Skip to Main Content

L. Michael Hayden

Mike Hayden
Contact Information
Physics, Rm 218;
Labs 406 C&D
Research Group
Intro to THz 
Wiki Page
Google Scholar+


Department Chair


Ph.D. Physics – University of California – Davis, 1987
M.S. Physics – University of California – Davis, 1984
B.S. Physics – United States Naval Academy, 1978

Previous Experience

I joined the faculty at UMBC in 1991 after  service in the U. S. Navy as a Nuclear Propulsion Officer onboard nuclear submarines and after a short career in the Advanced Optical Interconnect group at Unisys Defense Systems.

Professional Interests

Nonlinear optical (NLO) polymers are promising new materials for use in devices such as optical modulators, wave-guide harmonic generators, and integrated optical switches. Devices such as these will be required in future photonic based communication, computing, and sensor systems.  In addition, electro-optic (EO) polymers are finding use as sources for the generation of terahertz (THz) radiation and as sensors for the detection of THz radiation.  Applications of THz radiation include imaging in the medical and security fields, package inspection and tablet evaluation in the pharmaceutical industry, chemical sensing for atmospheric monitoring, and sub-picosecond far-IR spectroscopy of dielectric materials, particularly those materials useful in the fabrication of solar cells.

We also use NLO techniques such as second harmonic generation (SHG) and electro-optic (EO) modulation to probe the local environment and dynamics in macromolecular materials intended for use in photonic devices. Relaxation of the second order optical susceptibility is studied as a function of temperature and pressure. Activation energies and volumes associated with the relaxations are determined and used to identify the mechanism for the re-orientation of the NLO moiety. These structure-property results are used by chemists to synthesize new more stable materials.

We have recently begun to apply molecular modeling techniques to study polymer relaxations, NLO properties of polymers, and to simulate the far-IR spectra of NLO polymers. We have developed fully atomistic models to simulate electric field poling of guest-host and dendrimer NLO composites.  We are also involved in the development of atomistic models that will allow us to predict the far-IR spectrum of EO polymers.

The other major thrust of the laboratory is involved with photorefractive, photochromic, and photo-polymerizable polymers. These new materials are interesting because of their potential application in optical signal processing, holographic storage, all optical computing, and wavefront correction. We currently measure the photoconductivity, electro-optic coefficient, diffraction efficiency, and photorefractive two beam coupling gain in a variety of these new materials. In addition we are exploring guided wave applications in these materials.

Selected Publications

“Ultrafast carrier dynamics and optical properties of nanoporous silicon at terahertz frequencies”, J. R. Knab, X. Lu, F. Vallejo,1 G. Kumar, T. E. Murphy, and L. Michael Hayden, Optics Mater. Express 4, 300-307 (2014).

“Simplified model for optical rectification of broadband terahertz pulses in lossy waveguides including a new generalized expression for the coherence length”, F. A. Vallejo and L. Michael Hayden, Optics Express, 21, 24398-24412 (2013).

“Design of ultra-broadband terahertz polymer waveguide emitters for telecom wavelengths using coupled mode theory”, F. A. Vallejo and L. Michael Hayden,Optics Express 21, 5842-5858 (2013).

“Broadband terahertz characterization of the refractive index and absorption of some important polymeric and organic electro-optic materials”, P. D. Cunningham, N. N. Valdes, Felipe A. Vallejo, L. Michael Hayden, B. Polishak, S. Huang, X.-H. Zhou, J. Luo, A. K.-Y. Jen, J. Williams, and R. Twieg, J. Appl. Phys., 109, 043505-1 – 043505-5 (2011).

“Optical properties of DAST in the THz range”, P. D. Cunningham and L. Michael HaydenOptics Express18, 23620-23625 (2010).

“Charge carrier dynamics of metallated polymers characterized by optical-pump THz-probe spectroscopy”, P. Cunningham, L. Michael Hayden, H.-L. Yip, and A. K.-Y. Jen,J. Phys. Chem. B 113, 15427-15432 (2009).

“Pulsed-THz characterization of Hg-based high-temperature superconductors”, X. L. Cross, X. Zheng, P. Cunningham, L. Michael Hayden, S. Chromik, M. Valerianova, V. Stbik, P. Odier, and R. Sobolewski, submitted to IEEE Trans. Applied Supercond. 19, 3614-3617 (2009)

“Wideband 15-THz response using organic electrooptic emitter-sensor pairs at telecommunication wavelengths”, C. V. McLaughlin, L. Michael Hayden, B. Polishak, S. Huang, J. Luo, T. D. Kim, A. K. –Y. Jen, Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 151107 (2008).     Also published in the Virtual Journal of Ultrafast Science7 (2008).

