Who we are

  • Tara Drake

    Principal Investigator.
    BS Physics, University of Delaware
    PhD Physics, JILA, University of Colorado, Boulder
    National Research Council Postdoctoral Researcher, NIST

  • Lala Rukh

    Lala Rukh

    Graduate Research Assistant.
    BS Electrical Engineering, Lahore Unviersity of Management Sciences

  • Gabriel Colacion

    Gabriel Colacion

    Graduate Research Assistant.
    BA Physics, Reed College

  • Noelle Collins

    Noelle Collins

    Graduate Research Assistant.
    BS Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Arizona
    MS Electrical Engineering, UC Santa Barbara


Professor Drake's research centers on nonlinear optics in microscopic photonic structures.

Our current focus is on "microcombs" -- optical frequency combs formed in dielectric microring resonators via cascaded four-wave mixing. Microcombs are key components in compact optical atomic clocks and optical synthesizers, on-chip spectrometers, and integrated quantum systems.

Besides developing microcombs for novel applications, we also study the rich array of nonlinear processes within our microresonators which lead to exotic phenomena such as self-organizing soliton crystals and laser cooling of light.

Dr. Drake's Awards and Honors

2020 Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award/2-Photon Optical Clock Collaboration, The Optical Society

2020 Women in STEM Award, University of New Mexico

2016 NRC-NAS Postdoctoral Research Fellow, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO

Recent Publications

T. E. Drake, J.R. Stone, T. C. Briles, and S. B. Papp, "Thermal decoherence and laser cooling of a Kerr-microresonator soliton," Nature Photonics, 14, 480-485 (2020)

T. E. Drake, T. C. Briles, D. T. Spencer, J. R. Stone, D. R. Carlson, D. D. Hickstein, Q. Li, D. Westly, K. Srinivasan, S. A. Diddams, S. B. Papp, "Terahertz-rate Kerr-microresonator optical clockwork," Phys. Rev. X 9, 031023 (2019)

Z. L. Newman, V. Maurice, T. E. Drake, J. R. Stone, T. C. Briles, D. T. Spencer, C. Fredrick, Q. Li, D. Westly, B. R. Ilic, B. Shen, M. -G. Suh, K. Y. Yang, C. Johnson, D. M. S. Johnson, L. Hollberg, K. Vahala, K. Srinivasan, S. A. Diddams, J. Kitching, S. B. Papp, M. T. Hummon, "Architecture for the photonic integration of an optical atomic clock," Optica 6, 680-685 (2019)

D. T. Spencer, T. Drake, T. C. Briles, J. Stone, L. C. Sinclair, C. Fredrick, Q. Li, D. Westly, B. R. Ilic, A. Bluestone, N. Volet, T. Komljenovic, L. Chang, S. H. Lee, D. Y. Oh, M.-G. Suh, K. Y. Yang, M. H. P. Pfeiffer, T. J. Kippenberg, E. Norberg , L. Theogarajan, K. Vahala, N. R. Newbury , K. Srinivasan, J. E. Bowers, S. A. Diddams, and S. B. Papp, "An optical-frequency synthesizer using integrated photonics," Nature 557, 81-85 (2018)