Thermal Radiation Laboratory

Research Projects

Our research is focused on the intersection of heat transfer, optics, and manufacturing. An example is manufacturing a surface with an engineered emittance to control radiation heat transfer. This has applications to energy, sensing, and defense. Our research is highly multidisciplinary and draws from a background in laser material processing, near-field optics, and nanomanufacturing. Beyond fundamental exploration, we maintain competencies in laser micromachining, additive manufacturing, thermal modeling, electromagnetic modeling, and radiometery.

Please contact Dr. Kinzel ( for more information.


Title: Additive Manufacturing of Glass for Optical Applications

Project Description: Additive manufacturing affords the designer significant design freedom. Glass has unique properties that are ideal for optical applications (as well as electronics and chemical handling) however, it is challenging to deposit without capturing/generating bubbles. We have created a unique laser-heated filament-fed process that can accomplish this for multiple optical glasses. The project focuses on the continuous improvement this process and using it to print better optics. This includes the ability to integrate multiple materials including combining different glasses to create gradient index optics. Beyond refractive optics, the glass printing process will also be applied to electronics and integrated sensing. Research directions include implementing sensors, developing algorithms for improved processes control, thermal modeling, and optical characterization.

Funding Agencies: NSF/DOE/Industry

Title: Scalable Manufacturing of Infrared Metasurfaces for Sensing and Energy Harvesting

Project Description: Metasurfaces are made of sub-wavelength antenna elements and can be designed to control how radiation is scattered from a surface. This technology was originally developed for radar applications but can be scaled to infrared and even visible wavelengths. Applications at IR/visible wavelengths include sensing, energy harvesting, optics, and defense. The primary challenge to their implementation is the ability to pattern periodic mirco/nanoscale features over large areas. The project focuses on the use of Microsphere Photolithography which uses a self-assembled array of microspheres as an optical element. The goal is to scale this approach to pattern m2 areas and to understand the constraints of the process on design in terms of resolution, uniformity, and hierarchical geometries. The fabricated metasurfaces will then be applied to practical problems such as satellite thermal management, chemical detection, and energy harvesting.

Application Procedure: Please email CV (including GPA, GRE scores, and TOEFL scores when applicable), transcripts (unofficial are acceptable), and any first-authored technical publications in English to Dr. Kinzel.