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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


  • January 21, 2022

    WROC Channel 8 TV News 

    Future Photon Initiative Director, Don Figer, talks about his contributions to JWST in the areas of developing its infrared detectors and deployment procedure.

  • December 16, 2021

    artists rendering of the James Webb Space Telescope.

    Multiple RIT scientists contribute to the newest space telescope

    When the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) launches, it will mark the culmination of nearly 30 years of development on the most powerful observational instrument ever made. Numerous members of RIT’s College of Science have been involved in its creation or will work on projects once it becomes operational.

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.