Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center

The primary mission of the Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center (AMPAC) is to excel in the development, processing and characterization of advanced materials and to create a world-class materials processing and analysis facility. AMPAC aims to stimulate growth and in-depth research and education in advanced materials and works to make further developments in areas associated with energy technologies, lasers and microelectronics. AMPAC is home to the Materials Characterization Facility (MCF), a $10 million dollar facility with state-of-the-art surface and materials characterization equipment. This facility is located in the Central Florida Research Park, adjacent to the UCF campus.



Center for Research in Electro-Optics and Lasers

The School of Optics/CREOL is a graduate school for optical science and engineering education and research. Its mission is to: Provide the highest quality education in optical science and engineering, Enhance optics education at all levels, Conduct scholarly, fundamental and applied research, Aid in the development of Florida’s and the nation’s technology based industries, The School of Optics is recognized as one of the top three independent optics academic departments in the nation. The School offers interdisciplinary graduate programs leading to MS and Ph.D. degrees in Optics. CREOL–The Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers is integrated in the school as its research arm. The School of Optics/CREOL has grown to an internationally recognized institute with 24 full time faculty members, 40 research scientists and 100 graduate students with research activities covering all aspects of optics, photonics, and lasers. It is housed in a state-of-the-art 82,000 sq. ft. building dedicated to optics research and education.


Townes Laser Institute

The Townes Laser Institute was dedicated in 2007 in the presence of, and honoring Charles Townes, 1964 Nobel Laureate in Physics and the inventor of the concept of the laser. Associated with CREOL, the College of Optics & Photonics and the Florida Photonics Center of Excellence (FPCE) it is funded by the State of Florida to develop the next generation of laser light engines for applications in medicine, advanced manufacturing and defense applications. Some $4.5M was allocated in 2006 to the Townes Laser Institute for major facilities, and in addition, the President and Provost of UCF allocated five new faculty positions to support the Institute. This investment will complement existing strengths in laser development and laser-based technologies at UCF, in ultra-fast laser technologies, laser materials processing, novel optics for high power lasers, fiber laser development, laser-based sensing, laser-plasma EUV sources, and other related topics.



Florida Space Institute

The mission of FSI is to support space research, development, and education activities within UCF and other FSI member institutions, and secondarily to support all aspects of the development of Florida’s space economy—civil, defense, and commercial. FSI offers support for researchers at UCF and across the state to develop competitive and successful space research efforts and it administers the Florida Space Grant Consortium. FSI is located in the Partnership 1 building in the Central Florida Research Park and includes scientists and engineers from Physics and other departments at UCF.



Physics Teacher Education Coalition

The Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) aims “to improve and promote the education of future physics teachers” to address a critical shortage of well-prepared physics and physical science teachers in the U.S. The PhysTEC project has been lead by the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and supported by the American Institute of Physics (APS) and National Science Foundation (NSF). The goal of PhysTEC funded sites, such as UCF, is to develop national models of physics teacher preparation programs. More information is available at

Click here ( for a presentation about the critical need for physics teachers and how PhysTEC is striving to provide solutions.



Generally nanotechnology deals with structures of the size 100 nanometers or smaller in at least one dimension, and involves developing materials or devices within that size. Nanotechnology is very diverse, ranging from extensions of conventional device physics to completely new approaches based upon molecular self-assembly, from developing new materials with dimensions on the nanoscale to investigating whether we can directly control matter on the atomic scale.

There has been much debate on the future implications of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology has the potential to create many new materials and devices with a vast range of applications, such as in medicine, electronics and energy production. On the other hand, nanotechnology raises many of the same issues as with any introduction of new technology, including concerns about the toxicity and environmental impact of nanomaterials, and their potential effects on global economics, as well as speculation about various doomsday scenarios. These concerns have led to a debate among advocacy groups and governments on whether special regulation of nanotechnology is warranted.