OPEN Optics and Photonics Education News
Newsletter of the Optics and Photonics College Network
July 2020
LASER-TEC and PowerAmerica® are jointly developing a laser energizing system for powering solid state laser diodes. The system will be utilizing wide bandgap semiconductors (WBGS) of the GaN (Gallium Nitrite) or SiC (Silicon Carbide) families to realize the high-power switching circuits. WBGS can withstand higher voltage, current, and power than traditional silicon MOSFET devices. They switch faster and are more efficient, making them suited for switch-mode power conversion applications.
A significant feature of SiC is that its thermal conductivity is more than three times that of Si or GaN. SiC based products operate at much higher temperatures, +175⁰C, while conduction loss stays relatively flat over temperature. Another performance factor is extremely low RDSon that can be in the range of 15 milliohms or less; it can achieve that specification even with high operating voltages. That greatly reduces power losses, thereby boosting efficiency above 98%.

The laser energizing system will be powered from a single phase 120 VAC, 60Hz, 15A, power outlet, and will produce programmable pulsed output of up to 200A pk, 280V DC, risetime of less than 10 μ s, pulse width from 100 μ s to 5 ms, and pulsed repetition frequency 1Hz to 1KHz.
This energizing system can be used to pump solid state lasers, fiber lasers, or laser diode stacks.
LASER-TEC Resources
Whether you are looking for support with your college program's outreach, curriculum design, academic-business partnerships, or student placement, LASER-TEC has resources for you. Visit the Resources tab on our website to browse textbooks, kits, laboratory manuals, and informational and outreach materials. The current collection is comprised of both LASER-TEC and OP-TEC materials. Don't forget to check this page often, as we will constantly upload additional resources.
Featured College: Stonehill College - Easton, MA
Stonehill College offers three photonics programs: a bachelor’s degree, a minor, and an Advanced Manufacturing & Integrated Photonics Certificate Program. The 15-month Technician Certificate program is offered in collaboration with Bridgewater State University and AIM Photonics Academy; it features hands-on training with modern equipment, a two-day boot camp at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a capstone experience, and an internship—all designed to rapidly prepare students for immediate employment upon completion. Companies who offer internships and employment opportunities in this area include: Sheaumann Laser, MKS Instruments, Analog Photonics, Northrop Grumman, IPG Photonics, BAE Systems, Instron, IQE, Accurounds, MIT Lincoln Labs, Forward Photonics, Applied NanoFemto Technologies, Plymouth Grating Company, and AFL Global.
Bachelor's degree program in Photonics

Four-year, interdisciplinary program, emphasizing a strong science foundation with hands-on practice on state-of-the-art equipment used in industry. Students complete basic and applied coursework in optics, quantum mechanics, lasers, interferometers, photonics, optical fibers, semiconductors materials and devices, integrated photonics, and waveguides. Students design integrated photonics circuits, which may be sent to the SUNY-poly cleanroom for fabrication. Graduates with this degree will be well-positioned to enter a variety of graduate programs, including Stonehill’s cooperative agreement with the Optics Master’s Degree program in the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester.
Skills of AAS degree graduates:
  • Ability to perform laboratory experiments and create projects using electronic breadboards, optical breadboards, 3D-PCB printing, IPC standard soldering, single board computers (Raspberry PI©), and embedded systems (Arduino©)
  • Hands on experience with electronic test equipment including photometers, multi-meters, oscilloscopes, signal generators, and power supplies
  • Practiced in aligning optical components
  • Understand the proper methods to handle, clean, and care for optical components
  • Familiarity with industry grade optical components, laboratory mountings, and positioning equipment 
  • Document procedures and data using Microsoft Word© and Excel©
  • Calculate expected results to compare with measured data 
  • Apply laser safety rules
Technician Certificate Program in Advanced Manufacturing & Integrated Photonics (AMIP):
  • Introduction to Advanced Manufacturing and Photonics
  • Electricity and Electronics for Photonics and Optical Technicians
  • Tools and Testing Equipment
  • Tools and Materials for Advanced Manufacturing and Photonics
  • Digital Fundamentals
  • Statistical Process Control in Photonics and Automation
  • Introduction to Optics for Photonics and Optical Technicians
  • Introduction to Fiber Optics for Photonics and Optical Technicians
  • Photonic Integrated Circuits
  • Photonics Capstone
  • Photonics Internship
Photonics Technician Certificate Program Courses:
  • A collaboration with Bridgewater State University (BSU) and AIM Photonics Academy.
  • Backed by the U.S. Office of Naval Research.
  • Part-time, 15-month duration, beginning each May.
  • All course material created for the AMIP program will be available on-line with free, open access.
Skills Gained by Photonics Technicians from Stonehill/BSU Certificate Program:
  • Write lab notes, and demonstrate ability to follow written instructions for manufacturing, trouble shooting and safety.
  • Use basic electronics tools, follow electronics safety protocols, and compute basic electronics values.
  • Describe and perform process and control principles for advanced manufacturing techniques.
  • Use advanced electronics devices such as oscilloscopes, soldering, DC & RF probes, etc.
  • Understand principles of semiconductor manufacturing.
  • Align a laser system and characterize beam modes using modern optical testing equipment.
  • Couple fibers in free space and on PICs.
  • Describe theory behind design and fabrication of integrated circuits.
  • Independently trouble-shoot equipment.
  • Use a variety of precision measurement tools to create and test solutions within photonics.
  • Use mathematics as related to machine shop needs.
  • Explain cleanroom uses and protocols.
  • Trouble-shoot basic electronic circuits and wirings.
  • Perform basic CNC Machining and state relevant safety protocols.
  • Explain basic chemical safety in common manufacturing situations.
  • Write technical notes for manufacturing or repair, and follow instructions and safety guidelines.
  • Trouble-shoot and repair mechanical systems.
  • Identify and provide correct safety information on common lasers used in photonics.
  • Use modern equipment to handle fiber and characterize losses through fibers.
  • Use a probe station to test and characterize PIC performance.
  • Work within a manufacturing or other industry workplace with appropriate interpersonal and team-work skills.
  • Communicate their design choices in their project to professionals within photonics.
Contact Information
Name: Kristine Shatas
Telephone: (508) 565-1325
Address: 320 Washington Street, Easton, MA 02357
How can I recruit from this college?
Come to our college to present your company and employment opportunities to our students. We will make available, free of charge, a private room to interview interested students. Please contact the person below to make arrangements for a recruiting visit. Interns and graduates are available every summer. 
OPCN Member Colleges

The Optics and Photonics College Network (OPCN) is an association of postsecondary photonics technician educators operated by LASER-TEC. To learn more about the OPCN and to view the list of member institutions, please visit www.laser-tec.org/opcn
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OPEN is published by the LASER-TEC Center for Laser and Fiber Optics Education
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE-1700352. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. 
NSF