Marc Dignam

Ph.D., P.Eng.


Professor and Dept. Head,

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy

Queen’s University

Stirling Hall Room 371

Tel: (613) 533-6804





·        PHYS/ENPH 480/880 Solid State Physics (Fall 2014)




All of my research lies in the area of theoretical condensed-matter physics and nonlinear and quantum optics.  This work ranges from pure to applied physics and often involves collaboration with experimentalists.  The following is a brief overview of some of my current research interests:


·        Quantum optics and cavity QED in photonic crystals

·        Nonlinear quantum optics in coupled photonic crystal cavities

·        The coherent dynamics and coherent control of excitons excited by ultra-short optical pulses in semiconductor nanostructures

·        The response of semiconductor nanorods and quantum dots to intense THz fields

·        The nonlinear response of graphene to intense THz fields.

·        Treating Phase-Space filling and exchange effects using an excitonic approach to ultrafast carrier dynamics in semiconductor nanostructures




Current Group Members

·        Ibraheem Al-Naib (Postdoctoral Fellow)

·        Mohsen Kamandar (Ph.D.)

·        Parvin Navaeipour (Ph.D.)

·        Nicole Day (M.Sc.)

·        Riley McGouran (M.Sc.)

·        Ryan d’Eon (M.Sc.)


Group Alumni

·        Fredrik Sy (M.Sc., 2014)

·        Max Poschmann (Undergraduate Summer Researcher, 2014)

·        Sean Doutre (M.Sc., 2013)

·        Andrew Parks (M.Sc., 2011)

·        John Simpson-Porco (Undergraduate Summer Researcher, 2010)

·        Dawei Wang (Ph.D., 2008)

·        Arvin Reza (M.Sc., 2008)

·        Dr. David Fussell (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2005-2007)

·        Lijun Yang (M.Sc., 2001; Ph.D., 2005)

·        Julius Wan (Ph.D., 2005)

·        Dr. Aizhen Zhang (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2002-2004)

·        Jean-Marc Lachaine (M.Sc., 2002)

·        Martin Laforest (Undergraduate Summer Researcher 2002)

·        Michael Sawler (M.Sc., 2001)

·        Richard Wassenaar  (Undergraduate Summer Researcher 1999)    

·        More than 30 undergraduate thesis students…        




I am currently studying high-field THz characterization of transport phenomena in graphene and semiconductor nanostructure with experimentalists D. Cooke (McGill) and T. Osaki (INRS).  My group at Queen’s is developing theoretical models of the response of graphene and semiconductor quantum wires, wells, dots and superlattices to intense terahertz fields and applying those models to the experimental systems investigated at McGill and INRS.

I have collaborated with and continue to collaborate with a number of top experimentalists from around the world, including:


·        Profs. Tsuneyuki Ozaki and Roberto Morandotti: Terahertz response of graphene and Metamaterials, INRS, Montreal

·        Prof. David Cooke: Terahertz response of graphene and semiconductor nanostructures, McGill University

·        Prof. Stewart Aitchison: Dynamic localization in coupled optical waveguide arrays, U. of Toronto

·        Prof. Karl Leo: Ultrafast optics of semiconductors, Technical University of Dresden, Germany.

·        Prof. Andrew Weiner: Ultrafast optics of semiconductors, Purdue University, U.S.A.

·        Dr. Jagdeep Shah: Ultrafast optics of semiconductors, Bell Labs, U.S.A..

·        Prof. Emilio Mendez: Optical properties of superlattices, I.B.M. Yorktown, U.S.A.

·        Prof. Horst Stormer (Nobel Laureate 1998): Quantum transport, Bell Labs, U.S.A.

·        Prof. Hartmut Roskos: Terahertz radiation gain in semiconductor superlattices, Gothe Universitat, Frankfurt, Germany




1.           Ibraheem Al-Naib, Max Poschmann and Marc M. Dignam, Optimizing third harmonic generation at terahertz frequencies in graphene, Submitted to Phys. Rev B.

2.           Hafez H, Al-Naib I, Dignam M, Sekine Y, Oguri K, Blanchard F, Cooke D, Tanaka S, Komori F, Hibino H, Ozaki T, Nonlinear terahertz field-induced carrier dynamics in photoexcited epitaxial monolayer graphene, Phys. Rev. B 91, 035422 (2015) (Editor’s Suggestion).

3.           Al-Naib I, Yang Y, Dignam M, Zhang W, Singh R, Ultra-high Q even eigenmode resonance in THz metamaterials, Appl. Phys. Lett. 106, 011102 (2015).

