Our Team



Group Leader

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Roberto Morandotti

Group Leader

Roberto Morandotti, Professor at INRS-EMT since 2008, has a broad knowledge in the field of photonics, ranging from the fabrication of integrated devices to the use of state-of-the-art optical characterization techniques in the Infrared and Terahertz frequency domains. During the last years, he has established a novel and very successful line of research in nonlinear optics and integrated photonics. Some of his most important realizations are related to the demonstration of discrete solitons in an array of optical waveguides, as well as, more recently, the realization of integrated classical and quantum frequency combs.

Research Associates

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Yoann Jestin

Research Associate

Yoann Jestin received his PhD (2002) in solid state chemistry from the “Université du Maine” (France) working on a project supported by the French National Network in Research and Telecommunications. His work was related to the design, manufacturing and testing of large numerical aperture fluoride based optical fibers for the realization of an optical amplifier prototype working in the S-band telecommunication window. In 2003 he joined the research center on laser and application at the University of Lille as a postdoctoral student to study and characterize semiconductor quantum dots in amorphous thin films. After this period he joined the CNR-IFN (Trento, Italy) with a grant from the local government of province of Trento, to work on the development of ultra-transparent glass ceramics waveguides for the demonstration of an optical single frequency amplifier in the C-band telecommunication window. In 2009 he worked as a researcher at the Bruno Kessler Foundation (Trento, Italy) to conduct research on the micro-fabrication of nanocrystalline based silicon solar cells. Since 2013 he won a mobility fellowship to visit the INRS-EMT and experiment new materials and structures for integrated nonlinear optics.

Research Assistants pursuing MSc in parallel

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James van Howe

Research assistant/MSc

James van Howe is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. He received his B.A. in physics at University of Chicago in 2001, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University in 2005 and 2007, respectively. While at Cornell and Augustana, his research has focused on the development of ultrafast pulsed laser sources for biomedical imaging and novel techniques in optical signal processing. He was a visiting scientist at INRS-EMT in the summer of 2012 and 2016 for work on ultrafast optical signal processing. He is currently on professional leave from Augustana College (simultaneously enrolled in the MSc program) where his research at INRS-EMT involves applying classical telecom signal processing techniques to single and entangled photons for quantum information.

Research Technicians

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Rob Helsten

Research Technician

Rob Helsten completed a BSc in physics from the University of Waterloo in 2004. Upon obtaining that degree he relocated to Montreal to study under the supervision of professor Roberto Morandotti. In 2007 he received a MSc degree for his work entitled “Characterization of the Electro-Optical Effect in CBN Thin Films”. He is currently employed by the UOP group as the research technician.

Post-docs Fellows

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Aadhi Abdul Rahim

Post-Doc Fellow

Aadhi received his Master's degree in Physics from Gandhigram Rural University, India in 2009. After completing his degree, he joined as a junior research fellow at the Photonics Science Lab, Physical Research Laboratory, India to pursue his PhD. In August 2016, he successfully defended his PhD thesis on the generation of tunable spectral and spatial beams in optical parametric oscillators (OPO) at IIT Gandhinagar, India. During his PhD, he has demonstrated various optical beams such as vortex beams, Airy beams, vector beams in OPO. Since January 2017, he is working as a Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Fellow in the Nonlinear Photonics group of Prof. Roberto Morandotti at INRS-EMT. His current research mainly focuses on the demonstration of mode-locked lasers and frequency combs using on-chip integrated photonics platform such as spiral waveguides and microring resonators.

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Alessandro Tomasino

Post-Doc Fellow

Alessandro Tomasino started his studies in Electronics Engineering at the University of Palermo (Italy) in 2006, gaining its Bachelor Degree (Magna cum Laude) in February 2010. He received its Master Degree (Magna cum Laude) in Electronics and Photonics Engineering in May 2012, from the University of Palermo (Palermo, Italy), defending an experimental thesis titled “Implementation of numerical algorithms to study and simulate optical propagation problems”. In 2013, he worked for one year as Research Collaborator at the University of Palermo, joining the group of Prof. Busacca and dealing with the implementation of an electronic embedded system for functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), with applications within the biomedical area.

