Dr. Kyle Kafka receives Alexander Glass Award

At the recently concluded 49th SPIE Laser Damage, Boulder, CO, Dr. Kafka received the prestigious Alexander Glass Best Oral Presentation Award for the 2016 SPIE Laser Damage Conference, for his PhD research in Chowdhury group on few cycle pulse laser damage of optics, which uncovered a strange, intensity and polarization dependent damage quenching behavior in ultra-broadband Chirped mirrors.   He currently is a Research Scientist at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester, NY.

Dr. Drake Austin Joins Agostini-DiMauro group for Postdoctoral Research

Recent graduate (August 2017) from Chowdhury Group, Dr. Drake Austin joins Agostini-DiMauro Group for postdoctoral research on strong field laser matter interaction. His Dissertation was titled “Semiconductor Surface
Modification using Mid-Infrared,
Femtosecond Laser Pulses” in which he presented his pioneering experimental and theoretical research on strong field mid-IR laser solid interaction.  More publications are under way from his efforts.

Recent Graduate Dr. Kyle Kafka accepts Research Staff position at Laboratory for Laser Energetics

Dr. Kyle Kafka, who recently obtained his PhD from Chowdhury group in 2017, accepted a Research Associate position at the prestigious Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE), Rochester, USA. LLE, home of the OMEGA and OMEGA EP laser facilities, is a National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA-DOE) supported laboratory, and is known as one of the top high energy density physics (HEDP), and Ultra-intense laser physics and technology laboratories in the world. Dr. Kafka will closely work with the Optical Materials Technology and Laser Technology groups, helping develop next generation lasers like MTW OPAL (Multi-TeraWatt Optical Parametric Amplifier Laser system) and one hundred petawatt EP-OPAL.

Graduate student Kyle Kafka wins Best Oral Presentation Award at SPIE Laser Damage 2016

kafka_krp2The oral presentation of Kyle R. P. Kafka from Chowdhury Group titled, “Few-cycle pulse laser-induced damage of thin films in air and vacuum ambience” has been selected as the best oral presentation at the 48th Boulder Laser Damage Symposium ( For more info, follow link:

Chowdhury Lab sets the standard for the highest damage threshold ultra-fast optics in the world

Femtosecond Solid Dynamics Lab of Prof. Chowdhury has participated in the world-wide Thin Film Laser damage competition at the 48th Boulder Laser Damage Symposium (world’s longest running laser conference) as the official Damage Testing Facility for 2015 and 2016.  They worked with the Laser Damage group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to set the protocol and analysis for testing the most advanced high damage threshold broad-band dielectric reflective coatings for high power laser applications available in the world, to be used in next generation billion dollar laser facilities like the European Extreme Light Infrastructure, or ELI ( three facilities:,, pushing physics frontiers of nonlinear QED, atto-second science and nuclear physics. This year, 19 different companies/research facilities from three continents sent 42 of their most advanced samples to be tested in the competition. The result and winning ultra-fast high reflector of the competition was announced at the Boulder Damage Symposium last week (25th-28th September, 2016). More information about this work can be found in and

This work was partially supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. 


Fig. PI-chart of the breakdown of the Laser Damage Competition participants by country around the world

Femtosolid lab wins IMR seed grant to study surfaces in atomic spatial and femtosecond time resolution

Prof. Chowdhury, in collaboration with Prof. Jay Gupta, won one of the three of this year’s Institute of Material Research (IMR) team building seed grant awards, to study intense field interaction of single atomic defect states on solid surfaces with atomic spatial and femtosecond temporal resolution with the help of a Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) coupled to a portable femtosecond laser.  More information on IMR seed program is found here.

Femto-solid Lab part of a $12.5 million AFOSR MURI program

3rd mark from end Ge Mid IR damage single shot
SEM scan of damage to germanium surface from a single shot MID IR femtosecond laser pulse

Prof. Chowdhury’s Lab is part of AFOSR MURI (Multi-disciplinary Univeristy Research Initiative) program headed by Prof. Dimauro of OSU Physics. The Program focuses on probing intense field light matter interaction in Mid-IR frequencies. Femto-solid lab will primarily study how femtosecond pulses in Mid-IR wavelengths causes damage to solids. For more information, please follow the link.

Femto-solid laboratory performs laser damage testing of mirrors for ELI HAPLS project

HAPLS laser LLNL ELI Beamline Czec Republic Artist Rendition




(Left) LLNL $45 million HAPLS laser developed for ELI Beamline, > 1PW, 30 fs, 10 Hz.

(Right) Artist rendition of ELI beamline in Czec Republic, EU 350 million facility being constructed

  • Chowdhury Lab was contracted recently by LLNL to perform broad band laser damage testing for the mirrors for this laser
  • The test has been completed in 2014, and based on the test results, vendors for HAPLS mirrors will be chosen
  • Strong interest in future ultra-broad band vacuum Laser Damage Threshold for the same project, new contract under way


OSU Junior Evan Lang wins Outstanding Scholar Award

Undergrad Evan Lang (Adviser: Enam Chowdhury) worked at the Air Force Research Laboratory for Directed Energy in Kirtland Air Force Base in Summer 2014 as an AFRL fellow ( For his outstanding contribution to the Project, he received the Outstanding Scholar Award for undergraduate fellows in Directed Energy at the end of his term there.

Last week, he presented his work at the Directed Energy Ultra Short Pulse workshop 2014 at Boulder, CO.

Evan wins DE Outstanding Scholar Award 2014

He describes his research below:

Over the summer I spent 10 weeks of my time in Albuquerque New Mexico working with the US Air Force Directed Energy Directorate. Here I received the amazing opportunity of carrying out my own project. I was looking at the interaction effects of ultrashort laser pulses in the Mid-Infrared spectrum around 2.5 microns. The experiment used low band gap semiconductor targets and investigated many aspects of the interaction with Mid-IR compared to NIR at 800nm.
While I was there I always set out to complete my experiments and help others in the lab at any time. I worked past the time to leave and came in on days off. I also worked with my mentors to enhance the lab safety program to increase safety and efficiency in the lab. These aspects are what lead to the award I received near the end of the internship. This award was the outstanding scholars award. 4 were given out. One for grad students in space and one for directed energy, and one for undergrads in space and one in Directed Energy
I really enjoyed my time at Kirtland air force base and in New Mexico. I look forward to applying again for next summer.