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