member of the organizing committee
  • Advisory board for NSF Award #1720964 Advisory Board Member
Appointments

Academic Positions:
08/2008 – current: Associated Professor of Physics at Stevens Institute of Technology (SIT), NJ and director of the Ultrafast Laser and High-Speed Communication Laboratory.
08/2001 – 08/2008: Assistant Professor at SIT and director of the Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy and High-Speed Communication Laboratory.
08/1999 – 08/2001: Research Assistant Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology, NJ and contractor at Bell Labs Innovations, Lucent Technology in Murray Hill, NJ.

Administrative – Academic Positions:
08/2017 – current: Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the Schaefer School of Engineering and Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology
08/2015 – 07/2019, 08/2021 - current: Member of the Board of Trustees (elected faculty trustee) at Stevens Institute of Technology
08/2011 – 08/2017: Director / Chair of the of the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics at Stevens Institute of Technology
08/2008 – 08/2011: Deputy Director of the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics and Director of the Graduate Programs.
08/2004 – 08/2008: Advisor for Undergraduate Students in Engineering Physics.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Dr. Martini is author and co-author of more than ten IP disclosures, which generated seven pending patent applications in the area of optical communication, sensing, infrared imaging, and 3D-recording and projection systems.

Dr. Martini served also as founding member and Chief Technology Officer of ‘Predator-Vision’, a company based on a new kind of thermal imaging systems protected by aforementioned patents.

He served also as member of Stevens Patent Committee (representing faculty since 1999), where new intellectual property claims are being evaluated and reviewed for provisional and full patent submission.

Last, but not least he consultant financial companies and evaluated new technologies and their short as well as long-term potential in commercial systems.

Honors and Awards

2021: Stevens Employee Award: Excellence in All We Do
2021: Award of Senior Membership in the Optical Society of America (OSA), now Optica
2021: Award of Senior Membership in the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE)
2014: Outstanding referee award from European Journal of Physics
2011: New Jersey Inventor Hall of Fame - Advancement of Innovation Award
2007: Alexander Crombie Humphreys Distinguished Associate Professor Teaching Award
2002: Harvey N. Davis Distinguished Assistant Professor Teaching Award

Professional Societies
  • AAPT – American Association of Physics Teachers Member
  • APS – American Physical Society Member
  • DPG – German Physical Society Member
  • IEEE Member
  • SPIE – Society of Optical Engineers (SPIE) Senior member
  • OSA – Optical Society of America / Optica Senior member
Grants, Contracts, and Funds

Recent grants included:
“Research Ambassadors Inspiring Science Education (NJ RAISE)”, awarded in 2016 by the NJ Department of Education, submitted as PI, grant amount: $"379,999.00
"Persistent Maritime Quantum Key Distribution”, awarded in 2015 by the Office of Naval Research, submitted as Co-PI, grant amount: $ 781,783.00 "
SeaQuAKE: Sea-optimized Quantum Key Exchange”, awarded in 2014 by the Office of Naval Research, submitted as PI of Stevens sub-grant, grant amount: $ 550,000.00

Patents and Inventions

Awarded Patents:

US 8,976,364: “Optical Gyroscope”;
US 8,010,187: “Three-Dimensional Impedance Imaging Device”;
US 8,013,305: “Infrared Wavelength Imaging Applications Based On Quantum Well Devices”,
US 8,098,275: “Three-Dimensional Imaging System Using Optical Pulses, Non-Linear Optical Mixers and Holographic Calibration”