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Andrew Bruhacs

Post-Doc Fellow

Andrew Bruhacs is a trained chemist who graduated with a diploma degree from the Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany in 2008. During this period, under the supervision of Prof. Wolfgang Tremel he published works regarding the synthesis, characterization and tribological applications of transition metal chalcogenide inorganic fullerenes, in collaboration with the LTDS institute in Lyon. In collaboration with the team of Prof. Mohamed Chaker at INRS-EMT he discovered and characterized a metastable ultrafast photo-induced phase of vanadium dioxide (thin film) using spectroscopy as well as sub-picosecond ultrabright electron pulses. Following his graduation from McGill University in 2015 he is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher in the nonlinear photonics group of Morandotti, focusing on technologies for THz generation, detection as well as THz thermal imaging applications in biological tissue.

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Cristina Rimoldi

Post-Doc Fellow

Cristina Rimoldi obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Physics in December 2011 at the Università degli Studi dell'Insubria (Como, Italy), defending the thesis "Thermality study of the stimulated Hawking effect", under the supervision of Prof. Daniele Faccio (university of Glasgow, UK). Then in July 2014 she obtained her Master's Degree (cum laude) in Physics, with specialization in Optics, discussing the thesis "Conservative and dissipative behaviour in lasers with optical injection", under the supervision of Prof. Franco Prati (Università degli studi dell'Insubria). She moved to France for her PhD in October 2014 at the Université Cote d'Azur in Nice, where in particular, she worked at the Institut de Physique de Nice (INPHYNI - previously known as INLN) under the supervision of Prof. Giovanna Tissoni. Her thesis, defended on December 2017 and titled "Extreme events in extended nonlinear optical cavities", studied, from a numerical and theoretical point of view, the occurrence of extreme events and rogue waves in different laser systems with multiple spatial degrees of freedom and their relationship with dissipative solitons. She has recently joined INRS-EMT (March 2018) as a Postdoctoral researcher in the Nonlinear Photonics group of Prof. Roberto Morandotti.

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Domenico Bongiovanni

Post-Doc Fellow

Domenico Bongiovanni obtained his Bachelor and Master degrees in Electronics Engineering at the University of Palermo (Italy), defending a thesis entitled "Silicon Photomultiplier Circuit Model." His thesis work was focused on developing an electrical circuit model for a silicon photomultiplier, used in nuclear physics. This work was carried out during an internship of two year at the Sensor Design Group of the STMicroelectronics of Catania. Since September 2011 he is a PhD student at l’Institut National de Recherche Scientifique – Énergie, Matériaux et Télécommunications (INRS-EMT), under the supervision of Prof. R. Morandotti. His research work aims at investigating the propagation of Airy Beams into nonlinear media.

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Fuyong Yue

Post-Doc Fellow

Fuyong Yue received his Master’s degree in 2014 from Beijing Institute of Technology in China, specializing in solid-state lasers and optical phase locked loop (OPLL). Then he won the James Watt Scholarship to pursue his PhD at Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, supervised by Prof. Xianzhong Chen. His PhD study was focused on the development of geometric metasurfaces to control phase and polarization of light in subwavelength scale for novel applications, such as polarization-controlled hologram generation, superposition of orbital angular momentum states, and structured beam generation. In October 2017, he obtained his PhD degree with thesis titled ‘Geometric Optical Metasurface for Polarization Control’, which was awarded one of the ‘EPS Postgraduate Research Thesis Prizes’ in Heriot-Watt University for 2017. In December 2017, he joined the Nonlinear Photonics Group at INRS-EMT in Canada, led by Prof. Roberto Morandotti. His current research focuses on plasmonics for quantum applications, linear and nonlinear metasurfaces, orbital angular momentum, and flat devices with novel functionalities.

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Junliang Dong

Post-Doc Fellow

Junliang Dong received his Master degree in Control Science and Engineering in 2011, from Tsinghua University, China. His Master dissertation focused on ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation. In August 2013, He started to pursue his Ph.D. related to terahertz imaging and spectroscopy in Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, under the supervision of Prof. D. S. Citrin. In June 2017, he successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis on terahertz imaging. Since August 2017, he joined the Nonlinear Photonics group of Prof. R. Morandotti as a postdoctoral research fellow, where he is investigating terahertz generation, detection, as well as terahertz imaging and spectroscopy for biomedical applications.