4.            Ibraheem Al-Naib, J.E. Sipe and Marc M. Dignam, High harmonic generation in undoped graphene: Interplay of inter- and intraband dynamics, Phys. Rev. B 90, 245423 (2014)

5.            H. A. Hafez, I. Al-Naib, K. Oguri, Y. Sekine, M. M. Dignam, A. Ibrahim, D. G. Cooke, S. Tanaka, F. Komori, H. Hibino, and T. Ozaki, Nonlinear transmission of an intense terahertz field through monolayer graphene, AIP Advances 4, 117118 (2014).

6.            M. Kamandar Dezfouli, M. M. Dignam, M. J. Steel and J.E. Sipe, Heisenberg treatment of pair generation in lossy coupled-cavity systems, Phys. Rev. A. 90, 043832 (2014).

7.            Mohsen Kamandar Dezfouli and Marc M. Dignam, Large Mode-Volume, Large Beta, Photonic Crystal Laser Resonator, AIP Advances 4, 123003 (2014).

8.            Xiaoli Lei, Dawei Wang, Zhaoxin Wu and M. M. Dignam, Optimizing biased semiconductor superlattices for terahertz amplification, Appl. Phys. Lett. 105, 062112 (2014).

9.            D. G. Cooke, P. Uhd Jepsen, Jun Yan Lek, Yeng Ming Lam, F. Sy and M. M. Dignam, Picosecond Dynamics of Internal Exciton Transitions in CdSe Nanorods, Phys. Rev. B 88, 241307(R) (2013)  (Rapid Communications).

10.       Ibraheem Al-Naib, Gargi Sharma, Marc M. Dignam, Hassan Hafez, Akram Ibrahim, David G. Cooke, Tsuneyuki Ozaki, and Roberto Morandotti, Effect of Local Field-Enhancement on the Nonlinear Terahertz Response of a Silicon-based Metamaterial, Phys. Rev. B 88, 195203 (2013).

11.       A. M. Parks, M. M. Dignam, and D. Wang, Excitonic Analysis of Many-Body Effects on the 1s-2p Intraband Transition in Semiconductor Systems, Phys. Rev. B 87, 205306 (2013).

12.       A. Joushaghani, R. Iyer, J. K. S. Poon, J. Stewart Aitchison, C. M. de Sterke, J. Wan and M. M. Dignam, Generalized Exact Dynamic Localization in Curved Coupled Optical Waveguide Arrays, Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 103901 (2012).

13.      M. M. Dignam and M. Kamandar Dezfouli, Photon–Quantum-dot Dynamics in Coupled-Cavity Photonic Crystal Slabs, Phys. Rev. A 85, 013809 (2012).

14.      Peijun Yao, A. Reza, C. Van Vlack, M.M. Dignam and S. Hughes, Ultrahigh Purcell Factors in Slow-Light Metamaterial Waveguides, Phys. Rev. B 80, 195106 (2009).

15.      A. Joushaghani, R. Iyer, J.K.S. Poon, J.S. Aitchison, C.M. de Sterke, J. Wan and M.M. Dignam, Quasi-Bloch Oscillations in Curved Coupled Optical Waveguides, Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 143903 (2009).

16.      Dawei Wang and Marc M. Dignam, Excitonic Approach to the Ultrafast Optical Response of Semiconductor Quantum Wells, Phys. Rev. B 79, 165320 (2009).

17.      A. Reza, M.M. Dignam and S. Hughes, Can Light be Stopped in Realistic Metamaterials?, Nature 455, E-10 (2008).

18.      D. P. Fussell, S. Hughes and M. M. Dignam, The Influence of Fabrication Disorder on the Optical Properties of Coupled-Cavity Photonic Crystal Waveguides, Phys. Rev. B 78, 144201 (2008).

19.      A. Lisauskas, M.M. Dignam, N.V. Demarina, Ernst Mohler, and H. Roskos, Examining the Terahertz Signal from a Photoexcited Biased Semiconductor Superlattice for Evidence of Gain, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 021122 (2008).

20.      D. P. Fussell and M. M. Dignam, Quasimode-Projection Approach to Quantum--Dot--Photon Interactions in Photonic Crystal Slab Coupled-Cavity Systems, Phys. Rev. A 77, 053805 (2008).

21.      Dawei Wang, Aizhen Zhang, Lijun Yang, and M. M. Dignam, Tunable Terahertz Amplification Using Excitonic States in Optically-Excited Biased Semiconductor Superlattices, Phys. Rev. B 77, 115307 (2008).

