Dr. Howard Lee

Dr. Howard Lee
Assistant Professor of Physics
High Res Photo

Assistant Professor of Physics


  • Postdoc - Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology, 2012 - 2015
  • Ph.D. - Physics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, 2009 - 2012
  • MPhil. - Electronic Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, 2006 - 2008
  • BS - Applied Physics, City University of Hong Kong


Dr. Howard Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at Baylor University since October 2015. He is also Fellow in the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering (IQSE) at Texas A&M University. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at California Institute of Technology, working with Professor Harry Atwater in the Applied Physics and Materials Science Department. He received his PhD in Physics from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Germany in 2012 under the supervision of Professor Philip Russell (2015 President of OSA). 

His research focuses on developing new techniques, including novel active materials and nanostructures, to actively control the optical properties of nano-optical structures (e.g., plasmonics and metamaterials) for studying new optical physics and light-matter interaction at the nanometer scale, as well as advancing novel optical components with new functionality. Dr. Lee is the recipient of the 2017 DARPA Young Faculty Award, a 2017 Baylor Young Investigator Development Award, and a 2016 Baylor Proposal Development Award, 2012 Croucher Postdoctoral Fellowship. His work on nano-optics, plasmonics and photonic crystals has led to 23 papers published in various journals, such as Science, Nano Letters, Advanced Materials, Optics Letters and Applied Physics Letters, as well as 30 invited talks and 90 conference papers.

Current research interests:

  • Active plasmonics/nano-optics/metasurfaces (include optoelectronic, magneto-optical, and nonlinear optical effects)

  • Zero-index linear and nonlinear optics

  • Quantum bio-photonics/imaging using nanophotonic platform

  • Nanostructured optical fiber for advanced light manipulation

  • Hybrid photonic-plasmonic on-chip optical nanocircuits and devices

Physics Research:

  • Nano-Optics, Plasmonics, Metasurfaces
  • Materials Science
  • Biophotonics
  • Physics and application of microstructured fiber optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Relevant links:

The Institute For Quantum Science and Engineering, Texas A&M

Peer Reviewer for Journals

Optics Letters, Optics Express, Applied Physics Letters, Advanced Optical Materials, Advanced in Optics and Photonics, Laser and Photonics Reviews, Applied Optics, Optical Material Express, Optical Fiber Technology, Sensors, Photonics, European Physical Journal D, IET Optoelectronics, Journal of Display Technology, Photonic Technology Letters, Journal of Applied Physics, Electronics Letters, IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics, Journal of Lightwave Technology, ACS Photonics, ACS Nano Letters, Nature Scientific Reports, Nature Communications


2017  DARPA 2017 Young Faculty Award 

2017  Young Investigator Development Award from Baylor University

2017  Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) Small Grant Award from Baylor University

2016  Proposal Development Award from Vice Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Baylor University

2015  Granted for Postdoctoral Fellowship Program from Vice Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Baylor University

2015  Rising Star Program at Baylor University

2015  Fellow, The Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University

2014  Best Poster Award in Materials Research Society (MRS) Spring Meeting Symposium II: Emerging Nanophotonic Materials and Devices

2013  Third Prize Poster Award in International Conference on Surface Plasmon Photonics (SPP6)

2012  Croucher Postdoctoral Fellowship (Awarded by Croucher Foundation of Hong Kong)

2009-2012  Max Planck Doctoral Scholarship(Awarded by Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light)

2008  Research Tuition Scholarship(Awarded by City University of Hong Kong, covering full university tuition fee)

2006  Chiang Chen Overseas Exchange Scholarship (Funded by Chiang Chen Industrial Charity Foundation, supporting one year exchange program)

2006  Vacation Scholarship from the University of Sydney (Worked as a student research fellow for six months at the Centre for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS), University of Sydney, Australia)

