Hergen Eilers

Scientific Interests and Work

Optical properties of materials and their applications.

Dr. Eilers’ research interests focus on understanding optical properties of materials and developing related applications, including nanophase enhanced optical devices. Dr. Eilers uses a wide range of lasers to characterize the structure and dynamic properties of materials. Practical applications of his work include developing advanced sensors for applications in national security such as a new approach to nuclear radiation sensors, sensors to measure and record temperatures under extreme conditions, and a new technique to sense Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).


After earning his Ph.D. in Solid State Laser Physics, Dr. Eilers joined Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA as a postdoctoral associate. In 1995, he and some colleagues started their own company, Quantum Vision, Inc. (QVI) in Palo Alto, California. At QVI, Dr. Eilers performed research on thin-film phosphors embedded in resonant microcavities for display applications.

Dr. Eilers’ interest in start-up companies led him to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA), which he received in 2000 from Golden Gate University. Subsequently, he joined Gemfire Corp. as a Product Manager and Product Marketing Engineer for a thermo-optic polymer-based Variable Optical Attenuator (VOA) for optical telecom applications.

In 2003, Dr. Eilers started his own company, NovaCera, with SBIR funding from the U.S. Air Force. He synthesized nanophase yttria particles for “Windows Materials for Airborne Directed Energy Applications.” In 2004, Dr. Eilers joined the Institute for Shock Physics at Washington State University.


Ph.D. (Physics), 1993, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
M.S. (Physics), 1990, University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany
B.S. (Physics), 1987, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany

Representative Publications

  1. H. Wei, Z. Cleary, S. Park, K. Senevirathne, and H. Eilers, “Fluorescence lifetime modification in Eu:Lu2O3 nanoparticles in the presence of silver nanoparticles,” J. Alloys Compd. (2010), doi:10.1016/j.jallcom.2010.03.220
  2. L. Scudiero, H. Wei, and H. Eilers, ”Photoemission Spectroscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy Investigation of Vapor Phase Co-Deposited Silver/Poly(3-hexylthiophene) Composites,” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2009, 1 (12), pp 2721–2728
  3. H. Eilers, “Effect of particle/grain size on the optical properties of Y2O3:Er,Yb,” J. Alloys Compd. 474, 569-572 (2009).
  4. H. Eilers, “Synthesis and characterization of CO2-laser-evaporated ZnS:Mn thin films,” Mater. Lett. 62, 967-969 (2007).
  5. H. Eilers, “Fabrication, optical transmittance, and hardness of IR-transparent ceramics made from nanophase yttria,” J. Europ. Ceram. Soc. 27, 4711-4717 (2007).
  6. H. Eilers “Synthesis and characterization of Nanophase Yttria co-doped with Erbium and Ytterbium,” Mater. Lett. 60 (2006) 214.