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About SPRC

The Stanford Photonics Research Center builds strategic partnerships between the Stanford University research community and companies employing optics and photonics in their commercial activities. SPRC offers member companies facilitated access to Stanford faculty, students, and researchers via faculty-led Working Groups, SPRC workshops and symposia, research project collaborations and visiting researcher programs.




Stanford engineers take big step toward using light instead of wires inside computers

courtesy Vuckovic lab
Using a new algorithm, Stanford engineers can design and build a prism-like silicon structure that can bend light at right angles. The goal is to transmit data faster and more efficiently via optical rather than electrical signals.


Faculty Spotlight

Thomas M. Baer

Executive Director, SPRC
Thomas M. Baer

Tom Baer is the Executive Director of the Stanford Photonics Research Center at Stanford University and co-founder of Arcturus Bioscience, Inc. which he established in 1996. He served as the company's Chairman and CEO until January 2005. Prior to Arcturus, Dr. Baer was Vice President of Research at Biometric Imaging, where he led an interdisciplinary group developing instrumentation and reagents with applications in the areas of AIDS monitoring, bone marrow transplant therapy, and blood supply quality control. From 1981 to 1992 Dr. Baer was at Spectra-Physics, Inc., in Mountain View, California, where he held positions as a Research Scientist, Spectra-Physics Fellow, and Vice-President of Research. In 1989, he co-founded a new company, Spectra-Physics Laser Diode Systems, which was established to commercialize diode and solid-state laser instruments based on his research.Dr. Baer has been a pioneer in many areas of biotechnology, laser development, and laser applications, and is listed as an inventor on over 50 patents in these areas. He graduated with a BA degree in Physics from Lawrence University and received his MS and Ph.D. degrees in Atomic Physics from the University of Chicago. He has been elected to the status of Fellow of two major international scientific societies, The American Association for the Advancement of Science and The Optical Society of America. Dr. Baer also was awarded the Silicon Valley Entrepreneurial Award for Emerging Companies by the San Jose Business Journal.

Research Areas:

Biophotonics, medical diagnostic instrumentation, microscopy, laser source engineering, consumer applications of photonics, entrepreneurship

Affiliations(s): OSA

Ginzton Laboratory
Mail Code: 


Working Group(s): 

SPRC is proud to support the National Photonics Initiative. The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) is a collaborative alliance among industry, academia and government seeking to raise awareness of photonics - the application of light - and drive US funding and investment in five key photonics-driven fields critical to US competitiveness and national security: advanced manufacturing, communications and information technology, defense and national security, energy, and health and medicine.