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Faculty Profiles

Sadik C. Esener

Professor, NanoEngineering

Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Faculty-Affiliate, Computer Science and Engineering

Faculty-Affiliate, Calit2




Photonics and opto-electronics, including optical interconnects, optical data storage, biophotonics, and cancer nanotechnology

Professor Esener is an internationally known expert in photonics and opto-electronics, and he has been closely involved with five startup companies based on technology developed in his laboratories. His research interests include light modulation, detection, and amplification, heterogeneous integration of optoelectronic components, optical data storage, optical interconnects and related computing architectures, and biophotonics as applied to gene chips. Esener is a pioneer in the fields of free-space optical interconnects, parallel access volumetric optical data storage, DNA-assisted heterogeneous integration and optical cell sorting, and holds many patents in these areas. Esener's research team is working on diverse projects pushing the limits of the state of the art. They include active and passive photonic device processing and hybrid integration techniques; photonics sub-systems assembly such as optically interconnected Fast Fourier Transform accelerator boards; and parallel light tweezer systems for handling and characterization of biological entities. A recent emphasis is put on the development of cancer nanotechnology for cancer detection, monitoring, imaging and guided therapies.

Capsule Bio:

Sadik Esener joined the UCSD faculty in 1987, after receiving his Ph.D. in Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering from UCSD the same year. He leads UCSD's OptoElectronic Computing Group, and is the director and Principal Investigator of the NanoTumor Center for Cancer Nanotechnology of Excellence funded by NCI. Previously he served as the director and of the DARPA-funded multi-university Center for Chips with Heterogenously Integrated Photonics (CHIPS); the 3D-Opto-Electronic Stacked Processors industry/university consortium; and the Fast Read-out Optical Storage (FROST) Industry consortium. He has authored more than 100 journal publications and 250 conference abstracts. Esener serves on the Board of Trustees of Sabanci University, is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, and a member of IEEE and SPIE. Esener co-founded San Diego-based Nanogen, Optical Micro-Machines, Parallel Solutions, Genoptix, and Call/Recall and Ziva. Additional affiliation:  UCSD Moores Cancer Center

Selected Publications:

Google Scholar Publications


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