Robert R. Alfano
Distinguished Professor of the Department of Science
City College and Graduate School, City University of New York
Ph.D., Physics, New York University, 1972
M.S., Physics, Fairleigh Dickinson University 1964
B.S., Physics, Fairleigh Dickinson University, 1963
Alfano has published over 600 articles in refereed journals
and holds 84 patents. He began his professional career as
a research physicist at GTE Research Labs in Bayside, N.Y.
in 1964. He joined City College of New York in 1972 as an
associate professor, and continued to work for GTE as a visiting
scientist until 1974. That same year, Alfano was named director
of the university's Picosecond Laser and Spectroscopy Lab,
and four years later, CUNY named him a full professor of physics.
In 1983, he was promoted to Herbert Kayser Professor of Electrical
Engineering, a position he held until 1987, when he was named
a distinguished professor. Alfano has served as director of
the Institute for Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers since
1982 and director of the New York State Center for Advanced
Technology in Ultrafast Photonics since 1993.
Four organizations have named Alfano a Fellow:
IEEE in 2001, the Optical Society of America in 1989, the
American Physical Society in 1976, and the A.P. Sloan Foundation
in 1974. Other recognitions he has received include the Coherent
Lifetime Achievement Award in Biophotonics from the Coherent
Radiation Corporation in 2002, the 1991 Leonardo DaVinci Award
and the 1983 Outstanding Italian-American Award for Science
from the Italian Heritage and Cultural Committee of New York,
and the Research Corporation Award in 1974.
Alfano is a pioneer in the application of light and photonics
technology to the study of ultrafast laser spectroscopy and
biomedical systems, as well as a leading inventor of novel
light sources. His research has encompassed the study of ultrafast
dynamics of elementary excitations (phonons, spins, carriers,
and excitons) in matter; development of novel light sources
and tunable solid-state lasers; investigation of nonlinear
optical processes; study of photon migration in turbid media;
development of optical imaging techniques for biomedical imaging
and imaging through obscuring media; and optical communications.
His achievements include the discovery of
the ultrafast supercontinuum light source (white-light continuum),
first time-resolved measurement of optical phonon lifetime
in a calcite crystal, invention of tetravalent chromium-based
tunable solid-state lasers, and development of optical biomedical
imaging and spectroscopic diagnostic techniques. Alfano's
innovative application of fluorescence, excitation, and Raman
spectroscopic techniques for distinguishing between normal
and cancerous tissues and between benign and normal tumors
opened up the field of optical biopsy. His seminal contributions
in fundamentals of light propagation in turbid media led to
the development of different gating techniques for sorting
out image bearing photons for direct imaging of structures
within biological tissues.
Alfano introduced the terms ballistic
and snake photons, and is a leader in the development
of novel techniques for sorting out these image-bearing photons
for direct shadowgram imaging. He also leads a major effort
dedicated to the development of 3-D inverse image reconstruction
techniques using a sequence of time-resolved 2-D images for
optical mammography applications.
S.K. Zhang, W.B. Wang, F. Yun, L. He, H. Morkoc, X. Zhou,
M. Tamargo, and R.R. Alfano, "Back-Illuminated Ultraviolet
Photodetector Based on GaN/A/GaN Multiple Quantum Wells,"
Applied Physics Letters, submitted March 2002.
O.Y. Raisky, W.B. Wang, R.R. Alfano, and
C.L. Reynolds, "Carrier Screening Effects in Photoluminescence
Spectra of InGaAsP/InP Multiple Quantum Well Photovoltaic
Structure," Applied Physics Letters, 79,
A.B. Bykov, V. Petricevic, J. Steiner,
D. Yao, L. Isaac, M. Kokta, and R.R. Alfano, "Flux Growth
and Characterization of Cr4:Ca2GeO4 Crystal as a New Near-Infrared
Tunable Laser Material," Journal of Crystal Growth,
P. Sujatha Devi, H.D. Gafrey, V. Petricevic,
R.R. Alfano, D. He, and K.E. Miyano, "Sol-Gel Syntheses
and Spectroscopic Characterization of Chromium-Doped Silicates
and Germanates," Chemistry of Materials, 12,
J. Ali, W. Wang, P. Ho, and R.R. Alfano,
"Detection of Corrosion Beneath Paint by Use of Spectral
Polarization Optical Imaging," Optics Letters,
25, 1303, (2000).
J. Ying, F. Liu, P. Ho, R. Alfano, "Nondestructive
Evaluation of Incipient Corrosion in a Metal Beneath Paint
by Second Harmonic Tomography," Optics Letters,
25, 1189, (2000).
S.G. Demos, D.M. Calistru, S. Owen, A.B.
Bykov, V. Petricevic, and R.R. Alfano, "Primary Decay
Pathway of a Local Mode of a Photoexcited Ion into a Dieelectric
Crystal Host Lattice," Physical Review Letters,
82, 2556, (1999).
O.Y. Raisky, W.B. Wang, R.R. Alfano, C.L.
Reynolds, D.V. Stampone, and M.W. Foct, "InGaAsP/InP
Multiple Quantum Well Solar Cell Structures," Journal
of Applied Physics, 84,
Robert R. Alfano
Institute for Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers
City University of New York
New York, N.Y. 10031
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