Tom Milster

Tom Milster

Professor of Optical Sciences
Tom Milster Headshot

Meinel 729
Wyant College of Optical Sciences
The University of Arizona
1630 E. University Blvd.
P.O. Box 210094
Tucson, AZ 85721-0094

Additional Affiliation

  • Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering


  • Professor: The University of Arizona, College of Optical Sciences, 1989-present
  • Optical Engineer: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 1989
  • Staff Engineer: IBM, General Products Division, 1986-1989

Professional Affiliations and Activities

  • IEEE/The Optical Society (OSA)/SPIE: Optical Data Storage Topical Meeting, Advisory Committee Member, 2006-2012
  • IEEE/OSA/SPIE: Optical Data Storage Topical Meeting, General Co-Chair, 2004
  • IEEE/OSA/SPIE: Optical Data Storage Topical Meeting, Technical Program Committee Co-Chair, 2004
  • International Symposium on Optical Memory, Program Committee Member, 2006-2012
  • ISOM, Program Committee Member, 2004
  • ISOM, Program Committee Member, 2001
  • Joint International Symposium on Optical Memory, Advisory Committee Co-Chair, 2005
  • Optoelectronics Industry Development Association: Workshop on High Throughput Optical Data Storage, Chair, 2000
  • OSA: Optical Data Storage Topical Meeting, Program Committee Member, 2002
  • SPIE: Annual Meeting, “Laser Beam Shaping IV through VII”, Program Committee Member, 2003-2006
  • SPIE: Annual Meeting, “Laser Beam Shaping II,” Conference Co-Chair, 2001
  • SPIE: Photonics Taiwan Conference on Optical Storage and Optical Information Processing, Conference Co-Chair, 2000
  • Springer Science+Business Media: Journal of Microsystem Technologies: Micro- and Nanosystems, Information Storage and Processing Systems, Editorial Board, 2005-2012

Awards and Honors

  • The Optical Society (OSA): Fellow, 1999
  • OSA: Paper “Highly efficient near-field probes” (Appl. Opt., 2000) selected for "Optics in 2001" feature in Optics and Photonics News, 12(12), p. 38, 2001
  • SPIE: Fellow, 2001
  • SPIE: Paper “Objective lens design for multiple-layer optical data storage” (Opt. Eng.,1997) selected as one of 300 most influential papers in lens design, 1999
  • SPIE: Paper “Linear behavior of a near-field optical scanning system” (JOSA- A, 1995) selected as a landmark paper in near-field optics

Specific Research Interests

  • Hyper-numerical aperture imaging.
  • Microscopy.
  • Data storage.
  • Near-field optics.
  • Lithography.

Research Summary

  • Maskless Lithography: High-speed scanning laser grayscale writer for optically sensitive materials, like photoresist;
  • Hyper-NA Microscopy: Application of extremely high-resolution microscopy for industrial inspection and biological sub-cellular imaging;
  • Computer-Generated Holography: Design, simulation, fabrication and application of computer-generated holography;
  • Advanced Optical Engineering: Fabrication of high-refractive index elements and optical systems for hyper-numerical-aperture research.


  • Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 1987
  • B.S., University of Missouri, 1981