Yurii Vlasov

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Yurii Vlasov
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
1250 Micro and Nanotechnology Lab
208 N. Wright Street
Urbana Illinois 61801

For more information



  • PhD (Physics) 1994, Ioffe Institute of Physics and Technology, St.-Petersburg, Russia
  • MS (Biophysics) 1988, University of St.-Petersburg, Physics Department, Russia


Dr. Yurii Vlasov is a Founder Professor of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is tenured with the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Bio-Engineering, as well as affiliated with Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory. At the UIUC he established two experimental labs: the first one focused on integrated photonics for biomedical applications and the second lab dedicated to experimental systems neuroscience. These two main directions reflect his current interest in applications of engineering solutions to life sciences.

Prior to joining the UIUC, Dr. Vlasov held various research and managerial positions at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in N.Y. where he led broad company-wide efforts in integrated silicon nanophotonics and more recently in neuromorphic computing architectures. He initiated the Silicon Nanophotonics project in 2001 and managed it for over 15 years from its early fundamental research stage up to commercial manufacturing of optical transceivers for large-scale datacenters and supercomputers.

Prior to IBM, Dr. Vlasov developed semiconductor nanophotonics at the N.E.C. Research Institute in Princeton, N.J. and at the Strasbourg IPCMS Institute in France. For over a decade, he was also a Research Scientist with the Ioffe Institute of Physics and Technology in St. Petersburg, Russia working on optics of nanostructured semiconductors. He received his M.S. from the University of St. Petersburg (1988) and Ph.D from the Ioffe Institute (1994), both in physics.

Academic Positions

  • 2007-2008 Adjunct Professor, ECE Department, Columbia University, NY
  • Courses taught: E4944, E9402

Other Professional Employment

  • 2015-current Senior Fellow , HHMI Janelia Research Campus, VA
  • 2015-2016 Manager, Department of Brain-Inspired Technologies, IBM TJ Watson Research Center, NY
  • 2013- 2014 Visiting Scientist, HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus, VA
  • 2008- 2013 Manager,Department of Silicon Integrated Nanophotonics, IBM TJ Watson Research Center, NY
  • 2001-2008 Project Lead, Silicon Nanophotonics, IBM TJ Watson Research Center, NY
  • 2000-2001 Scientist, NEC Research Institute, Inc., Princeton NJ
  • 1998-2000 Postdoctoral Member of Staff, NEC Research Institute, Inc., Princeton NJ
  • 1996-1997 Postdoctoral Fellow, Strasbourg Institute of Materials Physics, France
  • 1994-2000 Research Scientist, Ioffe Institute of Physics and Technology, Russia
  • 1988-1994 Junior Research Scientist, Ioffe Institute of Physics and Technology, Russia

Professional Registrations

  • IEEE Fellow 2015
  • APS Fellow 2007
  • OSA Fellow 2006

Professional Highlights

Research Interests

  • Integrated nanophotonics devices and systems; Nanophotonics for biomedical applications
  • Neurophotonics and Neuroengineering, Integrated neural probes, Brain-machine interface, Virtual Reality systems
  • Experimental systems neuroscience, Hierarchical information processing in somatosensory cortex, Neural coding
  • Neuromorphic computing, Resistive memory, Machine learning

Research Areas

  • Bionanotechnology
  • Machine learning
  • Nano-photonics
  • Nanotechnology
  • Optical communications
  • Photonic integrated circuits (PICs)

Research Topics

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Google Scholar ; Total number of publications >300 including journal papers, refereed proceedings and book chapters
  • Acceleration of Deep Neural Network Training with Resistive Cross-Point Devices, Tayfun Gokmen, Yurii Vlasov; arXiv:1603.07341 [cs.LG] (2016)
  • Neural coding in barrel cortex during whisker-guided locomotion; N.Sofroniew, Y.Vlasov, S. Hires, J.Freeman, K.Svoboda; eLife 2015;4:e12559 (2015)
  • A 90nm CMOS Integrated Nano-Photonics Technology for 25Gbps WDM Optical Communications Applications, S. Assefa, S. Shank, W. Green, M. Khater, E. Kiewra, C. Reinholm, S. Kamlapurkar, A. Rylyakov, C. Schow, F. Horst, H. Pan, T. Topuria, P. Rice, D. M. Gill, J. Rosenberg, T. Barwicz, M. Yang, J. Proesel, J. Hofrichter, B. Offrein, X. Gu, W. Haensch, J. Ellis-Monaghan, and Y. Vlasov , IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting, postdeadline session 33.8, IEDM Digest (2012)
  • Reinventing germanium avalanche photodetector for nanophotonic on-chip optical interconnects, S. Assefa, F. Xia, Y.A. Vlasov, Nature 464(7285), 80-84, (2010)
  • High-throughput silicon nanophotonic wavelength-insensitive switch for on-chip optical networks, Y Vlasov, WMJ Green, F Xia, Nature Photonics 2 (4), 242-246, (2008)
  • Ultra-compact, low RF power, 10 Gb/s silicon Mach-Zehnder modulator, WM Green, MJ Rooks, L Sekaric, YA Vlasov, Optics Express 15 (25), 17106-17113, (2007)
  • Ultracompact optical buffers on a silicon chip, F Xia, L Sekaric, Y Vlasov, Nature Photonics 1 (1), 65-71, (2006)
  • Active control of slow light on a chip with photonic crystal waveguides, YA Vlasov, M O'Boyle, HF Hamann, SJ McNab, Nature 438 (7064), 65-69, (2005)
  • Losses in single-mode silicon-on-insulator strip waveguides and bends, YA Vlasov, SJ McNab, Opt. Express 12 (8), 1622-1631, (2004)
  • Ultra-low loss photonic integrated circuit with membrane-type photonic crystal waveguides, S McNab, N Moll, Y Vlasov, Optics Express 11 (22), 2927-2939, (2003)
  • On-chip natural assembly of silicon photonic bandgap crystals, YA Vlasov, XZ Bo, JC Sturm, DJ Norris, Nature 414 (6861), 289-293, (2001)
  • Chemical Approaches to Three‐Dimensional Semiconductor Photonic Crystals, DJ Norris, YA Vlasov, Advanced Materials 13 (6), 371-376, (2001)
  • Synthesis of Photonic Crystals for Optical Wavelengths from Semiconductor Quantum Dots, Yu. A. Vlasov, Nan Yao, and D. J. Norris, Adv. Mater. 11, 165 (1999)
  • Existence of a photonic pseudogap for visible light in synthetic opals, YA Vlasov, VN Astratov, OZ Karimov, AA Kaplyanskii, VN Bogomolov, AV Prokofiev, Physical Review B 55 (20), 13357-13360, (1997)


