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Thomas E. Wilson, Ph.D.

Professor of Physics and Physical Science

Research Breakthrough (featured on Terahertz Technology)

I have recently found evidence for a new method of coherent terahertz acoustic wave generation, namely by degenerate acousto-optic four-wave mixing in a terahertz laser-pumped silicon multilayered structure - a “doping superlattice”. The coherent acoustic quanta or “phonons” created by this process form the acoustic analogue of an optical laser! My work may extend ultrasound imaging into the nanoscale, and allow for a diagnostic nanoscale probe of novel thermal electric devices, as well as fundamental research into condensed matter.

My laboratory in S154 is well-equipped for this research, including a custom cavity-dumped optically-pumped molecular gas laser as stimulus, originally funded under the DoE Strategic Defense Initiative. For fast and sensitive phonon detectors, I use superconducting granular aluminum bolometers that I fabricate at the West Virginia University Physics Departments Shared Research Facility. While at Marshall, I have received numerous federal grants (in chronological order [recent first]): NASA, the US Air Force of Scientific Research, the National Science Foundation, and the US Army Research Office.


_         Ph.D. Physics, Indiana University

_         M.S. Physics, University of Hawaii

_         B.A. Mathematics/Physics, University of Evansville

Honors and Awards

_         Named organizer for the 17th International Conference on Phonon Scattering in Condensed Matter (Phonons 2021), to be held at Marshall University in June 2021.

_         John Marshall University Scholars Award – Summer 2018

_         Marshall University Senior Science/Technology Recipient of Distinguished Artists & Scholars Award in 2017-2018

_         AAPT Apparatus Competition Winner 2017 for “3-D Printed Kelvin Current Balance”

_         Marshall University Senior Science/Technology Recipient of Distinguished Artists & Scholars Award in 2010-2011

_         Marshall University Charles E. Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award in 2002-2003

_         Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute au CNRS, Grenoble, France in 2001-2002

Selected Publications

_         Thomas E. Wilson, “Evidence for terahertz acoustic phonon parametric oscillator based on acousto-optic degenerate four-wave mixing in a silicon doping superlattice”, Phys. Rev. B 98, 220304(R) – Published 28 December 2018.

_         Zhi Liang, Thomas E. Wilson and Pawell Keblinski, "Phonon interference in crystalline and amorphous confined nanoscopic films", Journal of Applied Physics, 121(7), 075303 (2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4976563.

_         T. Wilson, K. Korolev and N. Crowe, “Bilayer lift-off process for aluminum metallization”, Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS (JM3), 14(1), 014501 (Jan-Mar 2015) dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JMM.14.1.014501.

_         Wilson T E, Kasper E, Oehme M, Schulze J, Korolev K, "Evidence of Longitudinal Acoustic Phonon Generation in Si Doping Superlattices by Ge Prism-Coupled THz Laser Radiation", IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering 68 12008 (2014). dx.doi.org/10.1088/1757-899X/68/1/012008.

_         Wilson T E, Oehme M, Kasper E, Gossmann H-J, “Superlattice Ultrasonic Generation”. J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 278, 012028 (2011). doi:10.1088/1742-6596/278/1/012028.

_         Wilson T E, “Evidence for the generation of coherent pulses of sub-THz longitudinal acoustic phonons in nipi silicon doping superlattices”, Chinese J. Phys. 49 (1), 118 (2011). download

_         Wilson T E, “Fabrication of Robust Superconducting Granular Aluminium/Palladium Bilayer Microbolometers with Sub-Nanosecond Response”, J. Low Temp. Phys., 151 (1-2), C22, April 2008. 10.1007/s10909-007-9620-6

_         Wilson T E, “Fabrication of superconducting granular aluminium/palladium bilayer microbolometers”, J. Phys.: Conf. Series. 92, 012180 (2007). doi:10.1088/1742-6596/92/1/012180

_         T. E. Wilson, “Modeling the high-speed switching of far-infrared radiation by photoionization in a semiconductor”, Phys. Rev. B 59 (20), 12996 (1999). http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.59.12996

_         E.R. Mueller, T.E. Wilson and J. Waldment et. al. “Generation of high repetition rate far-infrared laser pulses”, Appl. Phys. Lett. 64 (25),

_         Download these documents here.