Dr. Helgren is a Bay Area native having grown up in San Francisco. He attended UCLA, earning a B.S. in Physics in 1996, after which he spent a year working in Industry for Hughes/Raytheon Defense Systems in El Segundo, CA as a Systems Engineer. He continued with his graduate education at UCLA and focussed on Condensed Matter Physics, specializing in microwave and millimeter-wave (or terahertz) spectroscopy techniques to study the electrodynamics of materials under the guidance of Dr. George Gruner and was awarded his doctorate in 2002. Dr. Helgren took a post-doctoral position at UCSD working with Drs. Frances Hellman and Bob Dynes in the Department of Physics and his research focussed on magnetic semiconductor materials. He accepted a joint position as an Assistant Project Scientist in the Department of Physics at UC Berkeley & in the Materials Science Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and worked there until joining the faculty here at California State University East Bay.
I am currently working on a number of projects including testing methods to improve the efficiency of organic, polymer-based solar cells using nanotechnology. I am also interested in modeling and characterizing metamaterials, engineered objects that interact with light in non-intuitive ways, e.g. negative index of refraction materials.
Recently, along with Drs. Kimball and Singley in the Physics Department and Dr. Masiello in the Chemistry Department, I have obtained funding for an ultrafast laser frequency comb system which provides us the capability to perform terahertz time-domain spectroscopy of materials.
Not teaching this quarter.