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Research Profile

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Clifford Raymond Pollock

  • Clifford Raymond Pollock
  • Dept: Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Title: Ilda and Charles Lee Professor of Engineering
  • Address: Room 229 Phillips Hall
  • Phone: 607 255-5032
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Pollock was an NRC/NBS postdoctoral Fellow at the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder, CO where he participated in the development of a frequency chain that led to the adoption of a new international standard for the meter. He joined the Faculty at Cornell in 1983, where he is presently the Ilda and Charles Lee Professor of Engineering. He maintains a research group of 3-4 graduate students, and is actively pursuing new solid state lasers for the infrared, and high power femtosecond pulse generation.

Research Interests

My major research focus has been in tunable lasers, generation of ultrashort optical pulses, and the design of optical waveguide devices. We developed a number of broadly tunable near infrared lasers based on color centers and on Chromiumdoped materials, explored new materials such as composite optical lasers, and developed methods for using the large bandwidth of these lasers to make femtosecond pulses. Current research is directed at femtosecond-duration pulses of tunable radiation, ultra-high resolution positioning using optical rulers, and flexible optical waveguides for use in sensors and displays.

Teaching Interests

Pollock got back into his teaching this Fall by offering ECE 4300 Lasers and Optoelectronics, and earned good marks from the class for teaching effectiveness. although not quite as high as he had hoped but next year will be better. To help with his research, he taught a second course in the Fall, ECE 6950 Solid State Spectroscopy for Lasers to 6 graduate students. details of solid state spectroscopy. This extra course was his way of building a better theoretical foundation as he directs his group toward discovery of new laser materials. This Spring he proposed a new course to the curriculum, ECE 5320 Nano-Optics, which covers the field of optics at the sub-wavelength scale. This topic is useful to the large imaging research program in biology, and well as to students working in integrated photonics.

Overall, this year he has taught two new courses (Spectroscopy and Nano-Optics) with the goal of offering a needed subject to our MEng and graduate students, and to better mster these subjects to enhance his understanding of optics.


Service Interests

I serve on several university committees, including the Graduate School General Comittee, and I chair the Faculty Committee on Program Review. I just completed rewriting the requirements for departmental preparation for external review. I serve on the college Master of Engineering committee, and I chair the college Nominating Committee. I run the M.Eng program in ECE.

Selected Publications

  • Bucklew, Victor G., William H. Renninger, Frank William Wise, Clifford Raymond Pollock. 2014. "Average cavity description of self-similar lasers." Journal of the Optical Society of America B-Optical Physics 31 (4): 842-850.
  • Pollock, Clifford Raymond, V. Bucklew. 2012. "Realizing self-similar pulses in solid-state laser systems." Journal of Optical Society of America B 29: 3027-3033.
  • Yoshimizu, N., B. Hicks, A. Lal, Clifford Raymond Pollock. 2010. "Scanning probe nanoscale patterning of highly ordered pyrolytic graphite." Nanotechnology 21 (9): 095306-1 -- 095306-4.
  • Pollock, Clifford Raymond. 2008. "Ultrafast Optical Pulses." In Progress in Optics , edited by Emil Wolf , 211-249. Elsevier B.V..
  • Yoshimizu, N., A. Lal, Clifford Raymond Pollock. 2006. "Near-infrared scintillation of xenon by Ni-63 beta decay." Applied Physics Letters 89 (2).

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Fellow of th Optical Society of America (Optical Society of America) 2010
  • Marsha D. McCormick Award for Excellence in Advising (Cornell University, College of Engineering) 2009
  • Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow (Cornell University) 1997
  • IEEE Fellow 1996
  • Ilda and Charles Lee Professor in Engineering (Cornell University) 1993


  • BS (Electrical Engineering), Rice University, 1976
  • MS (Electrical Engineering), Rice University, 1979
  • Ph D (Electrical Engineering), Rice University, 1981