Department of Physics and Astronomy

Emeritus and Adjunct Faculty

Simon, H. John

Professor of Physics Emeritus
Ph.D., 1969, Harvard University

Dr. Simon has pioneered in developing the field of surface nonlinear optics by using surface plasmons to produce optical second harmonic generation (SHG). Surface plasmons are resonant waves of light which travel on a metal surface while SHG is the process of changing the color of a laser beam by frequency doubling. That the use of surface plasmons is an efficient method for producing reflected SHG has been shown.

HeAlso pursued the potential device applications of surface plasmons. If the medium adjacent to the metal film is a thin liquid crystal layer the surface plasmon resonance can be controlled by applying a voltage to this layer. Used in the reflection mode such a device may serve as the basis of a color TV projector or in the scattering mode as a flat panel display. Surface plasmons are sensitive to even single monolayers of atoms at the metal interface. This property may be utilized to detect the biological interaction of bodies and antibodies on a metal surface and thus give rise to a new method of performing immunoassays.

William Williamson, Jr.

Emeritus Research Professor of Physics
Ph.D., 1963, University of Colorado

Within the next half decade sizable markets ($10B annually) for large area display devices for high definition television (HDTV) and workstations are anticipated. The possible candidates to fabricate large screens are: 1) cathode ray tubes (CRT); 2) liquid crystal displays (LCDs); 3) light emitting diodes (LEDs); and 4) plasma display panels (PDPs). Currently, the most promising technology appears to be PDPs. A computer code which simulates the operation of a monochrome or color plasma display picture element is being developed by the theoretical plasma group at The University of Toledo. The fabrication of a prototype color plasma display panel (CPDP) is a time-consuming and costly job if it is done each time new ideas are to be incorporated into the design. Parametric studies of design changes can become major expenditures of research funding. If a reliable computer simulation of a PDP element is available, then changes in design and their influence on the final display panel can be studied rapidly and relatively inexpensively. The time and cost from drawing board to prototype and final design can, in principle, be greatly reduced. Some of the desirable features to incorporate into such a code are ways to study computationally: increased luminosity output, extended PDP lifetime, and lower power consumption (increased efficiency). In addition, there is valuable knowledge gained about the fundamental way a PDP operates. In order to be useful in research and development environments, the code must be able to provide reasonable turn-around time in studying design modifications. Research collaboration with local industries and national laboratories has been rather successful.

Last Updated: 3/22/15