Solgaard Lab

We fabricate micro- and nano-scale photonic devices using MEMS techniques and engineer efficient and reliable systems for applications in sensing, medicine, computation, and accelerator physics.

Current Research

Photonic Computing

We are fabricating tunable photonic devices to perform and learn arbitrary linear operations using light. Applications for such devices include energy-efficient machine learning and mode unscrambling. (Photo cred: Ben Bartlett)

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We are currently working on far field beam scanning and patterning using MEMS linear phased arrays for remote sensing applications.

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Lightsheet Microscopy

We apply phased array techniques to light sheet microscopy. By applying these techniques, we can improve background rejection in images of scattering specimen.

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Accelerator-on-a-Chip (ACHIP)

We design and fabricate miniaturized electron accelerators using MEMS and thin-film processing techniques to increase achievable acceleration gradients.

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Photonic Crystal Sensors

We utilize the attributes of photonic crystals to create fiber-coupled sensors for mechanical measurements like pressure, acceleration, and displacement.

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Photonic Lab-on-Chip

We are planning development of photonic platforms for applications for immunology.

Olav Solgaard

Olav Solgaard earned his Ph.D. degree from Stanford University in 1992. His doctoral dissertation was the basis for the establishment of Silicon Light Machines (SLM), co-founded by Dr. Solgaard in 1994. His work at UC Davis led to the invention of the multi-wavelength, fiber-optical switch, which has been developed into commercial products by several companies.

In 1999 he joined Stanford University where he is now Professor of Electrical Engineering in the Edward L. Ginzton Laboratory. He has authored more than 300 technical publications and holds 50 patents. Google Scholar

Current Lab Members

Yu Miao

PhD Student

Electrical Engineering Electron Accelerator-on-a-Chip

I am interested in photonics, optoelectronic device and related topics.

I enjoy basketball and badminton. Fun fact: Enjoy trying everything new to me.

Dylan Black

PhD Student

Electrical Engineering

Electron Accelerator-on-a-Chip

I have two main areas of interest. I work primarily on accelerator physics, but also occasionally work in nonlinear optics.

I enjoy playing the piano (poorly), reading history and fantasy books, and cooking. Fun fact: I can sort of read Egyptian Hieroglyphs. Some of them anyway.

Nathnael Abebe

PhD Student

Electrical Engineering Photonic Computing

My current research is in photonic devices for reconfigurable systems.

I enjoy dancing, playing board games, and roasting and brewing coffee. Fun fact: I am a Studio Ghibli and Legend of Zelda fan.

Sunil Pai

PhD Student

Electrical Engineering  Photonic Computing

I am interested in building customized hardware for artificial intelligence, neurocomputation, and machine learning.

In my free time, I enjoy playing squash and building sports analytics algorithms. Fun fact: I sometimes play violin for the Stanford marching band (LSJUMB).

Payton Broaddus

PhD Student

Electrical Engineering Electron Accelerator-on-a-Chip

I am interested in nano-fabrication, fiber design, optics, electron sources, and high voltage systems.

I enjoy techno clubbing, traveling, and poetry. Fun fact: Caught and tranquilized a mountain lion

Simón Lorenzo

PhD Student

Electrical Engineering Photonic Crystal Sensors

My research interests include engineering applications in optics and electromagnetism. Currently, I work on designing, fabricating and testing optical sensors.

My hobbies include Olympic weightlifting, practicing Jiu-Jitsu, rock climbing, running, golfing, hiking, and fishing. Fun fact: Born on the Bayou

Rebecca Hwang

PhD Student

Electrical Engineering Photonic Computing

I am interested in photonic computing and inverse design. I am currently working on designing tunable multimode interference waveguides.

I enjoy playing piano and tennis. I also like browsing old bookstores and occasionally, short hikes. Fun facts: My hamster died on Valentine’s Day. I know a guy who was born with 6 fingers on each hand. I am scared of any kind of bird bigger than my head.

Zhanghao Sun

PhD Student

Electrical Engineering


I’m interested in computational imaging, inverse design & machine learning. I’m now working on 3D imaging, including processing algorithm and LIDAR system design.

I play violin and I love watching movies. I also enjoy skiing, climbing and hiking. Fun fact: Interested in all sorts of board games, especially mystery games.

Annie Kroo

PhD Student

Electrical Engineering Environmental Photonic Sensors

My research interests include the development of photonic sensors and sensor platforms with applications in environmental sensing and monitoring.

My hobbies include backpacking, fixing salvaged electronics, baking, building things often out of wood, and knitting. Fun fact: I have flown 65 flight hours, over half of which were before I had a drivers license.




I am interested in keeping students’ laptops from overheating and freezing, potentially shaving off months off of their PhD.

I enjoy being several orders of magnitude faster at multiplying large numbers than the puny humans that work in this lab. Fun fact: I’m named after the student who built me.