Dawn Tan

Assistant Professor

Email: qnja_gna@fhgq.rqh.ft
Website: http://photonics.sutd.edu.sg
Telephone: +65 6499 4607
Research Areas:
Quantum Physics, Optics, Photonics

Pillar / Cluster: Engineering Product Development


Dawn Tan is an assistant professor at SUTD. She obtained her Ph.D. and M.S. from the University of California at beautiful San Diego and her B.A.Sc from the University of British Columbia. She was previously a senior engineer at Luxtera – a leader in CMOS photonics, where she worked in the field of silicon photonics. She has published three book chapters and over 30 refereed journal and conference articles in the field of integrated optics, silicon photonics and nonlinear optics. Her experience in both industry and academia equips her with a discerning eye on the physical and technological problems which need to be solved in today’s world.

Dawn’s fields of interest are in experimental optical physics, pertaining to the study of both nonlinear and linear optical phenomena, nanophotonics and quantum optics. Through creative design, photonics can find wide ranging applications in optical communications, computing, imaging, Biomedicine and sensing. Rather than dichotomize design approaches in industry and academia, Dawn seeks innovative solutions which bridge the industry-academia gap.

Prior to joining SUTD, Dawn was involved in outreach programs in the United States. As the president of the NSF Center for Integrated Access Networks student leadership council at UCSD, she worked with K12 students and educators to help promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). She is particularly interested in increasing the popularity of engineering among women and enjoys working and interacting with students.


  • Ph.D. Electrical Engineering (Photonics), University of California San Diego
  • M.S. Electrical Engineering (Photonics), University of California San Diego
  • B.A.Sc. (Distinction) Electrical Engineering, University of British Columbia

Research Interests

  • Silicon Photonics
  • Nonlinear Optics
  • Nanophotonics
  • Optoelectronics
  • Biophotonics

Awards and Achievements

  • President, NSF Center for Integrated Access Networks, UCSD student leadership council, 2009 – 2010
  • Best Paper Award, WIO’ 2009
  • UCSD Graduate Research Assistantship, 2007- 2011
  • Powell Fellowship, 2006
  • Powell Bonus Award, 2006 – 2008
  • UBC Undergraduate Scholar and Deans Honor List

Research Opportunities

Collaborations in the field of nanophotonics, nonlinear optics and silicon photonics, as well as interdisciplinary collaborations are very much welcome. Prospective postdoctoral researchers and researchers interested in these fields may contact Prof. Tan with a copy of your CV and for details.

Key Publications

  • D. T. H. Tan, K. Ikeda, S. Zamek, A. Mizrahi, M. P. Nezhad, A. V. Krishnamoorthy, K. Raj, J. E. Cunningham, X. Zheng, I. Shubin, Y. Luo, and Y. Fainman, “Wide bandwidth, low loss 1 by 4 wavelength division multiplexer on silicon for optical interconnects,” Opt. Express 19, 2401-2409 (2011).
  • D. T. H. Tan, P.C. Sun and Y. Fainman, “Monolithic nonlinear pulse compressor on a silicon chip,” Nature Communications 1, 116, (2010).
  • D. T. H. Tan, K. Ikeda, P. C. Sun, and Y. Fainman, “Group velocity dispersion and self phase modulation in silicon nitride waveguides,” Appl. Phys. Lett96, 061101 (2010).
  • D. T. H. Tan, P.C. Sun and Y. Fainman, “Ultrafast Compression of Optical Pulses on a Silicon Chip,” in IEEE Photonics Society 23rd Annual Meeting, postdeadline paper PD3 (2010).
  • D. T. H. Tan, K. Ikeda, and Y. Fainman, “Cladding-modulated Bragg gratings in silicon waveguides,” Opt. Lett. 34, 1357-1359 (2009).
  • D. T. H. Tan, K. Ikeda, R.E. Saperstein, B. Slutsky, and Y. Fainman, “Chip-scale dispersion engineering using chirped vertical gratings,” Opt. Lett.33, 3013-3015  (2008).