“Carrier dynamics resulting from above and below gap excitation of P3HT and P3HT/PCBM investigated by optical-pump terahertz-probe spectroscopy”, P. D. Cunningham and L. Michael Hayden, J. Phys. Chem. C 112, 7928-7935 (2008).

“Hybrid success”, L. Michael HaydenNature Photonics 1, 138-139 (2007).

“Comparison of parallel-plate and in-plane poled polymer films for terahertz sensing”, C. V. McLaughlin, X. Zheng, and L. Michael HaydenAppl. Opt. 46, 6283-6290 (2007).

“Terahertz scattering from granular material”, L. M. Zurk, B. Orlowski, B. Jouni, D. P. Winebrenner, E. I. Thorsos, M. R. Leahy-Hoppa, L. Michael HaydenJ. Opt. Soc. Am. B. 24, 2238-2243 (2007).

“Organic broadband terahertz sources and sensors”, X. Zheng, C. V. McLaughlin, P. Cunningham, and L. Michael Hayden, J. Nanoelect. Optoelect. 2, 58-76 (2007).

“Wideband terahertz spectroscopy of explosives”, M. R. Leahy-Hoppa, M. J. Fitch, X. Zheng, L. Michael Hayden, and R. Osiander, Chem. Phys. Lett. 434, 227-230 (2007).

“Atomistic molecular modeling of the effect of chromophore concentration on the electro-optic coefficient in nonlinear optical polymers”, M.R. Leahy-Hoppa, P.D. Cunningham, J.A. French, and L. Michael Hayden, J. Phys. Chem. A 110, 5792-5797 (2006).

“Modeling a broadband THz system based on an electro-optic polymer emitter-sensor pair”, X. Zheng, C. V. McLaughlin, M. R. Leahy-Hoppa, A. M. Sinyukov, and L. Michael HaydenJ. Opt. Soc. Am. B. 23, 1338-1347 (2006).

“Atomistic molecular modeling of electric field poling of nonlinear optical polymers,” M. R. Leahy-Hoppa, J. French, P. D. Cunningham, and  L. Michael Hayden, inNonlinear optical properties of matter: From molecules to condensed phases, Ed. M. G. Papadopoulos, J. Leszczynski and A. J. Sadlej, Kluwer Press, 337-357 (2006).

“Broadband and gap-free response of a terahertz system based on a poled polymer emitter-sensor pair”, X. Zheng, A. Sinyukov, and L. Michael HaydenAppl. Phys. Lett.87, 0811115 (2005).    Also published in the Virtual Journal of Ultrafast Science4(2005).

“Resonance enhanced THz generation in electro-optic polymers near the absorption maximum,” A. Sinyukov, M. R. Leahy, L. Michael Hayden, J. Luo, A. K-Y. Jen, and L. R. Dalton, Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 5827-5829 (2004).

“Efficient electro-optic polymers for THz applications”, A. M. Sinyukov and L. Michael HaydenJ. Phys. Chem. B 108, 8515-8522 (2004).

“New materials for optical rectification and electro-optic sampling of ultra-short pulses in the THz regime”. L. Michael Hayden, A. M. Sinyukov, M. R. Leahy, P. Lindahl, J. French, W. Herman, M. He, R. Twieg, J. Polymer Sci. B. Polymer Phys. 41, 2492-2500 (2003).

“Generation and detection of terahertz radiation in multi-layered electro-optic polymer films”, A. M. Sinyukov and L. Michael HaydenOpt. Lett. 27, 55-57 (2002).

“Dual use chromophores for photorefractive and irreversible photochromic applications”, K. D. Harris, R. Ayachitula, S. J. Strutz, L. Michael Hayden, and R. J. Twieg, Appl. Opt40, 2895-2901 (2001).

“The effect of pressure during poling on the relaxation of a guest-host NLO polymer”, W.-K. Kim and L. Michael HaydenMacromolecules 33, 5747-5750 (2000).

“Fully atomistic modeling of an electric field poled guest-host nonlinear optical Polymer”, W.-K. Kim and L. Michael HaydenJ. Chem. Phys. 111, 5212-5222 (1999).

“Quasi-permanent photochemical gratings in a dual use photorefractive polymer composite”, S. J. Strutz and L. Michael HaydenAppl. Phys. Lett. 74, 2749-2751 (1999).

Ultra-wide bandwidth THz spectroscopy can be used for applications in biological imaging, package inspection, security, sensors, and explosives detection.

Ultra-wide bandwidth THz spectroscopy can be used for applications in biological imaging, package inspection, security, sensors, and explosives detection.