Bahl Research Group

Gaurav Bahl
4413 Mechanical Engineering Laboratory,
105 S. Matthews
Urbana, IL 61801

Tel: (217) 300-2194

Research Overview

The Bahl Research Group performs experimental research at the interface between optical and mechanical systems. Of particular interest are the mechanisms by which light interacts mechanically with photonic microdevices (i.e. via radiation pressure, gradient force, electrostrictive pressure, and photothermal effects), and how mechanical devices can affect and manipulate light.

See Research for more details.


We are always on the lookout for graduate and undergraduate researchers with background in the following topics -- electromagnetics, photonics, microfabrication, material physics, nonlinear optics, MEMS and NEMS, and circuit design. Experimental experience is strongly preferred. Interested students must already be admitted to UIUC and should contact Prof. Bahl with a complete CV highlighting relevant experience.

Latest News

26 January 2015
Non-Reciprocal Brillouin Scattering Induced Transparency appears in Nature Physics.
Congratulations to the team and to our collaborators from Oregon.
Associated news story here.

20 January 2015
Gaurav wins the AFOSR Young Investigator Award (YIP) for proposed work on Chip-Scale Linear Non-Reciprocal Optomechanical Systems. Several major victories for Illinois Engineering.

2 December 2014
Benjamin's outreach efforts with students at the Dr. Howard Elementary School in Champaign are featured on I-STEM.

15 October 2014
Gaurav Bahl, Benjamin Sohn, Shengtai Shi, and Joseph Muskin spent the week at University of Illinois Laboratory High School working with Sharlene Denos and her class on resonant optomechanical sensors.

26 August 2014
It's been a good summer with papers in Journal of Visualized Experiments, Applied Physics Letters, European Physical Journal, and Scientific Reports! Good work team!

1 April 2014
Congratulations to Nathan for winning the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship!

14 Jan 2014
Congratulations to Kewen and JunHwan for their Optics Express paper on multimode aerostatically tunable optomechanical oscillators.

2 December 2013
Nathan's educational activities with 4th graders at Stratton Elementary school are featured in the MechSE weekly news and on the I-STEM website.

26 November 2013
Optics in 2013: "Bridging two worlds: Microfluidic optomechanics" appears in OPN Magazine December 2013 issue (pg. 39). This issue of the monthly magazine of The Optical Society highlights the most exciting optics research to emerge in the preceding 12 months.

11 November 2013
"Cavity optomechanics on a microfluidic resonator with water and viscous liquids" appears in Light Science & Applications .

15 October 2013
Kyu Hyun Kim's paper on Microfluidic Optomechanics is a winner of the Emil Wolf Outstanding Student Paper Competition at Frontiers in Optics 2013.

7 October 2013
Optics in 2013! Each year, the December issue of Optics & Photonics News - the monthly magazine of The Optical Society - highlights the most exciting optics research to emerge in the preceding 12 months. Our submission on Microfluidic Optomechanics has been selected this year!

8 July 2013
Kewen's first conference paper on multi-mode optomechanical pressure sensing is accepted to Frontiers in Optics 2013. Congratulations!

7 Jun 2013
"Brillouin cavity optomechanics with microfluidic devices" appears in Nature Communications. The work is featured on,, and UIUC College of Engineering.

29 Apr 2013
Our research on Brillouin cooling is highlighted in Nature Photonics, Vol. 7, 348-349 (2013) in article titled View from... 2013 Photonics West: Solid cooling.

1 Dec 2012
Our work on Brillouin cooling is featured in the OSA Optics and Photonics News "Optics in 2012" issue which highlights the most exciting optics research to have emerged in the past 12 months.

7 Aug 2012
New course offered: ME498-PM4 Photonic MEMS. Read more.

19 Apr 2012
Gaurav will start as MechSE faculty at UIUC in Fall 2012!

22 Jan 2012
"Observation of spontaneous Brillouin cooling" appears in Nature Physics.

22 Jan 2012
Our work on Brillouin cooling is featured in Nature Physics News & Views!

List of Publications

Click here for Publications page.