Selected Publications
Book Chapter
  1. Martini, R. (2004). Optical Communication Systems: Free Space Optical Communications. Encyclopedia of Modern Optics, Five-Volume Set (pp. 402-409).
Conference Proceeding
  1. Martini, R. (2020). Advantages of IR-based Communication and Sensing in Severe Environments. Proceedings of the 2019 IEEE International Conference on Wireless for Space and Extreme Environments (WiSEE). Hoboken.
  2. Bu, T.; Zhang, D.; Kumar, P.; Chen, N.; Martini, R. (2019). Free space communication under scattering and scintillation effects. Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (vol. 10910).
  3. Kumar, P.; Bu, T.; Zhang, D.; Martini, R. (2019). Simultaneous multi-wavelength laser spot detection and beam wander measurement using novel polymer imaging system. Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (vol. 10980).
  4. Sua, Y. M.; Fan, H.; Shahverdi, A.; Chen, J. Y.; Martini, R.; Huang, Y. P. (2017). Weather-proof quantum communications. Optics InfoBase Conference Papers (vol. Part F66-FiO 2017).
  5. Zhang, D.; Kumar, P.; Bu, T.; Martini, R. (2017). Comparison of mid- and near-infrared link losses in simulated scattering and turbulent environment. Optics InfoBase Conference Papers (vol. Part F49-pcAOP 2017).
  6. Tian, C.; Martini, R. (2013). AM to FM conversion via combine optical and electrical tuning. CLEO: QELS_Fundamental Science, CLEO:QELS FS 2013.
  7. Chen, I. A.; Park, S. W.; Chen, G.; Wang, C.; Bethea, C.; Martini, R.; Woolard, D. (2013). Ultra-broadband wavelength conversion sensor using thermochromic liquid crystals. Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (vol. 8624).
Journal Article
  1. Šimek, M.; Černák, M.; Kylián, O.; Foest, R.; Hegemann, D.; Martini, R. (2019). White paper on the future of plasma science for optics and glass. Plasma Processes and Polymers (1 ed., vol. 16).
  2. Šimek, M.; Černák, M.; Kylián, O.; Foest, R.; Hegemann, D.; Martini, R. (2019). White paper on the future of plasma science for optics and glass. Plasma Processes and Polymers (1 ed., vol. 16).
  3. Peng, C.; Chen, G.; Tang, J.; Wang, L.; Wen, Z.; Zhou, H.; Martini, R. (2016). High-Speed Mid-Infrared Frequency Modulation Spectroscopy Based on Quantum Cascade Laser. IEEE Photonics Technology Letters (16 ed., vol. 28, pp. 1727-1730).
  4. Park, S. W.; Chen, G.; Chen, I. C.; Tian, C.; Martini, R. (2014). Tracing explosive in solvent using quantum cascade laser with pulsed electric discharge system. Applied Physics Letters (18 ed., vol. 105).
  5. Peng, C.; Chen, G.; Yang, T.; Park, S. W.; Martini, R. (2013). Numerical study of subband electron temperature effect on a mid-infrared quantum cascade laser output characteristics. Semiconductor Science and Technology (10 ed., vol. 28).
  6. Yang, T.; Chen, G.; Tian, C.; Martini, R. (2013). Optical modulation of quantum cascade laser with optimized excitation wavelength. Optics Letters (8 ed., vol. 38, pp. 1200-1202).
  7. Tian, C.; Chen, I. C.; Park, S. W.; Martini, R. (2013). Realization of pure frequency modulation of DFB laser via combined optical and electrical tuning. Optics Express (7 ed., vol. 21, pp. 8401-8408).
  8. Chen, G.; Yang, T.; Peng, C.; Martini, R. (2011). Self-consistent approach for quantum cascade laser characteristic simulation. IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics (8 ed., vol. 47, pp. 1086-1093).
  9. Chen, G.; Martini, R. (2011). Quantum dots-based all-optical-readout middle-far-infrared imaging. IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics (3 ed., vol. 47, pp. 285-292).
  10. Chen, G.; Martini, R.; Park, S. W.; Bethea, C. G.; Chen, I. C.; Grant, P. D.; Dudek, R.; Liu, H. (2010). Optically induced fast wavelength modulation in a quantum cascade laser. Applied Physics Letters (1 ed., vol. 97).
  11. Zeng, D.; Benilov, A.; Bunin, B.; Martini, R. (2010). Long-wavelength IR imaging system to scuba diver detection in three dimensions. IEEE Sensors Journal (3 ed., vol. 10, pp. 760-764).
  12. Chen, G.; Park, S. W.; Chen, I. C.; Bethea, C. G.; Martini, R. (2010). Optical switching of a quantum cascade laser in continuous wave operation. Chinese Physics Letters (1 ed., vol. 27).
  13. Chen, G.; Bethea, C. G.; Martini, R. (2009). Quantum cascade laser gain enhancement by front facet illumination. Optics Express (26 ed., vol. 17, pp. 24282-24287).
  14. Corrigan, P.; Martini, R.; Whittaker, E.; Bethea, C. (2009). Quantum cascade lasers and the Kruse model in free space optical communication. Optics Express (6 ed., vol. 17, pp. 4355-4359).
  15. Chen, G.; Bethea, C. G.; Martini, R.; Grant, P. D.; Dudek, R.; Liu, H. (2009). High-speed all-optical modulation of a standard quantum cascade laser by front facet illumination. Applied Physics Letters (10 ed., vol. 95).
  16. Chen, I. C.; Park, S. W.; Karaalioglu, C.; Martini, R.; Meshal, A. (2007). High-efficiency silicon THz modulator using optically injected carriers. Journal of Nanoelectronics and Optoelectronics (1 ed., vol. 2, pp. 96-100).
  17. Martini, R.; Whittaker, E. (2005). Quantum cascade laser-based free space optical communications. Journal of Optical and Fiber Communications Reports (4 ed., vol. 2, pp. 279-292).
  18. Hadjiloucas, S.; Galvão, R. K.; Becerra, V. M.; Bowen, J. W.; Martini, R.; Brucherseifer, M.; Pellemans, H. P.; Bolívar, P. H.; Kurz, H.; Chamberlain, J. M. (2004). Comparison of subspace and ARX models of a waveguide's terahertz transient response after optimal wavelet filtering. IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques (10 ed., vol. 52, pp. 2409-2419).
  19. Hadjiloucas, S.; Galvão, R. K.; Bowen, J. W.; Martini, R.; Brucherseifer, M.; Pellemans, H. P.; Bolívar, P. H.; Kurz, H.; Digby, J.; Parkhurst, G. M.; Chamberlain, J. M. (2003). Measurement of propagation constant in waveguides with wideband coherent terahertz spectroscopy. Journal of the Optical Society of America B: Optical Physics (2 ed., vol. 20, pp. 391-401).
  20. Capasso, F.; Paiella, R.; Martini, R.; Colombelli, R.; Gmachl, C.; Myers, T. L.; Taubman, M. S.; Williams, R. M.; Bethea, C. G.; Unterrainer, K.; Hwang, H. Y.; Sivco, D. L.; Cho, A. Y.; Sergent, A. M.; Liu, H.; Whittaker, E. (2002). Quantum cascade lasers: Ultrahigh-speed operation, optical wireless communication, narrow linewidth, and far-infrared emission. IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics (6 ed., vol. 38, pp. 511-532).
  21. Martini, R.; Bethea, C.; Capasso, F.; Gmachl, C.; Paiella, R.; Whittaker, E.; Hwang, H. Y.; Sivco, D. L.; Baillargeon, J. N.; Cho, A. Y. (2002). Free-space optical transmission of multimedia satellite data streams using mid-infrared quantum cascade lasers. Electronics Letters (4 ed., vol. 38, pp. 181-183).
  22. Gmachl, C.; Ng, H. M.; Paiella, R.; Martini, R.; Hwang, H. Y.; Sivco, D. L.; Capasso, F.; Cho, A. Y.; Frolov, S. V.; George Chu, S. N.; Liu, H. (2002). Recent results in quantum cascade lasers and intersubband transitions in GaN/AlGaN multiple quantum wells. Physica E: Low-Dimensional Systems and Nanostructures (2-4 ed., vol. 13, pp. 823-828).
  23. Paiella, R.; Martini, R.; Capasso, F.; Gmachl, C.; Hwang, H. Y.; Sivco, D. L.; Baillargeon, J. N.; Cho, A. Y.; Whittaker, E.; Liu, H. (2001). High-frequency modulation without the relaxation oscillation resonance in quantum cascade lasers. Applied Physics Letters (16 ed., vol. 79, pp. 2526-2528).
  24. Martini, R.; Paiella, R.; Gmachl, C.; Capasso, F.; Whittaker, E.; Liu, H.; Hwang, H. Y.; Sivco, D. L.; Baillargeon, J. N.; Cho, A. Y. (2001). High-speed digital data transmission using mid-infrared quantum cascade lasers. Electronics Letters (21 ed., vol. 37, pp. 1290-1292).
  25. Martini, R.; Gmachi, C.; Tredicucci, A.; Capasso, F.; Hutchinson, A. L.; Sivco, D. L.; Cho, A. Y.; Whittaker, E. (2001). High duty cycle operation of quantum cascade lasers based on graded superlattice active regions. Journal of Applied Physics (12 ed., vol. 89, pp. 7735-7738).
  26. Martini, R.; Gmachl, C.; Falciglia, J.; Curti, F. G.; Bethea, C. G.; Capasso, F.; Whittaker, E.; Paiella, R.; Tredicucci, A.; Hutchinson, A. L.; Sivco, D. L.; Cho, A. Y. (2001). High-speed modulation and free-space optical audio/video transmission using quantum cascade lasers. Electronics Letters (3 ed., vol. 37, pp. 191-193).
Courses

