Dr. Debdatta Ray: Building the World’s Thinnest Optics

I am Debdatta Ray and I am Indian by origin. My life seems like “Comedy of Errors” as I am continuously mistaken for a guy since my name is similar to both genders!! 

Nevertheless, similar to my native country, my academic career boasts of diversity as well. I started out my Bachelor’s in Electronics and Communication Engineering in Kolkata, situated in the eastern part and the 3rd largest metropolitan city in India. I continued to do my Master’s in Photonics at the Indian Institute Of Technology, Madras (IITM), a city on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. During this time, I had my first interaction with Germany as I had spent 7 months at the University of Stuttgart in DAAD Exchange Scholarship. For my PhD, I moved to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, a country also known as “heaven on Earth”. 

My research aims to build the world’s thinnest optics!! I work on patterning hundreds of micrometer sized area with nanometer sized structures and investigate the effects as light of different colours fall on them. This requires very special environment called “clean room” where the air is almost dust free.