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Luigi Di Lauro

Post-Doc Fellow

Luigi Di Lauro started his studies in Physics at the University of Salerno (Italy) in 2006, gaining a strong background in Condensate Matter Physics. He received his Master’s degree (summa cum laude) in 2013, discussing the thesis: “Electron-Hole Correlations Induced by Retroreflection in Ferromagnet-Superconductor Junctions", under the supervision of Prof. Canio Noce. His research interests then moved to the field of Nonlinear Photonics, joining the “Emergent Photonics laboratory” (EPic) at the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Sussex (UK), where he obtained his doctoral degree in 2018, under the supervision of Dr Alessia Pasquazi. His thesis, entitled: “Control of Dynamical Regimes in Optical Microresonators Exploiting Parametric Interaction”, demonstrated a scheme for the control of nonlinear regimes in microresonators, assuming an interplay between the ultra-fast Kerr effect and slow intensity-dependent nonlinearities, in presence of parametric interaction. In 2018, he covered a short-term position as Research Fellow at the University of Sussex, performing market research on “Atomic Cocks for Precision Timing Applications”, for commercial exploitation of a portable optical frequency standard. In January 2019 Luigi moved to Canada, where is working as Postdoctoral researcher in the Nonlinear Photonics group of Prof. Roberto Morandotti, at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique-Énergie, Matériaux et Télécommunications (INRS-EMT). His current research is focussed on microresonators and integrated optics for reservoir computing applications.

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Mario Chemnitz

Post-Doc Fellow

Mario Chemnitz is a trained physicist specialized in integrated nonlinear optics. He obtained his diploma degree in physics (Master’s equivalent) at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany, end 2011. In his diploma project he designed and implemented tuneable dual-wavelength fiber laser sources based on four-wave mixing for coherent Anti-Stokes Raman microscopy in the research group of Prof. Jens Limpert at the Institute of Applied Physics in Jena. After his graduation, he joined a postgraduate study program at the University of Cambridge, UK, which he completed in 2013 upon acceptance of his thesis „novel supercontinuum source for improved time-resolved spectroscopic sensing“. Back at the University of Jena, Mario started his doctoral studies in the research group of Prof. Markus Schmidt at the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology. His theoretical studies and experimental work revealed unprecedented coherence properties of supercontinuum spectra generated in highly noninstantaneous nonlinear liquid-core fibers as result of a modified (hybrid) soliton fission dynamics, indeed demonstrating a superior operation domain over nonlinear glass fibers. He received his PhD degree (suma cum laude) in early 2019, after successfully defending his PhD thesis entitled „soliton dynamics in liquid-core optical fibers“. Shortly after, he joined the research team of Prof. Roberto Morandotti as postdoctoral fellow, where he is now bringing in his expertise to develop novel telecom-compatible entangled photon sources.

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Riccardo Piccoli

Post-Doc Fellow

Riccardo Piccoli received, in July 2009, his Bachelor's Degree in Electronic Engineering from University of Pavia (Italy), discussing the thesis: "Characterization of spectral and spatial profile of laser sources". Then, in 2010, he received a Diploma in Piano from the Academy of Music and, finally, the Master's Degree in Optoelectronic Engineering in July 2011 defending a thesis on tunable passively mode-locked Yb-doped fiber laser stabilized by spectral filtering supervised by Prof. G. Reali and Prof. A. Agnesi. In novembre 2011 he started a PhD related to the design, development and characterization of ultrafast passively mode-locked Yb-doped oscillators and amplifiers at the same university. He also investigated frequency down conversion in the mid-IR via parametric generation (OPG/OPA) as application of pulsed fiber lasers in MOPA configuration in collaboration with Max Born Institute (Prof. V. Petrov, Berlin). He then did a period abroad at Swansea University (Wales, Uk), Multidipliscinary Nanotechnology Center, under the supervision of Prof. S. Taccheo, where he studied Photodarkening effect in aluminosilicate highly Yb-doped fibers. This research was a part of the european project LIFT (Leadership in Fiber Technology, Grant 228587). Since February 2015, he joined INRS-EMT as a Postdoctoral Fellow under the supervision of Prof. R. Morandotti and Prof. L. Razzari, where he is investigating Terahertz broadband pulse generation and guiding as well as design and characterization of nanoplasmonic devices.

