Hanieh Afkhamiardakani, PhD student, pursues advanced studies at CHTM

May 9, 2017 - Sharon Steely for CHTM

Hanieh Afkhamiardakani, PhD student in Optical Science and Engineering

Hanieh Afkhamiardakani

Hanieh Afkhamiardakani is a doctoral student in the Optical Science and Engineering program (OSE) at The University of New Mexico (UNM), working with the Diels Research Group. Her research specializes in Intracavity Phase Interferometry (IPI) with mode-locked fiber lasers, and she designs her own experiments and setups for her research.

Polarization maintaining, mode-locked fiber lasers are the most promising lasers for IPI because they offer the possibility to have two orthogonally polarized pulses circulating independently in a linear cavity.

Significantly, IPI is able to monitor very small changes in optical path length — as small as 10-15 m (femtometer). Use of the polarization maintaining fiber to make a linear cavity enables two counterpropagating pulses with perpendicular polarizations in the linear fiber laser, with the two arms at one end. Each pulse goes to one arm and different lengths in the cavity may be observed. So, any small changes in one arm is shown in the beat note of the two pulses at the detector. Therefore, very small displacement in the optical path length can be measured using this very compact and stable mode-locked fiber laser. Nonlinear index, magnetic or electric field, rotation, acceleration and other parameters may be measured.

Linear Fiber Laser    

Linear Fiber Laser research diagram

Advisor's knowledge is state-of-the-art

Hanieh is appreciative of her advisor, Dr. Jean-Claude Diels, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, who has taught at UNM and been a faculty member of the Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM) since 1987. She says, “I can trust him. His knowledge of the field is state-of-the-art. I can always reach him without limitation — his door is always open to students, and he will answer any question.”

Diels has advised over 57 Ph.D. and 17 Masters students at UNM. Fourteen issued U.S. patents are a testimony to the strength and diversity of the Diels Group’s research. The group engages in collaborations with other organizations around the world. In July 2016, Diels made a presentation in Barcelona, Spain for the OSA Foundation’s Siegman International School on Lasers. Diels was named the 51st Annual Research Lecturer at UNM in April 2006, and received the 2006 Engineering Excellence Award of the Optical Society of America (OSA) for the invention of the IPI.

Hanieh and family enjoy the Balloon Fiesta

l-r; Ilya, Saeid, Hanieh

Positive setting

CHTM’s environment has proven to be friendly and supportive to Hanieh, who mentions the nice staff. She says, “CHTM is a very well-equipped facility — world class. So far, everything I've needed for my research is available or obtained in a very short time.”

Hanieh's husband, Saeid Rostami, studies with Dr. Mansoor Sheik-Bahae, Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy and General Chair of the OSE program. They have many friends from Iran studying at UNM who share the familiar associations of their home country and this helps her to feel at home here.

Hanieh and Saeid found the admission and acceptance process at UNM encouraging. Hanieh notes that they are both able to pursue their advanced studies at UNM and be together. They can raise their son Ilya in New Mexico’s affordable setting, and enjoy a good quality of life with less pressure than some other locations may have caused.


Farsi translation of Glenn Borman textbook

Recently, Hanieh's Farsi translation of Modulation Transfer Function in Optical and Electro-Optical Systems,” an optical textbook written by Glenn D. Boreman for the SPIE press, was published in hard copy. She began the translation project while working at the Space Research Institute in Iran in 2012. Hanieh has already begun work on another textbook translation into Farsi, "Laser Physics," a Wiley publication by Peter W. Milonni and Joseph H. Eberly.

Published Research

  • “Impact of resonant dispersion on the sensitivity of intracavity phase interferometry and laser gyros,” Optics Express Vol. 24, Issue 26, pp. 30402-30410, 2016
  • “Carbon nanotubes for mode-locking: polarization study,” Proc. SPIE 9746, 2016
  • “Depth profile analysis of nanometric layers by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy,” Journal of Applied Spectroscopy, Volume 80, Issue 1, pp 153–157, 2013
  • “Numerical and experimental depth profile analyses of coated and attached layers by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy,” Spectrochimica acta part B, Volume 65, Issue 3, Pages 210-217, 2010
Laser Physics textbook cover


  • Engineer, Space Research Institute, Tehran, Iran, 2011-2013
  • Deputy quality manager, Active Optical Devices Type Approval Laboratory, University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran, Iran, 2009-2011


  • Master of Science in Optical Science and Engineering, The University of New Mexico, 2015
  • Master of Science in Photonics, University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran, Iran, 2009
    Thesis title: “Coating thickness measurement by Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS)”
  • Bachelor of Science in Physics, Iran, 2006