Community and Membership

  • Executive committee (Webinar and Social Media Chairs) of Optical Material Studies Technical Group for Optical Society of America (OSA), since 2015
  • Technical Program Committee for the 12th Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Pacific Rim (CLEO-PR 2017) and 22nd OptoElectronics and Communications Conference (OECC 2017)
  • Technical Program Committee for the 8th International Conference on Metamaterials, Photonic Crystals and Plasmonics (META 2017)
  • Session Organizer and Chair for 46th Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics 2017 (PQE 2017)
  • Organizer for Special Sessions on “Advanced active and passive metasurfaces” for the 8th International Conference on Metamaterials, Photonic Crystals and Plasmonics (META 2017)
  • Science writer for OSA Frontiers in Optics (FiO) Conference 2016
  • Guest Editor for Applied Physics A, META 2016 Special Issue
  • Editorial Board for BAOJ Physics Journal, since 2016
  • Editorial Board for Advanced Electromagnetics Journal, since 2016
  • Advisory Board for Journal of Nano- and Electronic Physics, since 2016
  • Program Committee in the subtopical area of Metamaterials and Metasurfaces for OSA Advanced Photonics Congress, “Novel Optical Materials and Applications” (NOMA) Conference 2016.
  • Organizer for Special Sessions on “Active and passive optical metasurfaces” for the 7th International Conference on Metamaterials, Photonic Crystals and Plasmonics (META 2016).
  • Guest Editor for IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics CLEO 2016 Special Issue
  • Plenary Session Chair, Spring 2016 Joint Meeting of the Texas Section of the AAPT, Texas Section of the American Physical Society, 2016.
  • Session Organizer and Chair for 45th Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics 2016 (PQE 2016)
  • OSA Travelling Lecturer since 2015.
  • Session Chair for Fall 2015 Joint Meeting of the Texas Section of the AAPT, Texas Section of the American Physical Society
  • Scientific Judges for OSA Technical Group Poster Session and Student Chapter Competition in Frontiers in Optics (FiO) Conference 2015
  • Featured science writer for OSA FiO conference 2015
  • Organizing committee of OSA 2015 International Year of Light (IYL) poster and guidebook
  • Science writer for OSA CLEO and FiO conferences 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Member of organizing committee for OSA annual student chapter leadership meeting at FiO conference, 2013
  • Young Professionals of OSA since 2012
  • Member of OSA, IEEE, MRS since 2006
  • Member of OSA Student Chapter Erlangen, 2011-2012
  • Proposal reviewer for the German Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development


  • Nanoscale conducting oxide plasmonic slot waveguide modulator (US Patent, 9,494,715 B2)
  • Optical modulating device having gate structure (US Patent, 9,632,216 B2)
  • Gate tunable devices for active control of optical emitters (US Patent, pending)
  • Fiber-Coupled Metal-Tip Near-Field Chemical Imaging Spectroscopy (provisional patent, pending).
  • Ellectricaly Tunable Epsilon-Near-Zero Perfect Absorber (provisional patent, pending)

Class taught

(Spring 2017)

  • PHY 2135 Basic Electronics Laboratory
  • PHY 5180 Graduate Physics Colloquium 

(Fall 2016)

  • PHY 1420-H1 General Physics I Honor

(Spring 2016)

  • PHY 1420 General Physics I 
  • PHY 5180 Graduate Physics Colloquium


(Since joining Baylor University)

  1. J. N. Kunz, D. V. Voronine, H. W. Lee, A. V. Sokolov, and M. O. Scully, “Rapid Detection of Drought Stress in Plants using Femtosecond Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy,” Opt. Express 25, 7251-7262 (2017).
  2. J. N. Kunz, D. V. Voronine, B. A. Ko, H. W. Lee, A. Rana, M. V. Bagavathiannan, A. V. Sokolov, and M. O. Scully, “Interaction of Femtosecond Laser Pulses with Plants: Towards Distinguishing Weeds and Crops using Plasma Temperature,” Journal of Modern Optics 64, 942-947 (2017).
  3. L. Lei, J. Yang, and H. W. Lee, “Observation of the energy transfer processes in Yb/Er: NaGdF4@Yb: NaGdF4@Yb:NaNdF4 nanocrystals,” World Scientific NANO 12, 1750086 (2017).
  4. J. N. Kunz, D. V. Voronine, W. Lu, Z. Liege, H. W. Lee, Z. Zhang, and M. O. Scully, “Aluminum plasmonic nano-shielding in ultraviolet inactivation of E. coli bacteria”, accepted to Nature Scientific Reports (2017).
  5. A. Anopchenko, L. Tao, and H. W. Lee, “Conducting Oxide Broadband ENZ Perfect Absorbers,” in preparation (2017).
  6. J. Yang, S. Mishra, J. Watters, M. Schmidt, and H. W. Lee, “Tunable azimuthal polarization conversion in magnetic fluid filled nanostructured optical fiber,” in preparation (2017).
  7. A. Kriesch, H. W. Lee, D. Ploss, S. P. Burgos, H. Pfeifer, J. Naeger, H. A. Atwater and U. Peschel, “Broadband negative refraction due to discrete plasmon diffraction,” to be submitted to Nature Photonics (2017).
  8. H. W. Lee, A. Kriesch, S. P. Burgos, K. Chander, U. Peschel and H. A. Atwater, “Antenna coupled plasmonic resonant guided wave network with subwavelength dimension,” to be submitted (2017).
  9. Y. W. Huang*, H. W. Lee*, R. Sokhoyan, R. Pala, K. Thyagarajan, S. Han, D. P. Tsai, and H. A. Atwater, “Gate-tunable conducting oxide metasurfaces,” Nano Lett. 16, 5319-5325 (2016).
  10. C. Rizal, B. Niraula, and H. W. Lee, “Bio-Magnetoplasmonics, Emerging Biomedical Technologies and Beyond,” J Nanomed Res 3, 00059 (2016).