PhD Students

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Agnes George

PhD student

Agnes George received her Bachelor's degree in Physics from Mahatma Gandhi University (Kerala, India) in 2015 and her Master's from Christ University (Karnataka, India) in 2017. During her studies, she worked on projects in Materials Science and Optics, including thin film and nanoparticle preparation and their characterization such as the emission lifetime of fluorescent molecules. Later, she joined the Light and Matter Physics (LAMP) group in the Raman Research Institute (Bangalore, India) to work in Ultrafast and Nonlinear Optics under the supervision of Prof. Reji Philip. Her project focused on the nonlinear optical characterization of materials and laser produced plasma. Agnes is an INSPIRE scholar. She joined the group Nonlinear Photonics group as a doctoral student under the supervision of Prof. Roberto Morandotti. Her work will focus on the characterization of nanolasers.

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Andrea Rovere

PhD Student

Andrea Rovere started his studies in physics at La Sapienza – University of Rome (Italy) in 2009, and he obtained its Bachelor Degree in December 2012. Then he specialized in condensed matter physics at the same University. Part of the experimental work of his thesis has took place at the National Laboratories of Frascati, under the supervision of the Prof. Stefano Lupi (Department of physics, La Sapienza) and the Dr. Enrica Chiadroni (SPARC-lab, LNF). He achieved the Master Degree in Physics in October 2014, defending an experimental thesis titled “Nonlinear THz Spectroscopy on Topological Insulator”.

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Bennet Fischer

PhD Student

Bennet Fischer received his Bachelor and Master of Science degree in Engineering Physics and Photonics from the Munich University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) in 2015 and 2017, respectively. During his studies, he specialized himself in fiber optics and fiber optical sensing. During his Master’s thesis, which was conducted in collaboration with the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique-Centre Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications (INRS-EMT) under the supervision of Prof. Roths (MUAS) and Prof. Ruediger (INRS-EMT), he investigated the structural behavior of fiber Bragg gratings exposed to higher temperatures via Raman spectroscopy. In October 2017, he joined the INRS-EMT as a PhD student under supervision of Prof. Morandotti where he is investigating high-dimensional entanglement in the temporal and frequency domains and their applications.

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Giacomo Balistreri

PhD Student

Giacomo Balistreri started his studies in Electronics Engineering at the University of Palermo (Italy) in 2007. He took his Bachelor of Science Degree in October 2013. He continued his studies at the University of Palermo. In October 2015, he received his Master of Science Degree (Magna cum Laude) in Electronics and Photonics Engineering, defending and experimental thesis titled “Terahertz radiation generation and detection methods, for spectroscopic applications, based on photoconductive antennas”. In November 2015, he started his PhD studies with a jointed supervision of the University of Palermo and the INRS-EMT, about the design and implementation of a new class of devices for Terahertz radiation, aimed at Terahertz signal processing operations.

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Stefania Sciara

PhD Student

Stefania Sciara is a PhD student, who is attending an international doctorate shared between the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique-Centre Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications (INRS-EMT) and the University of Palermo-Department of Energy, Information Engineering and Mathematical Models, Italy. Since February 2016 she has joint the Optical Ultrafast Process (UOP), supervised by Prof. Roberto Morandotti. Stefania dedicated her academic studies to Physics, especially in Quantum Mechanics and in Quantum Information Theory. On 26th March 2014 she got the Bachelor Degree (Summa cum Laude) in Physical Sciences at University of Palermo-Department of Physics and Chemistry, defending a thesis titled “Gauge Invariance in Quantum Mechanics. The Aharonov-Bohm Effect”, under the supervision of Prof. Giuseppe Compagno (University of Palermo). After the first degree, Stefania attended the Master courses on Physics-curriculum Theoretical Physics at University of Palermo, where she majored in Quantum Optics and Quantum Information Theory, improving her theoretical background acquired previously.

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Holger Breitenborn

PhD Student

Holger Breitenborn graduated in 2002 from the University of Applied Science in Zwickau, Germany with a Master's degree in Industrial Engineering and Management. The main focus of his study laid not only on physics, engineering, and quality control but also on business, finance, and management. Moreover, Holger graduated from the Dresden International University in 2006 with a Master of Business Administration. From 2007 to 2014, Holger has gained professional experience in a scientific surrounding by working as Innovation Manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering in Jena, Germany which conducts application-oriented research in the field of optical system engineering. During these years, he has developed a strong interest in optical technology and engineering. In May 2014, Holger joined INRS-EMT as a Master’s student under the supervision of Prof. Roberto Morandotti, where he is investigating plasmonic heating and temperature sensing in the Terahertz regime useful for thermometry and imaging technologies. In particular, his research topic is be related to domains including detection, spectroscopy and imaging and is based on the engineering and fabrication of a prototype for the photonics industry.

