Positions

Overview

  • Dr. Christopher Lawson is a full Professor of Physics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His research specialty is optical sensing and nonlinear optics and he has published over 70 journal articles and 10 books or book chapters in these areas. Dr. Lawson has served as Principal Investigator (PI) for over $20M of research grants and PI or co-PI of $50M of research grant funding. In 2004 he established the NSF funded Center for Optical Sensors and Spectroscopies (COSS) at UAB and led this Center until becoming Executive Director of Alabama Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (Alabama EPSCoR )in 2010.

    Dr. Christopher Lawson was elected to Executive Director of Alabama EPSCoR (www.alepscor.org) in 2010. Alabama EPSCoR is dedicated to the advancement of economic development via scientific and engineering research through a collaborative effort among the State’s research universities. Overall, Alabama EPSCoR has been awarded 265 federal EPSCoR grants for $167M from 2009-2019. As Alabama EPSCoR Executive Director, he oversaw the writing of Alabama’s first Science and Technology (S&T) Plan/Roadmap endorsed by all major research institutions in the state, and formally adopted by Alabama Department of Commerce (DOC) Secretary Greg Canfield. Lawson worked with the Alabama DOC to incorporate this new S&T Roadmap into Alabama’s Economic Development Plan, Accelerate Alabama 2.0, complementing it by identifying statewide research priorities and expertise that can provide target economic growth areas to create Alabama jobs. These Roadmap research capabilities are incorporated into a searchable web database (https://alepscor.org/research-capabilities/) which identifies where specific types of high tech research, along with a highly trained workforce, is available in AL to support current and emerging business enterprises across the state.

    Dr. Lawson also serves as the Director of the State funded Graduate Research Scholars Program (GRSP), designed to increase the pool of highly trained graduates available to Alabama industry. As of December 2020, GRSP support has resulted in 204 Ph.D. and 67 Master’s degrees in high technology EPSCoR research areas.

