Hi! I'm Lukasz Sterczewski, a visiting graduate student
at Princeton University, and PhD candidate
at Wroclaw University of Science and Technology

I am a researcher working on the development of laser-based spectroscopic techniques
in the mid-infrared and terahertz range. My passion is to employ optics and electronics for practical purposes.
One of them is the application of spectroscopy in pharmaceutical sciences.

 Publications

Please find the list of my publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and conference presentations below.
Disclaimer: Manuscripts here are for non-commercial, educational or personal use only and are not intended for mass dissemination or copying.
My academic profiles:

Publications (first author)

  • L. A. Sterczewski, K. Nowak, B. Szlachetko, M. P. Grzelczak, B. S-. Siega., S. Plinska, W. Malinka, and E. F. Plinski, "Chemometric Evaluation of THz Spectral Similarity for the Selection of Early Drug Candidates," Scientific Reports 7, 14583 (2017). ( pdf ) ( suppl. )
  • L. A. Sterczewski*, J. Westberg*, C. L. Patrick, C. S. Kim, M. Kim, C. L. Canedy, W. W. Bewley, C. D. Merritt, I. Vurgaftman, J. R. Meyer, and G. Wysocki, "Multiheterodyne spectroscopy using interband cascade lasers," Optical Engineering 57, 011014 (2018). ( pdf ) ( ArXiv )
  • J. Westberg*, L. A. Sterczewski*, and G. Wysocki, "Mid-infrared multiheterodyne spectroscopy with phase-locked quantum cascade lasers," Applied Physics Letters 110, 141108 (2017). ( pdf ) ( suppl. )
  • L. A. Sterczewski*, J. Westberg*, and G. Wysocki, "Molecular dispersion spectroscopy based on Fabry-Pérot quantum cascade lasers," Optics Letters 42, 243-246 (2017). ( pdf )
  • L. A. Sterczewski, M. P. Grzelczak, K. Nowak, B. Szlachetko, and E. F. Plinski, "Bayesian separation algorithm of THz spectral sources applied to D-glucose monohydrate dehydration kinetics," Chemical Physics Letters 644, 45–50 (2016). ( pdf )
  • L. A. Sterczewski, J. Westberg, and G. Wysocki, "Tuning properties of mid-infrared Fabry-Pérot quantum cascade lasers for multiheterodyne spectroscopy," Photonics Letters of Poland 8, 113–115 (2016). [invited] ( pdf )
  • L. A. Sterczewski, M. P. Grzelczak, and E. F. Plinski, "Heating system of pellet samples integrated with terahertz spectrometer," Review of Scientific Instruments 87, 13106 (2016). ( pdf )
  • L. A. Sterczewski, M. P. Grzelczak, and E. F. Plinski, "Terahertz antenna electronic chopper," Review of Scientific Instruments 87, 14702 (2016). ( pdf )
  • L. A. Sterczewski, M. P. Grzelczak, K. Nowak, and E. F. Plinski, "Cast terahertz lenses made of caramelized sucrose," Optical Engineering 55, 90505 (2016). ( pdf )

Full-length proceeding articles

  • L.A. Sterczewski, M. P. Grzelczak, K. Nowak, B. Szlachetko, S. Plinska, B. Szczesniak-Siega, W. Malinka, and E. F. Plinski, "Piroxicam derivatives THz classification," SPIE Photonics West 2016, CA, USA, February 13-18 (2016). (Best student paper award) ( pdf )

Publications (co-author)

  • K. Nowak, E. F. Plinski, B. Karolewicz, P. P. Jarzab, S. Plinska, B. Fuglewicz, M. J. Walczakowski, L. Augustyn, L. A. Sterczewski, M. P. Grzelczak, M. Hruszowiec, G. Beziuk, M. Mikulic, N. Palka, and M. Szustakowski, "Selected aspects of terahertz spectroscopy in pharmaceutical sciences," Acta poloniae pharmaceutica 72, 851—866 (2015). ( pdf )

Full-length proceeding articles

  • C. L. Patrick, L. A. Sterczewski, J. Westberg, W. W. Bewley, C. D. Merritt, C. L. Canedy, C. S. Kim, M. Kim, I. Vurgaftman, J. R. Meyer, and G. Wysocki; "Multi-heterodyne spectroscopy using Fabry-Perot interband cascade lasers for trace gas detection: a feasibility assessment," SPIE Photonics West 2017, CA, USA, January 28–February 2 (2017). ( pdf )

Presentations

  • L.A. Sterczewski, "Terahertz multiheterodyne spectroscopy with quantum cascade lasers – a feasibility study," 42nd International Conference on Infrared, Millimeter, and Terahertz Waves (IRMMW-THz), Cancun, Mexico, August 27 - September 1 (2017). ( pdf )
  • L.A. Sterczewski, "Resolving terahertz spectral mixtures using the blind source separation approach – a method to study the dehydration kinetics," 2nd International Conference and Expo on Separation Techniques, Valencia, Spain, September 26-28 (2016). (invited talk) ( pdf )
  • J. Westberg, L.A. Sterczewski, and G. Wysocki, "Mid-infrared quantum cascade laser-based multi heterodyne spectroscopy of small and large molecules in gas-phase," in FLAIR 2016 - Field Laser Applications in Industry and Research, 5th Edition of International Conference, Aix-les-Bains, France, September 12-16 (2016). ( pdf )
  • L.A. Sterczewski, J. Westberg, and G. Wysocki, "Self-heterodyne Characterization of a Fabry-Pérot Quantum Cascade Laser for Multi-heterodyne Spectroscopic Sensing," Mid-Infrared Coherence Sources (OSA MICS), Long Beach, CA, USA, March 20-22 (2016). ( pdf )
  • L.A. Sterczewski, and M.P. Grzelczak, "Terahertz lollipops," 10th Anniversary International SPIE Student Chapter Meeting - OPTO2015 Conference, Wroclaw, Poland, May 27-30 (2015). (3rd place in best speech contest)
  • L.A. Sterczewski and M. P. Grzelczak, "Bayesian separation algorithm of THz spectral sources applied to D-glucose monohydrate dehydration kinetics," 8th THz Days, Arêches-Beaufort, France, March 31-April 2 (2015). ( pdf )
  • L.A. Sterczewski, "Advanced SCADA system applied to terahertz time-domain spectrometer," in 12th Students’ Science Conference, Bogoszow-Gorce, Poland, September 18-21 (2014). (Distinction award) ( pdf )