Educational activities of Dr. Martini include:
- Conception and development of two Physics centered courses for science teachers: a Graduate level course for Middle school teachers and a cross-curriculum course for teachers from all levels (K-12) focused on misconceptions in science.
- serving for 7 years as a member of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and 8 years as a member of the Graduate Curriculum Committee of Stevens Institute of Technology.
- Conception and development of “Teaching Assistants Seminar”, a seminar required for each graduate student at Stevens working in the function as a Teaching Assistant.
- Conception and teaching of a six-term long project based laboratory course required for all Physics undergraduate students.
- Advisor of > 20 graduate students during their PhD research (14 students received PhD thus far) as well as over 25 undergraduate students in multiple Senior and research projects at SIT.

During his time at Stevens Dr. Martini has taught the following courses ((*) denotes courses that were either newly created or completely redesigned):
PEP 123 Physics for Business & Technology I (*)
PEP 124 Physics for Business & Technology II (*)
PEP 209 Modern Optics
PEP 242 Modern Physics
PEP 297 SKIL I (*)
PEP 298 SKIL II (*)
PEP 322 Engineering Design VI (*)
PEP 397 SKIL III (*)
PEP 398 SKIL IV (*)
PEP 423 Engineering Design VII (*)
PEP 424 Engineering Design VIII (*)
PEP 443 Modern Physics Laboratory I
PEP 444 Modern Physics Laboratory II
PEP 497 SKIL V (*)
PEP 498 SKIL VI (*)
PEP 501 Fundamentals of Atomic Physics (*)
PEP 509 Intermediate Waves and Optics
PEP 510 Modern Optics Lab
PEP 515 Photonics I
PEP 516 Photonics II
PEP 680 Quantum Optics
PEP 700 Quantum Electron Physics and Technology Seminar
PEP 801 Special Topics in Physics (PhD)