LLE Technical Staff that Comprise
the Research Group
Technical Staff
Ph.D. and undergraduate Students
Dr. Steve Jacobs Biographies:

Institute of Optics

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Our research group consists of members of the technical staff at LLE and a cadre of undergraduate and graduate students. Strong collaborative research is ongoing with Prof. Shaw Horng Chen, and Prof. Hitomi Mukaibo in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and Prof. John Lambropoulos, who is affiliated with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Materials Science Program.

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Technical Staff

Ken Marshall Mr. Kenneth Marshall is a research engineer in charge of the Liquid Crystal Materials Group at LLE where he also serves as the chemical safety officer. Mr. Marshall supervises students and staff in a variety of research projects. He is quite active in the LLE Summer High School Program.His student, Rui Wang, was an Intel Science Talent finalist in 2006 for her work on computational chemistry modelling.
  • Electro-Optical Device Applications in Novel Liquid Crystal Systems
  • Phase-Shifting Point-Diffraction Interferometer for Microgravity Fluid Physics (funded by NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH). A process for preparing “structured” substrates (those in which the reference diffracting element are an integral part of the substrate, rather than a separately placed element) by means of photoresist processing was developed for the visible region, and ultimately the IR.
  • Polymer LC Flake Technology and Applications in Electronic Imaging
  • Lyotropic Polysaccharide Liquid Crystal Systems for Optical Applications
  • New Materials: A series of new chiral IR dyes with improved solubility in liquid crystals were isolated and characterized. These new dyes show excellent prospects for applications in sensor protection and telecommunications in addition to inertial confinement fusion (ICF) application areas.

  • Computational Chemistry: Methodologies are being developed for predicting the dielectric anisotropy and birefringence in low molar mass and polymer liquid crystals using semi-empirical computational chemistry. Work initiated in 2001 to calculate properties in polysiloxane and polymethacrylate LC oligomers with 1-3 repeat units was extended to molecular systems with 10-12 repeat units and initial results were obtained.

Recent Patents and Publications:

Kenneth L. Marshall and Eric Glowacki: "Photoswitchable Membrane and Method", US Patent 8,435,333, issued May 7 2013


K. L. Marshall, C. Dorrer, M. Vargas, A. Gnolek, M. Statt, and S.-H. Chen, “Photoaligned Liquid Crystal Devices for High-Peak-Power Laser Applications, (Invited)” Liquid Crystals XVI, edited by I. C. Khoo (SPIE, Bellingham, WA, 2012), Vol. 8475, Paper 84750U.


G. P. Cox, C. A. Fromen, K. L. Marshall and S. D. Jacobs, "PCLC flake-based apparatus and method,", U. S. Patent # 8,293,135 (issued 10/27/2012).


C. Dorrer, S. K.-H. Wei, P. Leung, M. Vargas, K. Wegman, J. Boulé, Z. Zhao, K. L. Marshall, and S. H. Chen, “High-Damage-Threshold Static Laser Beam Shaping Using Optically Patterned Liquid-Crystal Devices,” Opt. Lett. 36 (20), 4035–4037 (2011).


E. Glowacki, K. L. Marshall, C. W. Tang, and N. S. Sariciftci, “Doping of Organic Semiconductors Induced by Lithium Fluoride/Aluminum Electrodes Studied by Electron Spin Resonance and Infrared Reflection-Absorption Spectroscopy,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 99 (4), 043305 (2011).


K. L. Marshall, S. K.-H. Wei, M. Vargas, K. Wegman, C. Dorrer, P. Leung, J. Boulé III, Z. Zhao, and S. H. Chen, “Liquid Crystal Beam-Shaping Devices Employing Patterned Photoalignment Layers for High-Peak-Power Laser Applications” (Invited Paper), in Liquid Crystals XV, edited by I. C. Khoo (SPIE, Bellingham, WA, 2011), Vol. 8114, Paper 81140P.