(Prior to October 2015)

  1. H. W. Lee, G. Papadakis, S. P. Burgos, K. Chander, A. Kriesch, R. Pala, U. Peschel and H. A. Atwater, “Nanoscale conducting oxide plasMOStor,” Nano Lett. 14, 6463-6468 (2014).
  2. S. P. Burgos*, H. W. Lee*, E. Feigenbaum, R. M. Briggs and H. A. Atwater, “Synthesis and characterization of plasmonic resonant guided wave networks,” Nano Lett. 14, 3284-3292 (2014) (*Equal author contribution).
  3. A. Marini, M. Conforti, G. D. Valle, H. W. Lee, T. X. Tran, W. Chang, M. A. Schmidt, P. St.J. Russell and F. Biancalana, “Ultrafast nonlinear dynamics of surface plasmon polaritons in gold nanowires due to the intrinsic nonlinearity of metals,” New Journal of Phys. 15, 013033 (2013).
  4. H. W. Lee, M. A. Schmidt and P. St.J. Russell, “Excitation of a nanowire "molecule" in gold-filled photonic crystal fiber,” Opt. Lett. 37, 2946-2948 (2012) (Highlighted in vol. 6, p.501 Nature Photonics “Metal-filled fibres”).
  5. G. K. L. Wong, M. S. Kang, H. W. Lee, F. Biancalana, C. Conti, T. Weiss and P. St.J. Russell, “Excitation of orbital angular momentum resonances in helically twisted photonic crystal fiber,” Science 337, 446-449 (2012) (Highlighted in Laser Focus World, Photonics.com and Phys.org).
  6. P. Uebel, M. A. Schmidt, H. W. Lee and P. St.J. Russell, “Polarization-resolved near-field mapping of a coupled plasmonic waveguide array,” Opt. Express 20, 28409-28417 (2012) (Highlighted in Vol. 8, Iss. 1 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics).
  7. H. W. Lee, M. A. Schmidt, R. F. Russell, N. Y. Joly, H. K. Tyagi, P. Uebel and P. St.J. Russell, “Pressure-assisted melt-filling and optical characterisation of Au nano-wires in microstructured fibres,” Opt. Express 19, 12180-12189 (2011).
  8. M. A. Schmidt, L. Wondraczek, H. W. Lee, N. Granzow, N. Da and P. St.J. Russell, “Complex faraday rotation in microstructured magnetooptical fiber waveguides,” Adv. Material 23, 2681-2688 (2011).
  9. H. W. Lee, M. A. Schmidt, P. Uebel, H. Tyagi , N. Y. Joly, M. Scharrer and P. St.J. Russell, “Optofluidic refractive-index sensor in step-index fiber with parallel hollow micro-channel,” Opt. Express 19, 8200-8207 (2011) (Highlighted in Vol. 6, Iss. 5 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics).
  10. H. K. Tyagi, H. W. Lee, P. Uebel, M. A. Schmidt, N. Y. Joly, M. Scharrer, and P. St.J. Russell, “Plasmon resonances on gold nanowires directly drawn in step-index fiber,” Opt. Lett. 35, 2573-2575 (2010).
  11. H. W. Lee and K. S. Chiang, “CO2 laser writing of long-period fiber grating in photonic crystal fiber under tension,” Opt. Express 17, 4533-4539 (2009).
  12. Y. Liu, H. W. Lee, K. S. Chiang, T. Zhu and Y. J. Rao, “Glass structure changes in CO2 laser writing of long-period gratings in boron-doped single-mode fibers,” J. Lightwave Technol. 27, 857-863 (2009).
  13. H. W. Lee, M. A. Schmidt, H. K. Tyagi, L. P. Sempere and P. St.J. Russell, “Polarization-dependent coupling to plasmon modes on submicron gold wire in photonic crystal fiber,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 111102 (2008) (Highlighted in Vol. 18, Iss. 13 Virtual Journal for Nanoscale Science and Technology).
  14. H. W. Lee, Y. Liu, and K. S. Chiang, “Writing of long-period gratings inconventional and photonic-crystal polarization-maintaining fibers by CO2-laser pulses,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20, 132-134 (2008).
  15. K. N. Yu, H. W. Lee, A.W.T. Wong, Y. L. Law, S. F.L. Cheung, D. Nikezic and F. M.F. Ng, “Optical appearance of alpha particle tracks in CR-39 SSNTD,” Nucl. Instr. and Meth. B 263, 271-278 (2007).
  16. N. J. Baker, H. W. Lee, I. C. Littler, C. M. de Sterke, B. J. Eggleton, D. Y. Choi, S. Madden and B. Luther-Davies, “Sampled Bragg gratings in chalcogenide (As2S3) rib-waveguides,” Opt. Express 14, 9451-9459 (2006).


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