    Finally, since 2016 Dr. Lawson has served as the Chair of the Coalition of EPSCoR/IDEA States, which assumes a leadership role in coordinating national EPSCoR activities. He testified before the U.S. House Appropriations Committee on behalf of the EPSCoR Coalition in 2012 and 2013 and provided written expert witness testimony to the “Driving Innovation Through Federal Investments” full U.S. Senate Hearings in April 2014 and the House Appropriations Committee in 2019.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2017 Synthesis, Linear, and Nonlinear Optical Properties of Phosphonato-Substituted Bithiophenes Derived from 2,2-Dimethyl-1,3-propanediolEuropean Journal of Inorganic Chemistry.  2017:4077-4093. 2017
    2016 Synthesis, thermal analysis, and linear and nonlinear optical characterization of substituted polyphosphonates derived from 1,12-dodecanediolJournal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry.  54:3663-3674. 2016
    2013 Synthesis, linear and nonlinear optical properties of phosphonato- substituted bithiophenes derived from 2,2′-biphenol 2013
    2012 Syntheses, X-ray crystal structures, and optical, fluorescence, and nonlinear optical characterizations of diphenylphosphino-substituted bithiophenes 2012
    2011 Nonlinear optical absorption and fluorescence of phosphine-substituted bithiophenes in the violet-blue spectral regionOptics Communications.  284:3090-3094. 2011
    2011 Syntheses, and optical, fluorescence, and nonlinear optical characterization of phosphine-substituted terthiophenes 2011
    2010 Syntheses, crystal structures and photophysical measurements of phosphite-substituted schiff base and azobenzene liâgandsEuropean Journal of Inorganic Chemistry.  5263-5271. 2010
    2007 Syntheses, characterisations and X-ray crystal structures of 5,5′-bis(diphenylphosphino)2,2′-bithiophene derivatives, Ph2(X)P(C4H2S)2P(X)Ph2 (X = O, S and CH3+ · I-)Main Group Chemistry.  6:215-229. 2007
    2006 Synthesis and characterization of transition metal systems containing phosphino-oligothiophene ligands for nonlinear optical materialsOrganometallics.  25:5045-5050. 2006
    2005 Amplification of narrow line LiF: F2+** color center laser oscillationOptics Communications.  254:290-298. 2005
    2005 Synthesis, X-ray crystal structures and linear and nonlinear optical characterization of a series of nickel(II) and copper(II) salicylaldiminato complexesInorganica Chimica Acta.  358:3773-3785. 2005
    2005 Higher-order triplet interaction in energy-level modeling of excited-state absorption for an expanded porphyrin cadmium complex 2005
    2004 Excited state lifetime and intersystem crossing rate of asymmetric pentaazadentate porphyrin-like metal complexesApplied Physics Letters.  84:5174-5176. 2004
    2001 Degenerate four-wave mixing and Z-scan measurements of stilbazolium derivativesApplied Physics Letters.  78:1817-1819. 2001
    2000 Third-order nonlinear optical properties of an expanded porphyrin cadmium complexApplied Physics Letters.  77:1759-1761. 2000
    2000 Third-order nonlinearity and optical limiting of dichloromethane solutions of cis-Mo(CO)4(PPh3)2Optics Communications.  180:361-366. 2000
    1999 Third-order susceptibilities of asymmetric pentaazadentate porphyrin-like metal complexesApplied Physics Letters.  74:3254-3256. 1999
    1998 Optical limiting performances of asymmetric pentaazadentate porphyrin-like cadmium complexesApplied Physics Letters.  73:1167-1169. 1998
    1998 Erratum: Optical limiting performances of asymmetric pentaazadentate porphyrin-like cadmium complexes (Appl. Phys. Lett. (1998) 73 (1167) (10.1063/1.122366))Applied Physics Letters.  73:2218. 1998
    1998 Coherence-based imaging through turbid media by use of degenerate four-wave mixing in thin liquid-crystal films and photorefractivesApplied Optics.  37:5306-5312. 1998
    1998 Oxidative enhancement of the χ(3) values of solutions of cis-Mo(CO)4L2 (L = PPh3, AsPh3, PPh2Np) complexes as measured by DFWMOptical Materials.  11:87-93. 1998
    1996 Low-coherence reflectometry based on DFWM in a thin liquid layerProceedings of SPIE.  2853:126-134. 1996
    1996 Nonlinear optical characterizations of metal-organic complexes with a wavelength tunable color center laserProceedings of SPIE.  2853:20-27. 1996
    1996 Three-dimensional imaging of protein crystals with the use of optical low coherence reflectometryMicrowave and Optical Technology Letters.  13:63-66. 1996
    1995 Nonlinear optical properties of transition metal-phosphine complexesOptical Materials.  4:455-460. 1995
    1994 Nonlinear reflection at a dielectric-carbon suspension interface: Macroscopic theory and experimentApplied Physics Letters.  64:2081-2083. 1994
    1994 Fiber optic low-coherence interferometry for non-invasive silicon wafer characterizationJournal of Crystal Growth.  137:37-40. 1994
    1994 Nonlinear-optical studies of molybdenum metal organicsOptics Letters.  19:871-873. 1994
    1994 Optical low‐coherence reflectometry (OLCR) for dimensional monitoring of sheet‐grown siliconMicrowave and Optical Technology Letters.  7:305-307. 1994
    1992 Nonlinear transmission and reflection at a dielectric-carbon microparticle suspension interface.Optics Letters.  17:1055-1057. 1992
    1992 Measurements of the minimum reflection signature of pmma fiber splicesMicrowave and Optical Technology Letters.  5:157-159. 1992
    1991 Nanosecond laser-induced cavitation in carbon microparticle suspensions: Applications in nonlinear interface switchingApplied Physics Letters.  58:2195-2197. 1991

    Research Overview

  • Dr. Lawson's personal research interests are In nonlinear optics, directed toward the development and characterization of nonlinear optical (NLO) materials for optical switching and power limiting applications using wavelength tunable Z-scan, degenerate four wave mixing (DFWM), power limiting spectroscopy, and flash photolysis. The focus of this work is to study the relationship between excited state absorption, linear absorption and molecular structure in metal organics using computational modeling supported by a full suite of experimental measurements. His group has demonstrated that unsymmetrical phosphine-substituted bithiophenes exhibit the highest solubility and best blue sensor protection of any material that has been studied in the literature to date. As part of this research, his group has recently developed methods for functionalizing unsymmetrical phosphine-substituted bithiophenes, that will allow it to be incorporated into polymer films and attached to nanoparticles.