22.      David P. Fussell and Marc M. Dignam, Quantum-Dot-Photon Dynamics in a Coupled-Cavity Waveguide: Observing Bandedge Quantum Optics, Phys. Rev. A 76, 053801 (2007).

23.      Dawei Wang, Margaret Hawton and Marc M. Dignam, Excitonic Approach to the Ultrafast Optical Response of Semiconductors, Phys. Rev. B 76, 115311 (2007).

24.      D. P. Fussell and M. M. Dignam, Spontaneous Emission in Coupled Microcavity-Waveguide Structures at the Band Edge, Optics Letters 32, 1527 (2007).

25.      David P. Fussell and Marc M. Dignam, Engineering the Quality Factors of Coupled-Cavity Modes in Photonic Crystal Slabs, Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 183121 (2007).

26.      R. Iyer, J. S. Aitchison, J. Wan, M. M. Dignam and C. M. de Sterke, Exact Dynamic Localization in Curved AlGaAs Optical Waveguide Arrays, Optics Express 15, 3212 (2007).

27.      D. P. Fussell, M. M. Dignam, M. J. Steel, C. Martijn de Sterke, and R. C. McPhedran, Spontaneous Emission and Photon Dynamics in Dielectric Microcavities, Phys. Rev. A 74, 043806 (2006).

28.      M. M. Dignam, D. P. Fussell, M. J. Steel, R. C. McPhedran, and C. M. de Sterke, Spontaneous Emission Suppression via Quantum Path Interference in Coupled Microcavities, Phys Rev Lett. 96, 103902 (2006).

29.      Lijun Yang and M. M. Dignam, Nonlinear Ultrafast Optical Absorption and Pump-Probe Spectroscopy in Biased Semiconductor Superlattices, Phys. Rev. B 73, 035334 (2006). 

30.      Lijun Yang and M. M. Dignam, Self-generated Bloch Oscillations in Biased Semiconductor Superlattices, Phys. Rev. B 73, 075319 (2006). 

31.      Lijun Yang, Ben Rosam, and M. M. Dignam, Density-Dependent THz Emission in Biased Semiconductor Superlattices:  from Bloch Oscillations to Plasma Oscillations, Phys. Rev. B 72, 115313 (2005). 

32.      R. Fanciulli, A. M. Weiner, M. M. Dignam, D. Meinhold, and K. Leo, Coherent Control of Bloch Oscillations by Means of Optical Pulse Shaping, Phys. Rev. B 71, 153304 (2005). 

33.      Aizhen Zhang, Dawei Wang, and M. M. Dignam, Terahertz Gain in Optically-excited Biased Semiconductor Superlattices, Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 171110 (2005). 

34.      J. Wan, M. Laforest, C. M. de Sterke, and M. M. Dignam, Optical Filters Based on Dynamic Localization in Curved Coupled Optical Waveguides, Optics Communications 247, 353 (2005).

35.      M. M. Dignam, M. Hawton, L. Yang, and B. Rosam, The Interplay of Intraband and Interband Polarization in Biased Semiconductor Superlattices, Acta Physica Polinica A 107, 56 (2005).

36.      Ben Rosam, Lijun Yang, Karl Leo, and M. M. Dignam, Terahertz Generation by Difference Frequency Mixing of Excitonic Wannier-Stark Ladder States in Biased Semiconductor Superlattices, Appl. Phys. Lett 85, 4612 (2004).

37.      J. Wan, C. Martijn de Sterke, and M. M. Dignam, Dynamic Localization and Quasi-Bloch Oscillations in General Periodic ac-dc Electric Fields, Phys. Rev. B 70, 125311 (2004). 

38.      Lijun Yang, Ben Rosam, Jean-Marc Lachaine, Karl Leo, and M. M. Dignam, Intraband Polarization and THz Emission in Biased Semiconductor Superlattices with Full Excitonic Basis, Phys. Rev. B 69, 165310 (2004). 

39.      Aizhen Zhang and M. M. Dignam, Intraband Versus Interband Decoherence Times in Biased Semiconductor Superlattices, Phys. Rev. B 69, 125314 (2004). 

40.      J. Wan, P. Domachuk, M. M. Dignam, and C. Martijn de Sterke, Electron dynamics and dynamic localization in asymmetric periodic potentials, Phys. Rev. B 69, 113304 (2004).


                    Member’s of Dignam Research Group in Bold


(Last Modified March 2015)