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Christopher Middlebrook

Prof. Christopher  Middlebrook

Associate Professor
Michigan Technological University

Electrical and Computer Engineering
121 EERC Bldg
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton MI 49931
United States

tel: (906) 487 1622
fax: (906) 487 2949
E-mail: ctmiddle@mtu.edu
Web: http://www.mtu.edu/ece/department/faculty/full-time/middlebrook/

Area of Expertise

Integrated photonic devices, microwave photonics, optical material characterization, visible and infrared imaging systems, optical remote sensing system design, and laser projection systems


Christopher Middlebrook is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan Technological University. He received a Ph.D. in optics from University of Central Florida in 2007. He has received the HKN Outstanding Electrical Engineering Professor of the Year Award and the Michigan Tech Graduate Faculty Mentor Award in 2010/2011. He has received research funding from various entities including industry, DoD, and the state of Michigan. Previously he was employed by the Night Vision Electro-Optics Department at NSWC Crane working with thermal Imaging systems and Laser designators. Dr. Middlebrook is a Member of the SPIE and OSA and serves as advisor to the Mich. Tech. SPIE chapter

Lecture Title(s)

Embedded and integrated passive waveguides and active integrated optical devices

Digital transmission rates for chip-to-chip and board-to-board communications continue to increase as signal processing demands grow. These new signal processing capabilities are aided by the increasing amount of processing power available from transistors contained within integrated processors. Higher digital transmission rates require higher bandwidths than what is achievable by currently used electronic strip lines. The bandwidth of an electrical strip line is determined by the aspect ratio, the length divided by the square root of the cross sectional area, and cannot be changed by miniaturizing the device or making it larger. Optical interconnects do not have aspect ratio limits and can subsequently achieve much higher bandwidths. In addition, optical interconnects do not experience frequency loss dependence and do not exhibit crosstalk between closely spaced signal lines. Use of the optical waveguides as interconnects allow for routing techniques that are not possible with electrical transmission lines, such as direct communication line crossing with little to no interference. These benefits, along with the high-bandwidth capabilities at telecommunication wavelengths, allow optical waveguides to serve as the next step for high frequency communication within printed circuit boards. The program will focus on researching novel methods and implementation of embedding active and passive wave-guiding devices and control structures into printed circuit board applications that interface with on-board chip-level components. Discussion includes ongoing research into optical coupling and interconnect methods as well as the electro-optic and acousto-optic effect in polymers applied to the implementation in embedded optical waveguide devices within in printed circuit boards or single flex layers (shuffle boards).


Highly Linear Dual Ring Resonator for Microwave Photonic Links

A highly linear dual ring resonator modulator design is demonstrated to provide high spur-free dynamic range (SFDR) in a wide bandwidth. Harmonic and intermodulation distortions are theoretically analyzed in a single ring resonator modulator with Lorenztian-shape transfer function and a strategy is proposed to enhance the linearity of the single ring resonator design for wide bandwidth applications by utilizing dual ring resonator modulators. Third order intermodulation distortion is suppressed in a frequency independent process with proper splitting ratio of optical and RF power and optimum dc biasing of the ring resonators. The proposed structure shows the ability to obtain SFDR more than 130 dB at 1Hz microwave operating frequency while keeping the SFDR>125 dB up to 5 GHz bandwidth.


Careers in Optics, Photonics, and Engineering; Graduate School vs. Industry

I will talk about various options including both industrial and graduate school that available to engineering/science students pursuing degrees with an emphasis in the areas of optics and photonics. From the industrial perspective how you can market yourself to employers showcasing your core engineering science background while also promoting your specialization in optics and photonics. In terms of graduate school what are the key steps in identifying and gaining admission a to university and program that best suits your personal and research interests. The two paths graduate school vs. industry will be contrasted with a discussion on pursuing both concurrently.

2019 Salary Report

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