The IUSL was established in 1982 with strong support from the administration of the City College of New York (CCNY) to serve as a steeple of excellence for research and education in modern laser optics and spectroscopy. From its very inception, the IUSL has attracted faculty members, senior research scientists, postdoctoral research associates and visiting scholars from around the globe, as well as graduate and undergraduate students from the Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering departments of CCNY. Basic and applied research in the areas of laser imaging and medical diagnosis, tunable solid-state lasers and amplifiers, semiconductors, organic-inorganic hybrid nanoscale materials, terahertz spectroscopy, bacteria detection, and nonlinear optics are currently being pursued. Including research and support staff, the IUSL personnel now totals 52. The core facilities of the IUSL are located in the Marshak Science Building of CCNY.
The missions of the IUSL:
- within its Discipline are to carry out basic and applied research in the frontiers of photonic science and technology (biophotonics, mediphotonics, optical and laser physics, and solid-state physics); to help develop a skilled workforce for the academic and industrial sectors by providing unique educational and training opportunities for students and researchers; to transfer photonic technology to the commercial marketplace for economic development; and to identify and develop emerging technology areas;
- within the College/University are to provide the core for major photonic initiatives (such as the New York State Center for Advanced Technology, and the Center for Optical Sensing and Imaging); and to establish joint educational programs (such as a major, a minor, a M.S. and a Ph.D. program in photonics) with Departments within the Science Division and Engineering School;
- within the Division of Science is to maintain and advance the current research and education programs in biophotonics, mediphotonics, optical and laser physics, and solid state physics; to provide students and researchers hands-on training using state-of-the-art equipment to produce a highly skilled workforce;
- within Itself are to bring together dedicated personnel with broad expertise, provide state-of-the-art instrumentation and technical leadership to tackle the targeted photonic research challenges.