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Piotr Roztocki

PhD Student

Piotr Roztocki is a physicist with a broad interdisciplinary background, interested in applied and fundamental research in the fields of nonlinear, integrated, and quantum optics. Piotr graduated with distinction in May 2014 from McMaster University in Hamilton (Canada) with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Integrated Science & Physics. This mixed degree offered him the opportunity to focus his studies on physics and photonics, while also providing considerable exposure to other disciplines (biology, chemistry, geology, etc.) valuable in bridging optics to its industrial applications. Piotr was the recipient of two NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards, holding research positions at Ryerson University (2012) and the University of Toronto (2013). His work in medical physics, focused on accounting for respiratory motion during radiotherapy (Prof. Emily Heath), and his work in quantum information, focused on numerical approaches to measurement device independent quantum key distribution (Prof. Hoi-Kwong Lo) have been recognized on a national and international scale at undergraduate conferences.

Master Students

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Benjamin MacLellan

Master student

Benjamin MacLellan earned his Honours Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Waterloo (Canada) in 2018, with a Minor in Biophysics. Throughout his undergraduate degree, he worked with the Optical Biomedical Imaging Group at the University of Waterloo on the development of ultra-high resolution Optical Coherence Tomography systems and used these systems to investigate the progress of ophthalmic diseases. He first joined the Nonlinear Photonics Group as a recipient of the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award, working on using phase modulation to control high-dimensional, frequency-bin photons. In 2018, he returned to begin his Masters of Science at INRS, continuing his investigation into the design of high-dimensional quantum logic gates and using machine-learning techniques to design new experiments in optical signal processing.

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Diego Caraffini

Master Student

Diego Caraffini graduated in particle physics in 2000, at “Università degli studi di Perugia”, where he also obtained his Ph.D. for a thesis titled “Anti-proton Flux Detection and Indirect Search for Dark Matter with the AMS-02 Experiment.” The thesis used the experiment Monte Carlo production, to study the rejection power for misidentified electrons and protons, that constitute the principal background in the measurement of the antiproton flux. The evaluated level of contamination, was used to assess the experiment capability to identify different Super Symmetric Dark Matter signatures as excess components in the cosmic antiproton flux. During his Ph.D., Dr. Caraffini developed a laser system dedicated to the evaluation “on bench” of the resistance to radiation damage (radiation hardness) of integrated circuits, intended to perform preliminary characterization of alternative components for the experimental apparatus, that was under construction at the time.

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Mehedi Islam

Master Student

Mehedi Islam obtained his Bachelor of Science with distinction in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in November 2014 from Islamic University of Technology (Bangladesh), defending a thesis titled “Parameter Optimization of Optical Materials and Investigation of Surface Plasmon Polariton (SPP) Propagation in Plasmonic Waveguides”. In April 2016, Mehedi joined at the l’Institut National de Recherche Scientifique – Énergie, Matériaux et Télécommunications (INRS-EMT) as a Master’s student, under the supervision of Prof. Roberto Morandotti, where his research project is devoted to “On-chip quantum optical random number generators”.

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Shashwath Bharadwaj

Master Student

Shashwath Bharadwaj is a Computer Science graduate with a vast research background in multi-disciplinary domains such as Robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning, Signal Processing and Applied Photonics. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science Engineering with distinction from PES Institute of Technology, Bangalore, India, in August 2017. During his Bachelor’s, he conducted high impact research at reputed institutions such as the Microsoft Innovation Lab of Bangalore, where he directed a team on a project to develop a wearable device for use in remote physiotherapy treatments, and the Indian Institute of Science where he reverse engineered a proprietary sound system to work as a 24-bit parallel optical A2D converter for use in a Near Infrared Imaging system for the early detection of breast cancer. Shashwath received several national and international awards such as the INSPIRE scholarship, Mitacs Globalink Research Internship and most recently, the Globalink Graduate Fellowship for his academic and research merit. His Master’s study at INRS focuses on the development of next generation computing platforms through research in Quantum Optics and Integrated Photonics.