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Paul Leisher

Associate Professor of Physics and Optical Engineering

Dr. Paul Leisher’s areas of expertise and research cover the various aspects of laser physics. He recently received a $500,000 grant from NASA to design and test semiconductor lasers that will help develop high-speed, free-space optical communication systems. Dr. Leisher has served as principal investigator/technical lead on more than 40 government- and industry-funded research and development programs, assisted by more than $14 million in funding from external sources. Undergraduate and graduate students have been involved in all of these projects. Prior to joining Rose-Hulman, Dr. Leisher led the advanced technology group at nLight Inc., concentrating on research and development projects.

Teaching Interests

  • Introductory physics
  • Semiconductor physics
  • Laser physics
  • Geometrical optics
  • Optical design
  • Capstone design

Research Experiences

  • Semiconductor lasers
  • Photonic devices

Select Publications & Presentations

  • Leisher, P. O., Thomas, J., Campbell, J., Gonzalez, I., Renner, D., Johansson, L. and Mashanovitch, M., “Watt-Class 1550 nm Tapered Lasers with 45% Wallplug Efficiency for Free-Space Optical Communication,” 25th International Semiconductor Laser Conference, Kobe, Japan, 2016
  • Leisher, P. O., Granieri, S. C., Bunch, R. M., Siahmakoun, A. and Joenathan, C. H., “Curriculum Revisions for Meeting the New ABET Program-Specific Criteria in Optical Engineering,” 13th Education and Training in Optics and Photonics Conference, Bordeaux, France, 2015
  • Fennig, E.A., Leisher, P.O., Ragaunathan, G. and Choquette, K. D., “Sensitivity Analysis and Characterization of Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers for Directed Energy Applications,” DEPS Journal of Directed Energy, Vol. 5, No. 2, 175-180, 2014
  • Sills, A.C., West, G. N., Fennig, E. A., Grimshaw, M. P., Johnson, M. T., Choquette, K. D. and Leisher, P. O., “In-Phase Coherently-Coupled Optically-Pumped VECSEL Arrays,” IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, Vol. 26, No. 5, 430-432, 2014
  • Hao, T. Song, J. and Leisher, P.O., “Rate-Equation Analysis of Longitudinal Spatial Hole Burning in High-Power Semiconductor Lasers,” International Society for Optics and Photonics’ Photonics Europe, Vol. 9134, Brussels, Belgium, 2014
  • Leisher, P., Hamilton, C., Saldivar, C., Munroe, M., Fanning, G. Bell, J., Dong, W., Zhang, S., Grimshaw, M., DeVito, M., Small, J., Reynolds, M., Brown, A., Bruce, K., Kennedy, K., Martinsen, R. and Haden, J., “High-Brightness, Narrow-Linewidth 1532.5 nm Laser Diode Modules For In-Band Pumping of Er:YAG,” 24th Annual Solid State and Diode Laser Technology Review, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2011
  • Leisher, P. O. Dong , W., Grimshaw , M. P., DeFranza , M. J., Dubinskii, M. A. and Patterson, S., “Mitigation of Voltage Defect for High Efficiency InP Diode Lasers Operating at Cryogenic Temperatures,” IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, Vol. 22, No. 24, 1,829-1,832, 2010
  • Chen, C., Leisher, P., Patterson, S., Crump, P., Kim, Y. K. and Choquette, K., “Stabilization of Lateral Mode Transients in High-Power Broad Area Semiconductor Lasers,” Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 94, 011107, 2009
  • Leisher, P., Price, K., Karlsen, S., Balsley, D., Martinsen, R. and Patterson, S., “High-Performance Wavelength-Locked Diode Lasers,” International Society for Optics and Photonics’ Photonics West, Vol. 7198, San Jose, California, 2009
  • Leisher, P. O., Danner, A. J., Raftery, Jr., J. J., Siriani, D. F. and Choquette, K. D., “Loss and Index Guiding in Single Mode Proton-Implanted Holey Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers,” IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics, Vol. 42, No. 10, 1,091-1,096, 2006

Awards & Honors

  • Senior Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Senior Member, International Society for Optics and Photonics
  • Nick Holonyak, Jr. Award, University of Illinois, 2007

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, University of Illinois, Electrical and Computer Engineering, 2007
  • MS, University of Illinois, Electrical and Computer Engineering, 2004
  • BS, Bradley University, Electrical Engineering, 2002