From original ground breaking discoveries, to the development of new and revolutionary technologies, to the decoding of the stock market, physicists have revolutionized the way we live our lives. Our professors and our graduates are an important part of this chain. Many of our professors have also been recognized as superb teachers and have been widely recognized as world-class researchers in their respective fields of expertise.

The research conducted by the professors in the Department of Physics is concentrated in several sub-specialties, including the physics of biological and complex systems, condensed matter physics, photonics, and the physics of geomaterials. Depending upon their choice of program, undergraduate students will have the opportunity to take courses and participate in research projects in these specialized areas.

Research areas


Some areas of expertise:

Biomolecular Assemblies

Design of artificial proteins, synthesis of biomaterials, multiscale modeling of cell mechanics (James Harden)


Adhesion, friction and lubrication of synovial fluid and cartilage glycoproteins using the Surface Forces Apparatus. Design of lubricating proteins mimetics (Delphine Gourdon)

Cellular biophysics

Biosensors for single cell studies (Michel Godin); Cellular mechanical response using simultaneous optical and atomic force microscopy techniques (Andrew Pelling, Delphine Gourdon)

Medical biophotonics

Optical techniques for the non-invasive assessment of biological systems; optical models of the eye; monitoring of systemic diseases through the human eye.

Membrane biophysics

Bilayer rupture; mechanosensitive channels; vesicle dynamics (Béla Joós)

Single-Molecule Biophysics

Force Spectroscopy, molecular interactions, solid-state nanopores (Vincent Tabard-Cossa)


Multiscale mechanical and structural response of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins in cancer and design of 3D ECM analogs (Delphine Gourdon)

Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

Biosensing technologies within micro/nano-fluidic environments (Michel GodinVincent Tabard-Cossa); Micro and nano-fluidic bioanalytical devices; simulation of biofilm growth; neurochip devices (Gary W. Slater)


Information processing in the brain; nonlinear dynamics (André Longtin)

Systems Biology

Stochasticity in gene regulation; dynamics of regulatory networks (Mads Kaern)

Quantum/Advanced Materials Physics

Some areas of expertise:

Geochemical Physics of the Environment

Lake sediment structure and evolution (Ivan L’Heureux); nonlinear processes in geochemical systems; pattern formation in rocks and minerals; dynamics of magmatic flow (Ivan L’Heureux)

High Pressure Physics

Modeling of molecular systems under extreme conditions ; dense gas hydrates ; high pressure-high temperature synthesis of potentially ultra-hard materials; use of synchrotron radiation to probe materials (Serge Desgreniers)

Microstructural Science

Carbon nanotubes and nanotube devices; growth and optical properties of semiconductor nanostructures; Electronic and optical properties of semiconductor quantum dots; nano-spintronics with quantum dots; quantum information and computation; modeling of mechanical properties of materials; ab initio calculations (Sylvain Charbonneau, Kuiying Chen, Paul Finnie, Pawel Hawrylak, John Tse, Jacob Krich, Adina Luican-Mayer)

Novel Alloys

Electronic and magnetic properties of quasicrystals, metallic glasses and complex crystalline alloys (Zbigniew M. Stadnik)


Theories of electron transport and device modelling in novel high-efficiency photovoltaics (Jacob Krich, Karin Hinzer, Henry Schriemer); Nonradiative recombination in semiconductor materials (Jacob Krich); Multijunction solar cell characterization and deployment (Karin Hinzer, Henry Schriemer).

Polymer Physics

Theory of electrophoresis for conjugated and branched molecules ; micro- and nano-fluidic bioanalytical devices; theory and simulation of isolated polymer collisions; simulation of biofilm growth; diffusion on a lattice with obstacles (Gary W. Slater)

Quantum materials

Strongly correlated materials; Bose-Einstein condensation of exciton-polaritons; low-dimensional semiconductors (Jean-Michel Ménard, Adina Luican-Mayer)

Soft Condensed Matter

Experimental and computational study of aging and dynamics in soft glassy materials (James HardenBéla Joós); Microrheology of soft materials (James Harden); Highly entropic inhomogeneous materials and biological membranes; physical properties of these materials under stress (Béla Joós)

Surface Physics

Surface morphology of crystalline solids on the nanometer scale; kinetics of surface roughening and annealing; reaction kinetics on surfaces (Javier GiorgiPeter Piercy, Adina Luican-Mayer)


Some areas of expertise:

Visit the Centre for Research in Photonics webpage for more detailed information regarding our research efforts.

Laser Applications

Frequency stabilized near-infrared lasers ; precision measurements (Andrzej Czajkowski)

Medical biophotonics

Optical techniques for the non-invasive assessment of biological systems; optical models of the eye; monitoring of systemic diseases through the human eye.

Nanophotonics and Quantum Nonlinear Optics

Slow and fast light: quantum imaging; quantum communication using orbital angular momentum states of light; nanophotonics including metamaterials and photonic crystal structures; Quantum Information in Integrated Optics, Quantum Metrology, Sources of Entangled and Single Photons, Fundamental Issues in Quantum Physics, Quantum Optics (Robert BoydJeff Lundeen)

Optical Sensing

Theory and instrumentation for distributed fiber sensing of structural health properties in large infrastructures (Xiaoyi BaoLiang Chen)


Fabrication of Bragg Gratings in Waveguides ; UV and ultrafast IR photosensitivity; phase mask design; Bragg grating structures; fused biconic tapered coupler devices; photonics and material sciences applications; photonic applications of quantum dots; ultrafast spectroscopy (Sylvain Raymond, Henry SchriemerK. Hinzer, Jean-Michel Ménard)

Fiber Optics

Fiber communication impairments ; Brillouin effect for optical routing; ultrafast fiber lasers; nonlinear effects in micro-structured fibers (Xiaoyi Bao , Liang ChenPing Lu, Jean-Michel Ménard)

Laser Matter Interaction

Strong field atomic and molecular physics; laser processing of matter on sub-micron scale (Thomas Brabec , Ravi BhardwajLora Ramunno)

Attosecond Physics

Generation and measurement of ultra-short high intensity optical and electron pulse; molecular photonics (Thomas BrabecRavi BhardwajPaul CorkumAlbert StolowDavid Villeneuve)

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