    Dr. Christopher Lawson was elected to Executive Director of Alabama EPSCoR (www.alepscor.org) in 2010. The ALEPSCoR Program (see: http://alepscor.org) is dedicated to the advancement of economic development via scientific and engineering research through a collaborative effort among the 8 Alabama Ph.D. granting institutions, the Alabama Department of Commerce (DoC) and ACHE. Overall, ALEPSCoR has been awarded 265 federal EPSCoR grants totaling $167M from 2009-2019, with $14.7M of federal EPSCoR grant funding in FY 2019 alone. Current grants include a five year $20M grant from NSF helping to establish Alabama as the national leader in low temperature plasma science with important applications in medicine and medical implants, food safety, space science and water purification. Other recent federal EPSCoR awards to Alabama researchers are helping neuroscientists to help treat diseases of the brain like Parkinson’s, radiation scientists to develop new radioisotopes to treat cancer and water scientists to maximize our water resources. Overall, these federal EPSCoR grants have led to new scientific discoveries, capabilities, and high-tech infrastructure in Alabama leading to important sustainable job growth.

    The ALEPSCoR state funded (through ACHE) Graduate Research Scholars Program (GRSP), designed to increase the pool of highly trained graduates available to Alabama industries, provides funding for graduate students performing high-tech federal EPSCoR Research, with funding leading to 204 Ph.D. and 67 MS degrees to date.

    In 2016, ALEPSCoR developed the first Science and Technology (S&T) Plan / Roadmap formally adopted by the State of Alabama, and later updates of this document were incorporated in the Alabama DoC Economic Development Plan, Accelerate Alabama 2.0. Working with Secretary Canfield in the Alabama DoC, these Roadmap research capabilities are incorporated into a web searchable data base (click on link on the Business Development Page of www.madeinalabama.com or see: https://alepscor.org/research-capabilities/), which identifies where specific types of high tech research, along with a highly trained workforce, is available to support current and emerging business enterprises across the state. Information on this new ALEPSCoR economic development tool was shared to state-wide economic developers at the Winter 2020 meeting of the Economic Development Association of Alabama when ALEPSCoR Executive Director (and UAB Physics Prof.) Dr. Chris Lawson organized and led a Panel Discussion on “University Research as a Driver and Engine for Economic Growth”.

    Finally, since 2016 Dr. Lawson has served as the Chair of the Coalition of EPSCoR/IDEA States, which assumes a leadership role in coordinating national EPSCoR activities. He testified before the U.S. House Appropriations Committee on behalf of the EPSCoR Coalition in 2012 and 2013 and provided written expert witness testimony to the “Driving Innovation Through Federal Investments” full U.S. Senate Hearings in April 2014 and the House Appropriations Committee in 2019.
  • Principal Investigator On

  • ALEPSCOR Graduate Research Scholars Program Round 14  awarded by ACHE - ALABAMA COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION
  • ALEPSCoR Graduate Research Scholars Program Round 16  awarded by ACHE - ALABAMA COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION
  • Alabama EPSCoR  awarded by ACHE - ALABAMA COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION
  • Alabama Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research  awarded by ACHE - ALABAMA COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION
  • Alabama Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ALEPSCoR)  awarded by ACHE - ALABAMA COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION
  • Alabama Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research / Graduate Research Scholars Program Round 13  awarded by ACHE - ALABAMA COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION
  • Alabama Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research | Graduate Research Scholars Program Round 15  awarded by ACHE - ALABAMA COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION
  • Center for Optical Sensors and Spectroscopies (COSS)  awarded by ALABAMA A & M UNIVERSITY
  • Functionalized Polymers for Nonlinear Optics and for Nano-Materials  awarded by ALABAMA A & M UNIVERSITY
  • Graduate Research Scholar Award - Round 7  awarded by ACHE - ALABAMA COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION
  • Graduate Research Scholar Award - Round 8  awarded by ACHE - ALABAMA COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION
  • Graduate Research Scholar Program (GRSP) Award - Round 10  awarded by ACHE - ALABAMA COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION
  • Graduate Research Scholar Program (GRSP) Award - Round 9  awarded by ACHE - ALABAMA COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION
  • Graduate Research Scholar Program (GRSP) Award-Round 11  awarded by Commission on Higher Education
  • Graduate Research Scholar Program (GRSP) Awards - Round 12  awarded by Commission on Higher Education
  • Graduate Research Scholars Program - Round 6 Supplemental Funds  awarded by ACHE - ALABAMA COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION
  • NSF EPSCoR RII C2 Funding for Center for Optical Sensors and Spectroscopies Cyberinfrastructure  awarded by UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA (HUNTSVILLE)
  • NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Award Year 3-5  awarded by TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY
  • Round 6 Graduate Research Scholars Program (GRSP)  awarded by ALABAMA A & M UNIVERSITY
  • Teaching Overview

