Professor Harrington


  • 1964: BA Physics, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa.
  • 1966: MS Physics, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.
  • 1970: PhD Physics, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.
  • Professional
  • 1972-1973: Research Physicist, Solid State Division, Naval Research Laboratories, Washington, DC
  • 1973-1976: Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama
  • 1977-1984: Senior Staff Physicist, Hughes Research Laboratory, Malibu, California
  • 1985-1989: Director, Infrared Fiber Operations, Heraeus LaserSonics, Westlake Village, California
  • 1989-Present: Professor of Material Science & Engineering, Fiber Optic Materials Research Program, Rutgers University
  • Research Interests
  • Specialty fiber optics
  • Infrared fiber optics including single-crystal sapphire fibers and hollow glass waveguides
  • Laser power delivery systems: laser surgery, printing and marking, and industrial laser delivery
  • Fiber optic sensors: chemical sensors, fibers for thermometry
  • Brief Biography and Research Highlights

    Dr. Harrington has over thirty-five years of research experiences in the area of optical properties of solids. Since 1977, he has worked on all aspects of infrared fibers including fabrication, characterization, and applications. He is generally recognized as one of the world's leading experts in this continually evolving field. His current research interests include the development of specialty fiber optics for use in the delivery of laser power in surgical and industrial applications and for use as chemical and radiometric fiber sensors. Specifically, the newest and most successful of these specialty fibers is the hollow glass waveguide (HGW), which was invented at Rutgers by Dr. Harrington and his students. Initially intended for the delivery of CO2 laser radiation in laser surgery, HGWs are now use not only to deliver IR laser power but also as fiber links in spectroscopic and thermometric applications aimed at the identification of chemical species and the measurement of low and high (>1500°C) temperature radiation. As a result of their universal acceptance, the patented HGW technology is one of the most actively licensed technologies within Rutgers. He is also the inventor of the hollow sapphire and alumina waveguides, which are used today in certain laser surgical applications. Other research activities include the development of diffusing-tip silica fibers for use in photodynamic therapy (PDT) and prostate surgery, the growth of single-crystal sapphire and yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) fibers using laser-heated pedestal growth (LHPG) as well as their application in high-power lasers and amplifiers, and infrared fibers for use in military CO2 laser-threat warning receivers.

    In 2005, Dr. Harrington was selected to work at the U.S. Department of State as a Jefferson Science Fellow. He works as a science advisor within the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation where he assists in the establishment of controls for dual-use high technology goods. Specifically, his work with the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce, and the 40 nations making up the Wassenaar Arrangement has helped establish controls for lasers and detectors.

    As Director of Infrared Fiber Operations for Heraeus LaserSonics, he was in charge of the research and development of fiber optics for delivering infrared laser power in surgical applications. He was the developer of a new class of polycrystalline salt fibers and the inventor of hollow, ceramic and sapphire CO2 fibers. These fibers were incorporated into the first fiber/CO2 laser delivery system for use in gynecology and arthroscopy which, in its first year on the market, had sales exceeding one million dollars. Other research activities include the development of diffusing-tip silica fibers for use in photodynamic therapy (PDT) and prostate surgery, thin film coatings for hollow waveguides, and infrared fibers for use in an Army -sponsored, CO2 laser-threat warning receivers.