Drake Lab


Professor Drake's research centers on nonlinear optics in microscopic photonic structures.

Our current focus is on "microcombs" -- optical frequency combs formed in dielectric microring resonators via cascaded four-wave mixing. Microcombs are key components in compact optical atomic clocks and optical synthesizers, on-chip spectrometers, and integrated quantum systems.

Besides developing microcombs for novel applications, we also study the rich array of nonlinear processes within our microresonators which lead to exotic phenomena such as self-organizing soliton crystals and laser cooling of light.

Group News

31 January 2024: Lala Rukh presents at the 2024 SPIE Photonics West Conference in San Francisco, CA

24 January 2024: Prof. Drake wins an NSF CAREER award for Ultralow phase noise signal generation using Kerr-microresonator optical frequency combs.

10 October 2023: Brandon Stone presents “Enhanced Thermal Stability of Soliton States in Coupled Kerr Microresonators” at the 2023 Frontiers in Optics Conference in Tacoma, WA. https://opg.optica.org/abstract.cfm?uri=LS-2023-JTu4A.44

1 September 2023: The Drake Lab welcomes grad student Franco Buck from the UNM Optical Science and engineering PhD program!

17 August 2023: CHTM has won an NSF MRI award to acquire a state-of-the-art Electron Beam Lithography system for the CHTM cleanroom. Congrats to us all!

11 May 2023: Lala Rukh presents “Comparison of Soft and Hard Mask for Fabrication of High Q SiN Microring Resonators” at the 2023 CLEO Conference in San Jose, CA https://opg.optica.org/abstract.cfm?uri=CLEO_FS-2023-JTh2A.134

5 February 2023: Gabriel Colación presents "Subtractive processing of thick silicon nitride waveguide resonators: a comparison of soft and hard etch templates" at 2023 SPIE Photonics West Conference in San Francisco, CA https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2650377

23 August 2022: The Drake lab welcomes new RA Brandon Stone, from the UNM Physics PhD program!

7 December 2022: Congratulations to Gabriel Colación for advancing to PhD Candidacy!

27 October 2022: Congratulations to Lala Rukh for advancing to PhD Candidacy!

24 August 2022: The Drake lab teams up with researchers at CHTM and the University of Delaware for an NSF-funded EPSCoR Track-II program: Laying the Foundation for Scalable Quantum Photonic Technologies. https://chtm.unm.edu/news/2022/08/unm-receives-nsf-award-to-further-quantum-science-and-engineering-research.html

14 May 2022: Congratulations to Lala Rukh for earning her MS in Optical Science and Engineering!

27 January 2022: The Drake lab teams up with Nexus Photonics, Northrup Grummon, and UCLA to develop a frequency-comb-based low-noise microwave synthesizer through the DARPA GRYPHON program: https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2022-01-27

5 November 2021: Prof. Drake wins an AFOSR Young Investigator’s Program award for Visible Kerr-microresonator Frequency Combs. https://physics.unm.edu/pandaweb/news/2022/drake.php


Dr. Drake's Awards and Honors

2022 Excellence in Teaching Award for the 2021-2022 Academic Year

2020 Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award/2-Photon Optical Clock Collaboration, The Optical Society

2020 Women in STEM Award, University of New Mexico

2016 NRC-NAS Postdoctoral Research Fellow, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO

A series of gray concentric circles

A Kerr-microresonator made with electron beam lithography at Los Alamos National Labs's CINT