Presently, Michael is driving new frontiers in the integrated photonics field as: CEO and Board Director, Lightwave Logic Inc. Michael is also part-time full Professor and Chair of optoelectronics at Glyndwr University in Wales, UK where he contributes to the European Commission’s programs and pilot lines in integrated photonics. Michael has been involved in photonics for his whole career which began with research for the UK Government R&D labs in 1977, and continued at AT&T Bell Labs in 1984. At that time, Michael’s activities included researching novel optoelectronic devices in III-V compound semiconductors. Michael then went to Motorola’s Corporate R&D labs in 1989 and drove the VCSEL based technology platform to product and high volume manufacturing. He continued his fiber optics roles at AMP/TE Connectivity, and then helped initiate Intel’s silicon photonics work in 1999. In 2001, he founded his own company Ignis Optics to develop OC-48/192 transceivers and subsequently sold the company to Bookham (now Oclaro). Michael then led OIDA (Optoelectronics Industry Development Association) in Washington DC to campaign on behalf of the photonics industry. At OIDA Michael coined the term ‘green photonics’ and established this as discipline in the industry. Michael also spoke on Capitol Hill representing the optoelectronics industry. Since 2010, Michael has been focusing on bringing PIC (Photonic Integrated Circuit) based technologies to market in various roles that include Solar, LED lighting, and Integrated Photonics for fiber communications. Michael is pursuing high speed polymer based integrated photonics as part of a polymer PIC platform at Lightwave Logic Inc.
There is a triple demand for increased power efficiency. Firstly, today’s applications are demanding lower power consumption. Secondly, as speeds increase, power consumption tends to increase, so more efficiency is needed to stay even. Thirdly, photonics integration is both an answer and a challenge for power: Integration as an answer minimizes the excess power needed for interconnection between functions which is very important, however, the challenge is that the greater thermal density that results from integration can be an additional reason power needs to be mitigated. Electro-optic polymers offer power efficiency due to their high electro-optic coefficients which lead to low voltage requirements for very high speed performance.