  • Over 100 patents in the areas of nanophotonics, CMOS manufacturing, photonics packaging, neuromorphic devices and systems, etc. , including issued (>60) and pending (>35)

Conferences Organized or Chaired

  • General Co-Chair, Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference, 2016
  • Program Co-Chair, Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference, 2015
  • Co-Founder of a novel programming area on ComputerCom in a major professional conference and industrial trade-show Optical Fiber Communications through a series of workshops (2008), special Symposia (2009, 2010) and finally a new Committee on “Optics for Computercom and Data Centers” (2011)
  • Member, Committee “Optical Dispersion Compensation”, Optical Fiber Communications, 2008-2009
  • Member, Organizing Committee, Nonlinear Optics, OSA Topical, Hawaii, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
  • Member, Organizing Committee, “Photonic Metamaterials: from Random to Periodic”, OSA Topical Meeting, Jackson Hole, WA, 2007
  • Member, Advisory Committee, VII Symposium on Photonic and Electromagnetic Crystal Structures, Monterey, CA, 2007
  • Chair, Committee on “Fundamentals of Metamaterials, Random and Periodic Media”, CLEO/QELS 2006
  • Member, Organizing Committee, “Photonic Metamaterials: from Random to Periodic”, OSA Topical Meeting, Bahamas, 2006
  • Member, Organizing Committee, IEEE LEOS Annual Meeting, Sydney, Australia, October 2005.
  • Member, Advisory Committee, VI Symposium on Photonic and Electromagnetic Crystal Structures, NATO ASI, Crete, 2005
  • Member, Organizing Committee, Nanophotonics for Information Systems, OSA Topical, San Diego, 2005
  • Member, Organizing Committee, “Fundamentals of Metamaterials, Random and Periodic Media”, CLEO/QELS 2004, 2005
  • Member, Organizing Committee, OSA Topical meeting “Integrated Photonics Research”, Washington 2004.
  • Member, Organizing Committee, “Waves in Random and Periodic Media”, CLEO/QELS 2003
  • Co-Chair, “Holey fibers and photonic crystals” LEOS Summer Topical Meeting 2003
  • Chair, Symposium on “Microphotonics – Materials and Applications”, MRS Fall Meeting 2002
  • Member, Organizing Committee, “Novel Optics and Photonic Crystals”, CLEO/QELS 2000

Professional Societies

  • Led development of a novel CWDM4 proposal for the IEEE 100G Ethernet 802.3bm committee that once acquired a highest level of support on the floor. Full baseline proposal (draft clause 96) with all specifications had been prepared for final voting. Although no consensus was reached by 802.3bm, several MSA had been established following the specs of the initial IEEE CWDM4 proposal as CWDM4, CLR4 and Open Optics.

Other Outside Service

  • Reviewer, NIH “BRAIN” Initiative (2015-2016)
  • Advisor, NSF Partnership in Research and Education in Materials at the Metamaterials Research (META-PREM). Michigan, Purdue and Cornell universities. (2015-2016)
  • Advisor, The Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT), Columbia University (20012-2015)
  • Advisor, University of Washington, NSF Science and Technology Center on Information Technology Research (2008-2009)
  • Advisor, NSF Center for Metamaterials, Purdue University, (2006-2008)
  • Advisor, Australian Center for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems, University of Sydney (2006-2007)
  • Advisor, NNI Grand Challenges in Nanoelectronics, Committee on Nanophotonics, Arlington, (2004)
  • Advisor, DARPA Defense Sciences Research Council, “Beyond OEO bottleneck” Arlington, (2003)

Research Honors

  • Fellow, IEEE for “contributions to silicon integrated nanophotonics” (2015)
  • IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Award for "pioneering work in Si Photonic Switching for datacenters” (2015)
  • IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Award for “contributions to technologies for Exascale computing” (2014)
  • IBM Corporate Achievement Award for “Scientific Breakthroughs in Silicon Nanophotonics with Applications in Data Communications” (2012)
  • “Best of IBM” Award for "development of Silicon Nanophotonics technology" (2012)
  • IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Award for “Demonstration of nanophotonic communications devices and circuits” (2008)
  • Fellow, American Physical Society for "contributions to the understanding of the photonic nanostructures including photonic crystals and silicon nanophotonics” (2007)
  • Fellow, Optical Society of America for “outstanding contributions to photonic bandgap materials and silicon integrated nanophotonic circuits.” (2006)
  • IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Award for “Demonstration of Tunable Slow Light in Silicon Nanophotonics” (2006)
  • “Scientist of the Year”, Scientific American Journal “New technologies that exercise extraordinary control over light” (2006)

Courses Taught

  • ECE 452 - Electromagnetic Fields
  • ECE 498 - Silicon Integrated Photonics
  • ECE 500 - ECE Colloquium