Anu Agarwal

EMAT Principal Investigator

Principal Research Scientist, Microphotonics Center

Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Boston University

Microphotonics Center


  • Electronic Materials
  • Nanotechnology
  • Photonic Materials


Dr. Anu Agarwal is a Principal Research Scientist at MIT's Microphotonics Center.  Her work has focused on the technologies for the foundational components of future electronic-photonic chips including polysilicon waveguides, LEDs, couplers, and optical buffers.

Dr. Agarwal has been involved in several research projects at the Microphotonics Center at MIT, since its inception. Her prior research includes the integration of active and passive optical components on silicon, using standard Si-CMOS fabrication processes. As a part of this research, she developed, evaluated, and later confirmed, the utility of polycrystalline silicon material for waveguide applications.

Her current work centers on the mid-IR (MIR) regime. Although previous silicon microphotonic devices predominantly utilized the NIR range, the MIR regime is extremely interesting for hyperspectral imaging and chem-bio sensing because most chemical and biological toxins have their fingerprints in this range.  Her work on MIR materials and devices is creating a planar, integrated, Si-CMOS-compatible microphotonics platform which will enable on-chip imaging and sensing applications.

Prior to coming to MIT she received her doctoral degree in Electrical Engineering from Boston University, where she investigated the spatial extent of point defect interactions in silicon. With Dr. Agarwal's cross-disciplinary training, industrial experience, and background in Physics, Electrical Engineering, and Materials Science, she has successfully connected basic sciences with relevant applications, using integrated devices that are manufacturable on a large scale.