  • Dr. Lawson Teaches College Physics I and II, specializing in helping pre-med students to prepare for the various Professional School Exams such as the MCAT. He also teaches a variety of advanced undergraduate and graduate Optics courses.
  • Teaching Activities

  • PH201 - College Physics I (Spring Term 2021) 2021
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2021) 2021
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2021) 2021
  • PH201 - College Physics I (Spring Term 2020) 2020
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2020) 2020
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2020) 2020
  • PH201 - College Physics I (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • PH201 - College Physics I (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • PH201 - College Physics I (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • PH798 - Non-Dissertation Research (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • PH798 - Non-Dissertation Research (Summer Term 2016) 2016
  • PH201 - College Physics I (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • PH798 - Non-Dissertation Research (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • PH201 - College Physics I (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • PH201 - College Physics I (Spring Term 2014) 2014
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2014) 2014
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2014) 2014
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Spring Term 2014) 2014
  • PH799 - Research for Dissertation (Spring Term 2014) 2014
  • PH799 - Research for Dissertation (Fall Term 2013) 2013
  • PH799 - Research for Dissertation (Summer Term 2013) 2013
  • PH202 - College Physics II (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • PH202R - College Physics II Recitation (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • PH202R - College Physics II Recitation (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • PH202R - College Physics II Recitation (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • PH202R - College Physics II Recitation (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • PH202R - College Physics II Recitation (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • PH799 - Research for Dissertation (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • PH798 - Non-Dissertation Research (Fall Term 2012) 2012
  • PH798 - Non-Dissertation Research (Summer Term 2012) 2012
  • PH202 - College Physics II (Spring Term 2012) 2012
  • PH202R - College Physics II Recitation (Spring Term 2012) 2012
  • PH202R - College Physics II Recitation (Spring Term 2012) 2012
  • PH202R - College Physics II Recitation (Spring Term 2012) 2012
  • PH202R - College Physics II Recitation (Spring Term 2012) 2012
  • PH798 - Non-Dissertation Research (Spring Term 2012) 2012
  • PH201 - College Physics I (Fall Term 2011) 2011
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Fall Term 2011) 2011
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Fall Term 2011) 2011
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Fall Term 2011) 2011
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Fall Term 2011) 2011
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Fall Term 2011) 2011
  • PH798 - Non-Dissertation Research (Fall Term 2011) 2011
  • PH798 - Non-Dissertation Research (Summer Term 2011) 2011
  • PH202 - College Physics II (Spring Term 2011) 2011
  • PH202R - College Physics II Recitation (Spring Term 2011) 2011
  • PH202R - College Physics II Recitation (Spring Term 2011) 2011
  • PH798 - Non-Dissertation Research (Spring Term 2011) 2011
  • PH201 - College Physics I (Fall Term 2010) 2010
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Fall Term 2010) 2010
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Fall Term 2010) 2010
  • PH791 - Physics Seminar I (Fall Term 2010) 2010
  • PH798 - Non-Dissertation Research (Fall Term 2010) 2010
  • PH202 - College Physics II (Spring Term 2010) 2010
  • PH202R - College Physics II Recitation (Spring Term 2010) 2010
  • PH798 - Non-Dissertation Research (Spring Term 2010) 2010
  • PH100 - Preparatory Physics (Fall Term 2009) 2009
  • PH201 - College Physics I (Fall Term 2009) 2009
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Fall Term 2009) 2009
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Fall Term 2009) 2009
  • PH798 - Non-Dissertation Research (Fall Term 2009) 2009
  • PH798 - Non-Dissertation Research (Summer Term 2009) 2009
  • PH202 - College Physics II (Spring Term 2009) 2009
  • PH202R - College Physics II Recitation (Spring Term 2009) 2009
  • PH798 - Non-Dissertation Research (Spring Term 2009) 2009
  • PH201 - College Physics I (Fall Term 2008) 2008
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Fall Term 2008) 2008
  • PH202 - College Physics II (Spring Term 2008) 2008
  • PH202R - College Physics II Recitation (Spring Term 2008) 2008
  • PH202R - College Physics II Recitation (Spring Term 2008) 2008
  • PH201 - College Physics I (Fall Term 2007) 2007
  • PH201R - College Physics I - Recitation (Fall Term 2007) 2007
  • Education And Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Physics, Oklahoma State University 1981
  • Master of Science in Physics, University of Colorado System : Boulder 1979
  • Full Name

  • Christopher Lawson