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The Future Photon Initiative (FPI) develops photonic devices in pursuit of answers to grand questions, leveraging efforts of existing RIT research groups who develop technology for the generation, transmission, manipulation, absorption, and detection of photons.

FPI cross-disciplinary teams collaborate with external university groups, industry, and national laboratories to develop and commercialize new photonic device technology. Potential markets include solar energy, biophotonics, high performance imaging, astrophysics, communication, electronics, quantum information, and computing. Eleven groups across the RIT campus make up FPI: Center for Detectors, Integrated Photonics Group, Nanolithography Research Lab, NanoPower Research Labs, Photonic Systems Lab, Photonics and Optics Workforce Education Research Project, Semiconductor Microsystems Fabrication Lab, and the Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.


active sponsored research awards in 2021


in active sponsored research awards in 2021


current researchers who have won $1 million or more in research funding since 2000


funded research students


  • October 4, 2023

    RIT surpasses $94 million in new research awards

    RIT reached another record year in sponsored research awards, attaining more than $94 million in fiscal year 2022-2023. Some key areas of research include nanotechnology, optics and imaging science, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, and growth in life sciences and health fields.

  • August 23, 2023

    three men working in an electronics lab.

    AIM Photonics bootcamp held at RIT

    AIM Photonics hosted several days of training Aug. 15-17 in Photonic Integrated Circuits: Testing and Packaging Boot Camp, including one day at RIT.

  • July 19, 2023

    three men standing on stage, with the two on the right holding awards.

    Bruce Smith retires as director of RIT’s microsystems engineering doctoral program

    Professor Bruce Smith has made a career of innovations in nanolithography—the process of etching complex patterns on semiconductors—and in preparing a long line of graduates for work in organizations around the globe. Celebrating 35 years as a faculty member, his retirement from RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering is a significant milestone that comes after many years of collaborating with leading semiconductor groups around the world.

Stay Connected

Quantum Activities at RIT
Future Photon Initiative Brochure
Future Photon Initiative Research Pamphlet

Students: Join the Future Photon Initiative

  • The Future Photon Initiative and Center for Detectors are hiring:
  • Student Lab Assistants (ID 3933)
  • Lab Programming Assistants (ID 23143)
  • Executive Assistants (ID 23131)
  • Software Engineers (ID 24545)

Search for the job IDs on RIT Career Connect for more information. Co-op opportunities available.