Beetle Picture


The Exocuticles of Beetles Contain Layers of Chitin,
a Naturally Occurring Polysaccaride that Possesses a Cholesteric Liquid Crystal Structure

Jewel Scarab Beetle

-National Geographic



Dr. Katsuhiro Mikami is a visiting Research Associate in the laser damage testing group, funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. He joins us for a one year stay (9/13-8/14) at LLE, after receiving a Ph.D from the Graduate School of Engineering of Osaka University. He worked under Prof. K. A.Tanaka and Prof. T. Jitsuno in the Institute of Laser Engineering. The title of Dr. Mikami's dissertation was "Temperature dependence of laser-induced damage for optical materials". He will be contributing to our efforts to automate portions of our laser damage testing process. Dr. Mikami will also help us to better understand the role of environment in testing multilayer dielectric thin film coatings.


Semyon Papernov

Dr. Semyon Papernov is a Scientist at LLE. He is responsible for operating the 1-ns, long pulse laser damage testing facility at LLE. He is also the principal operator of the Digital Instruments Nanoscope III Atomic Force Microscope in the Metrology Laboratory. For the past several years, Dr. Papernov has organized and taught a course in AFM theory and techniques to graduate students in Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering. He is member of the International Program Committee for the Boulder Damage Symposium.

Mr. Alexei Kozlov is a research engineer in the Laser Damage Group at LLE. . He leads the short pulse 700-fs to 10-ps testing program, primarily at 1054 nm, in support of research to improve the performance of multilayer optical thin film coatings and diffractive optics. Recently he has been involved in setting up to test parts in both air and in vacuum, to understand the statistical variations in laser damage resistance caused by the extraction of water vapor from coatings


Ms. Brittany Taylor is an LLE Laboratory Engineer. She works with Mr. Kozlov in short pulse damage testing, and she assists Dr. Jacobs on a variety of other group projects. These include multilayer dielectric thin film grating cleaning processes, and the development of new devices for laser beam polarization control. Ms. Taylor is responsible for operation and training on our differential interference contrast microscopes.


Recenty Ms. Taylor became responsible for the acquisition, installation and operation of a Hinds Instruments Mueller Matrix Polarimeter.The device operates in the UV at 355-nm, and can map parts as large as 0.42-m by 0.42-m. The image on the left shows and optical rotatory power map for a series of LH and RH synthetic crystal quartz plates, stacked on each other. The scan size is ~75-mm by 75-mm, the scan resolution was set to 0.5-mm, and image acquisition took 40 h.


Dr. Papernov, Mr.Kozlov, Ms. Taylor, and visiting Research Associate Dr. Katsuhiro Mikami perform laser damage testing in a new, dedicated laboratory facility that was recently constructed.

Laser Damage Testing Facilities:

Conventional Testing Facility, Location: LLE Rm. 184
Status: Operational with high reliability
Description: Frequency-converted, flashlamp-pumped Nd: glass w/ zig-zag slab
l/Pulsewidth: 1w 1054-nm/1 ns; 2w 527-nm/0.8 ns; 3w 351-nm/0.6 ns
Pulse shape: gaussian Rep rate: 8 shots per minute Beam size: 0.6 mm
Methodology: 1-on-1 or N-on-1; damage assessed by dark field microscopy @110x
Applications: 3w/0.6 ns– new HR/AR materials, processes, designs
1w/1.0 ns– high power diffraction grating concepts

Short Pulse Testing Facility, Location: LLE Rm. 184
Status: Operational
Description: Positive Light Inc., Ti:sapphire + glass, chirped–pulse @ 50 mJ
l/Pulsewidth: 1w/ 1054-nm only/0.5 ps to 10 ps; 100 ps possible w/ different compressor
Pulse shape: “gaussian” output from compressor
Rep rate: 0.1 Hz/single shot Beam size: 1 mm
Methodology: 1-on-1, N-on-1, S-on-1; R-on-1, defect targeting; damage assessed by dark field microscopy @110x in air / N2 / vacuum @~10-7 Torr
Applications: HR/AR film designs, beam combiners, off-axis parabolas
Diffraction gratings manufactured by reactive ion etching

