The Optical Physics Branch, Code 5610, conducts basic and applied research leading to the development of improved materials, processes and devices that satisfy the demanding requirements of current DoD electro-optical, fiber-optic, laser and optical sensor applications. The branch is organized into four sections. Code 5611, the Optical Nanotechnology Section, performs research in the development of colloidal semiconductor and metal nanocrystals for use in a wide range of applications, including biosensing, bioimaging, optical detectors and light sources. Code 5612, the Aerosol Optics Section, specializes in the investigation of the optical properties of single aerosol particles and the development of groundbreaking chemical and biological aerosol detection technologies. Code 5613, the Quantum Electro-Optics Section, is internationally recognized for the development of antimonide-based quantum-confined semiconductor heterostructures, with applications in the development of infrared lasers and photodetectors. Code 5616, the Advanced Optical Materials Section, is a pioneer in the development of nanolayered polymers. The multilayered polymers are used in the development of novel polymer gradient index lenses that are significantly thinner and lighter than conventional glass lenses, and in the development of high-energy capacitor materials.

A significant fraction of the branch research programs are basic science investigations of novel optical materials and most of the Optical Physics Branch scientific staff are chemists and physicists with extensive expertise in materials science, polymer chemistry, organometallic synthesis, and nanoscience. Novel materials are thoroughly characterized using a wide range of scientific tools to better understand their physical and optical properties. Descriptions of branch facilities and significant resources are provided in the links to each section. Other Optical Physics Branch research programs include investigation of quantum memories using trapped cold atoms (quantum optics), development of metamaterials and photonic band gap materials, and development of optical imaging detection systems for assessing the condition of oil and hydraulic fluids.

The Optical Physics Branch encourages collaborations with interested research partners. Job opportunities are dependent on the availability of funding, however, inquiries from highly qualified and motivated applicants are welcome. Information about postdoctoral and federal employment opportunities can be found on the NRL home page.