Laboratory of optics

Head of Laboratory: Zhandos Utegulov

NLA Optics Laboratory is focused on R&D in the area of laser-based materials characterization and processing, fast and ultra-fast time-resolved laser-acoustic and photo-thermal techniques, inelastic laser (Raman and Brillouin) light scattering spectroscopy, surface plasmon-enhanced spectroscopy and nano-imaging of variety of nanostructured, thin film, bulk and bio-materials. The laboratory is also working on the development of novel in-situ laser-based sensors for materials processing and diagnostics. Materials and laser techniques under study span variety of applications including but limited to (nuclear, fusion, gas turbine, solar, …) energy, nanotechnology and biomedicine.


  • Generation of new knowledge and developing skills in the area of laser-based material science & development of novel in-situ laser-based sensors for processing and diagnostics of variety of materials on short spatio-temporal scales for variety of scientific and industrial applications
  • Training students and young researchers in the area of advanced materials research and laser technologies.
  • Raising the status and international recognition of the Center, Nazarbayev University, and Kazakhstan R&D as a whole.

Research directions

The main research directions in the laboratory are centered around laser-based material science and development of novel laser-based sensors for materials processing and characterization:

  • Nanosecond laser acoustics, pyrometry and photo-thermal phenomena for characterization of thermophysical and mechanical properties of thin films and coating for hard & wear-resistant coating applications, bulk nuclear fuels, target materials for fusion devices and high energy density research
  • Brillouin scattering micro-spectroscopy of elastic properties of bio-materials & development of picosecond second harmonic generation microscopy of collagen-based bio-materials for cancer studies
  • Development of picosecond time-domain thermoreflectance for fundamental understanding of nanoscale thermal energy transport in thermal barrier coatings for gas turbine applications, novel thin films and nanostructures for nano-electronics applications.
  • Fabrication of hypersonic phononic crystals by femtosecond laser-induced two-photon polymerization and their characterization by Brillouin spectroscopy for novel phononic and microelectronics applications
  • AFM-Raman micro-spectroscopy for submicron and nanometer scale characterization of novel Si-based nanostructures for solar cells and nano-electronics applications.