Shaped Pulse Testing Facility, Location: LLE Rm. 134
Status: Operational
Description: Nd: glass pumped Large Aperture Ring Amplifier for 30 J
l/Pulsewidth: 1w red/1 ns to 3 ns; 3w blue/1 ns to 3 ns (possibly 4-5 ns)
Pulse shape: “square” and “Haan” Rep rate: 1 shot every 20 minutes
Beam size: 16 mm diameter (2-cm2)
Methodology: 1-on-1 or N-on-1 (with N a small number)
inspection/assessment TBD depending on spot size
Applications: 1w/3 ns or longer square pulse - scaling for red transport: HR’s/AR’s
3w/3 ns or longer square pulse - scaling for blue transport: HR’s/AR’s

Recent Publications:

S. Papernov, “Mechanisms of Near-Ultraviolet, Nanosecond-Pulse Laser Damage in HfO2/SiO2-Based Multilayer Coatings,” Chinese Opt. Lett. 11, S10703-6 (2013).


S. Papernov, E. Shin, T. Murray, A. W. Schmid, and J. B. Oliver, “355-nm Absorption in HfO2 and SiO2 Monolayers with Embedded Hf Nanoclusters Studied Using Photothermal Heterodyne Imaging,” Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2012, edited by G. J. Exarhos, V. E. Gruzdev, J. A. Menapace, D. Ristau, and M. J. Soileau, (SPIE, Bellingham, WA, 2012), Vol. 8530, Paper 85301H.


S. Papernov, A. Tait, W. Bittle, A. W. Schmid, J. B. Oliver, and P. Kupinski, “Near Ultraviolet Absorption and Laser Damage in HfO2 Films Studied Using AFM and Photothermal Heterodyne Imaging With Submicrometer Resolution,” J. Appl. Phys. 109, p. 113106 (2011).


J. B. Oliver, P. Kupinski, A. L. Rigatti, A. W. Schmid, J. C. Lambropoulos, S. Papernov, A. Kozlov, J. Spaulding, D. Sadowski, Z. R. Chrzan, R. D. Hand, D. R. Gibson, I. Brinkley, and F. Placido, “Large-Aperture Plasma-Assisted Deposition of Inertial Confinement Fusion Laser Coatings,” Appl. Opt. 50, C19–C26 (2011).


S. Papernov, A. Tait, W. Bittle, A. W. Schmid, J. B. Oliver, and P. Kupinski, “Submicrometer-Resolution Mapping of Ultraweak 355-nm Absorption in HfO2 Monolayers Using Photothermal Heterodyne Imaging,” in Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2010, edited by G. J. Exarhos, V. E. Gruzdev, J. A. Menapace, D. Ristau, and M. J. Soileau (SPIE, Bellingham, WA, 2010), Vol. 7842, Paper 78420A.


Damage crater



Damage crater produced by 351nm pulse in SiO2 thin film doped with 8nm gold particles.

Alexander Maltsev

Mr. Alexander Maltsev is the supervisor of the LLE Optical Fabrication Shop. As a master optician, he is responsible for carrying out unique manufacturing projects in support of LLE and other University research programs. Mr. Maltsev turns out precision, one-of-a-kind optical elements from specialty glasses and crystals.

Mr. Mike Kaplun is a Lab Tech V working in the LLE Optical Fabrication

Shop. He assists Mr. Maltsev in producing optics for customers and is fully trained to manage the Shop and to operate all equipment in the facility in Mr. Maltsev's absence.

Products produced in The Optical Fabrication Shop include prisms, etalons, and other specially shaped optics. Mr. Maltsev and Mr. Kaplun maintain and operate two large continuous polishing machines used to polish up to 300 mm diameter flats to lambda/20 precision. The Shop also has double sided grinding and polishing machines that are capable of producing large batch quantities of small flats.

Optical Fabrication and Testing Every other spring, Mr. Maltsev teaches the laboratory sessions for Optics 443: Optical Fabrication and Testing, a graduate elective offered through The Institute of Optics. In this course, students learn how to hand-fabricate and test precision optics, starting from a glass block.
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