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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. He is currently serving as Director of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and previously served as Director from 2000-2007.

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 Chromium-doped 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, novel infrared laser sources, and LED lighting.

Teaching Interests

I have recently been teaching the introductory circuits course, ECE 2100, and the senior-level laser course, ECE 4300. This year I am looking forward to getting back to teaching the fiber optics course, ECE 4370, that I started many years ago, along with a text I wrote. Teaching is a lot of fun, and a great way to learn material as well as interact with young people. I "taught" a course on solid state spectroscopy a few years ago when I discovered I needed to learn it better for my laser research. There is no better way to learn than to have to explain a subject to someone.

Service Interests

I current am Director of ECE and spend a lot of time working on school issues such as hiring good faculty and identifying strategic directions. I am a topical editor for Optics Letters, a leading journal for laser research, and I also serve on a few university committees that sound important but in truth don't accomplish much.

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 the 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