 Awards

  • "Best Student Paper" presented at SPIE Photonics West - Terahertz, RF, Millimeter, and Submillimeter-Wave Technology and Applications IX, San Francisco, USA, 2016. ( photo )
  • "Best MSc Presentation" in the nationwide Jan Wojcik contest for the best diploma thesis in the field of photonics, organized by the Polish Foundation of Photonics and Optic Fibers, Warsaw, Poland, 2015. ( www )
  • 3rd place winner in the best speech contest: "Terahertz lollipops", International SPIE Student Chapter Meeting 2015 conference, 10th Anniversary, Wroclaw, 2015.
  • Distinction in the nationwide Professor Adam Smolinski contest for the best diploma thesis in the field of optoelectronics, organized by the Polish Optoelectronics Committee of the Association of Polish Electrical Engineers SEP, 2014.
  • 4th place in the TOP10 contest for 10 best graduates of the Wroclaw University of Technology, Electronics Department, 2014.
  • Distinctive research presented during the 12th Students' Science Conference, Poland, 2014.

 Scholarships

  • Fellowship: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Graduate Fellowship Program for research on interband cascade laser frequency combs, Pasadena CA, USA, June-August 2017. ( photo )
  • The Kosciuszko Foundation Grant for the academic year 2017/18 for research in the United States on the use of dual-comb spectroscopy in pharmaceutical applications, May 2017.
  • Scholarship for best PhD students financed by the funds of Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Wroclaw, March and November 2016.

 Projects

Please find the list of my academic and hobby projects below. (under construction)

Academic:

Pulsed THz spectroscopy

Pharmaceuticals

Quantum cascade laser based spectroscopy

High voltage discharge

Terahertz pulsed imaging

Chemometric analysis

Hobby:

Tesla coil shows

Control engineering

Power electronics

Electronic design

Homemade lasers

High voltage experiments

 About Me

Passion for electricity has been always present in my life, starting as a preschooler I was already experimenting with toy electric motors. My teenage time was dominated by the construction of high voltage Tesla coils, which finally led me to build a home-made nitrogen laser and the beginning of my adventure in optics. The latter I consider a turning point in my life, from electronics to optics.

When I was finishing my bachelor’s degree, I had experienced a dozen years of home laboratory adventures and my professional area of interests focused predominantly on electrical engineering. Home-made research involved interdisciplinary knowledge: chemistry to deal with photolithography, micro- and industrial electronics to build high voltage equipment, and mechanical engineering to make it reliable. I liked to share my passion for experiments, therefore I organized many scientific presentations. I enabled a group of 800 children to eyewitness 12-foot sparks from my musical Tesla coils in the cinema, in addition to giving multiple shows at schools. I learned how to manage my time, take risks, and ensure safety in extremely dangerous environments, all shown to be of utmost importance in professional research.

Pure electrical engineering was not enough. At that time, I discovered the tandem between electronics and photonics, and so my drift towards optics began. During my master studies I constructed a high voltage nitrogen laser for a university laboratory and demonstrated it at one of the lectures. I finished my degree as number 4 in the “TOP 10” of the department. I realized that my technical skills coupled with my passion for challenges are directly applicable to the laboratory conditions. The potential of the “forgotten gap” – the terahertz part of the electromagnetic spectrum – led me to an optoelectronic laboratory, where I found the application perfect for my interdisciplinary background: terahertz spectroscopy.

Soon after I joined this research group, I was allowed to run experiments by my own. Immediately, I applied a solution known from my Tesla coil electronics to bias a terahertz antenna, which resulted in a journal publication in the Review of Scientific Instruments. The challenging nature of scientific experiments pushed me to go further. My research group works on terahertz spectra of pharmaceuticals, therefore I developed the necessary instrumentation and numerical processing tools to study their thermal stability and similarity. One of my conference abstracts, being a summary of almost two years of work on terahertz chemometrics, was announced to be the Best Student Paper Winner at the leading optical conference – SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco, USA in the terahertz category. I described my discovery of an interesting relation between the terahertz vibrations and physical parameters of drugs that may facilitate their design and select candidates for clinical trials in a more effective way.

In 2015 I was invited to join the spectroscopic group at Princeton University as a visiting graduate student, where I am until now. Daily cooperation with highly motivated members of our research team has prompted me to ask myself fundamental questions about the sources of my motivation and desired goals. Curiosity how things work, coupled with a will to make them better, led me to an idea of application of my spectroscopic experience to support the development of early-stage drugs. I believe that it helps me to explore new research territories and improve the quality of people's life around the globe by minimizing the side effects caused by medicines.

In the summer of 2017 I had an unprecedented opportunity to pursue an internship at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where I worked on the development of interband cascade optical frequency combs. These novel sources of laser radiation are likely to be employed in future space missions for the detection of trace amounts of methane on Mars.

 Contact

Please feel free to contact me: