CHRISTOPHER M. LAWSON
Professor, Department of Physics
Director, Alabama Experimental Program to Stimulate Competive
Center for Optical Sensors and Spectroscopies (COSS)
of Alabama/Birmingham (UAB)
PHONE: (205) 975-5059, E-Mail: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org, WEB: http://www.phy.uab.edu/~lawson/
Nonlinear Optics and Optical Sensing/Imaging
In nonlinear optics, Dr. Lawson’s research interests
are directed toward the development and characterization of nonlinear optical
(NLO) materials for optical switching and power limiting applications using
wavelength tunable Z-scan, degenerate four wave mixing (DFWM), power limiting
spectroscopy, and flash photolysis. The
focus of this work is to study the relationship between excited state
absorption, linear absorption and molecular structure in metal organics using
computational modeling supported by a full suite of experimental measurements.
His group has demonstrated that unsymmetrical phosphine-substituted bithiophenes exhibit the highest solubility and best blue sensor protection of any material
that has been studied in the literature to date. As part of this
research, his group has recently developed methods for functionalizing unsymmetrical phosphine-substituted bithiophenes, that will allow it to be incorporated into polymer films
and attached to nanoparticles.
In addition, Dr.
Lawson is also currently investigating a new class of symmetric and asymmetric oligothiophenes for blue organic light emitting diodes
(LED’s) that might be used in flat panel displays. These compounds exhibit
strong fluorescence, and can be attached to polymers for use in applications
needing thin films. The UAB Research Foundation has submitted a provisional
patent application to the US Patent office for this work.
Duties / Links:
is a consortium of academic, government and industry organizations established
in 1985. Seven Ph.D. granting
institutions constitute the EPSCoR program in Alabama
include: Alabama A&M University,
Auburn University, Tuskegee University,
University of Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of
Alabama in Huntsville, and the University of South Alabama. The primary goal of the consortium is to
establish the infrastructure, capacity and capability needed to increase
sustained national science and technology research competitiveness.
· Alabama’s investment in the ALEPSCoR
program (averaging 470K/year since 2006) has led to $ 24M in new federal awards
in calendar year 2008 being brought into the state. These new awards include:
· A new NSF Research Infrastructure Improvement
Cooperative Agreement was awarded in September 2008 for a total of $ 15 million
for five years;
· A total of $6.5 M in new Co-funding awards ($3.2 M in direct
NSF EPSCoR Co-funding, supplemented by $ 3.3 M in NSF
· Two new DoE EPSCoR federal-state partnership awards for a total of $
· Six new NASA Seed Grant RID (Research Infrastructure
Development) totaling $ 180K; and
Three new USDA EPSCoR
projects totaling $1.5. Click the link for more information.
- Director, UAB Center for Optical Sensors and Spectroscopies
(COSS) (click the link for more information on
- The purpose of the
Multi-Institutional “Center for Optical Sensors and Spectroscopies”
is to develop laser and fiber optic spectroscopic sensors for detection
of explosives and chemical and biological toxins. These sensors for toxins could have important
environmental monitoring applications to help improve the safety and
quality of local ground water supplies.
More importantly, when incorporated in airport screening systems,
such optical sensors for explosives and chemical and biological toxins could
have important Counter-Terrorism applications to help prevent import of
explosives and dangerous chemical and biological agents.
teaches a two semester undergraduate College Physics sequence and
also teaches an Applications of Optics graduate/undergraduate
- Class Lecture Notes. (PH201/202)
- “Nonlinear Optical Absorption and
Fluorescence of Phosphine-Substituted Bithiophenes in the Violet-Blue Spectral Region”, J. Wang,
C. Lawson, Q. Zhao, and G. Gray, Optics Communications, Vol. 284,
pp. 3090-3094 (2011).
and Optical, Fluorescence and Nonlinear Optical Characterization of Phosphine-Substituted Terthiophenes”, Q.
Zhao, J. Wang, J. Freeman, M. Murphy-Jolly, A. Wright, D. Scardino, N. Hammer, C. Lawson, and G. Gray, Inorganic Chemistry, Vol.
50, pp. 2015-2027 (2011).
- “Syntheses, Crystal Structures and Photophysical Measurements of Phosphite-Substituted
Schiff Base and Azobenzene Ligands”, M. Murphy-Jolly, S. Owens Jr., J. Freeman, G. Gray, C. Lawson, and David P.
Shelton, European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, Vol
2010, Vol. 33, pp. 5263-5271
Characterizations and X-ray Crystal Structures of 5,5’-Bis(Diphenylphosphino)2,2’-bithiophene Derivatives, Ph2(X)P(C4H2S)2P(X)Ph2
(X = O, S and CH3+
I-)”, Q. Zhao,
S. B. Owens Jr., G. M. Gray, J. Wang and C. M. Lawson,” Main Group
Chemistry Vol. 6, 2150229
- “Synthesis and Characterization of Transition
Metal Systems Containing Phosphino-Oligothiophene
Ligands for Nonlinear Optical Materials”, D. Myrex,
G. Gray, A. VanEngen Spivey, C. Lawson, Organometallics Vol. 25, pp. 5045-5050 (2006).
- “Higher-Order Triplet-Triplet
Interaction in Energy-Level Modeling of Excited-State Absorption for an
Expanded Porphyrin Cadmium Complex”, M. McKerns, W. Sun, C. Lawson, and G. Gray, Journal of
the Optical Society of America B, Vol. 22, pp. 852-861 (2005).
- “Amplification of narrow line LiF:F2+**
color center laser oscillation”,
VanEngen Spivey, V. Fedorov, M. McKerns, C. Lawson, and S. Mirov, Optics
Communications, Vol. 254, pp. 290-298 (2005).
- “Synthesis, X-ray Crystal Structures and Linear
and Nonlinear Optical Characterization of a Series of Nickel(II) and
Copper(II) Salicylaldiminato Complexes”, M. Floyd, G. Gray, A. VanEngen
Spivey, C. Lawson, T. Pritchett, M. Ferry, R. Hoffman, and A. Mott, Inorganica Chimica Acta, Vol. 358, pp. 3773-3785 (2005).
- “Excited State Lifetime and Intersystem Crossing
Rate of Asymmetric Pentaazadentate Porphyrin-Like Metal Complexes”, C. Byeon, M. McKerns,
W. Sun, T. Nordlund, C. Lawson, and G. Gray, “Applied Physics Letters Vol.
84, pp. 5174-5176 (2004).
Four-Wave Mixing and Z-Scan Measurements of Stilbazolium
Derivatives”, W. Sun, C. Lawson,
G. Gray, C. Zhan, D. Wang, Applied Physics Letters Vol. 78, pp.
Nonlinear Optical Properties of an Expanded Porphyrin
Cadmium Complex”, W. Sun, C.
Byeon, C. Lawson, G. Gray, D. Wang, Applied Physics Letters Vol. 77,
pp. 1759-1761 (2000).
Order Nonlinearity and Optical Limiting of Dichloromethane Solutions of cis-Mo(CO)4(PPh3)2”, W. Sun, C. Lawson, and G. Gray, Optics
Communications Vol. 180, pp. 361-366 (2000).
Yeates, K. Belfield, F. Kajzar,
and C. Lawson (Co-Editors), Nonlinear Optical Transmission and Multiphoton Processes in Organics, published
by International Society for Optical Engineering, Bellingham, Washington,
SPIE Vol. 5211, 148 pages
- Coherence Gated Holograms,
D. Brown and C. Lawson, in Holography for the New Millennium,
H.J. Caulfield, J.E. Ludman, and J.R. Riccobono eds., Springer-Verlag
New York, Inc., New York, NY, pp. 101-119 (2002), ISBN 0-387-95334-5.
- Multiphoton Absorption and Nonlinear Transmission Processes:
Materials, Theory, and Applications, K.
Belfield, S. Caracci, F. Kajzar,
C. Lawson, and A. Yeates (Co-Editors), SPIE Vol.
4797, 320 pages (2002).
- Nonlinear Optical Transmission Processes and Organic
Photorefractive Materials, C.
Lawson and K. Meerholz (Co-Editors), published
by the International Society for Optical Engineering, Bellingham,
Washington, SPIE Vol. 4462, 228 pages (2001).
- Linear, Nonlinear, and Power Limiting Organics, CM. Eich, M. Kuzyk, and C. Lawson, (Co-Editors), International
Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), Bellingham, Washington,
SPIE Vol. 4106, 418 pages (2000).
- Power Limiting Materials and Devices, C.M. Lawson (Editor),
published by International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), Bellingham, Washington,
SPIE Vol. 3798, 178 pages (1999).
- Nonlinear Optical Liquids for Power Limiting and Imaging, C.M. Lawson (Editor), published by International
Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), Bellingham, Washington, SPIE Vol. 3472,
180 pages (1998).
- Structure-Property Relationships In Transition Metal-Organic Third-Order
Nonlinear Optical Materials, G.
Gray and C. Lawson, pp. 1-27, Chapter I of Opto-Electronic
Properties of Inorganic Compounds, edited by M. Roundhill & J. Fackler
(Plenum Publishing Co., N.Y., N.Y., 1998).
- Nonlinear Optical Liquids and Power Limiters, C.M. Lawson (Editor), published by International
Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), Bellingham, Washington, SPIE Vol. 3146,
188 pages (1997).
- Nonlinear Optical Liquids, C.M. Lawson (Editor), published by International Society for
Optical Engineering (SPIE), Bellingham, Washington, SPIE Vol. 2853,
210 pages (1996).