Erik Helgren

Associate Professor & Chair

Department of Physics

(510) 885-4604
Sc N 231
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Dr. Helgren is a Bay Area native having grown up in San Francisco.  He attended UCLA, earning a B.S. in Physics in 1996, after which he spent a year working in Industry for Hughes/Raytheon Defense Systems in El Segundo, CA as a Systems Engineer.  He continued with his graduate education at UCLA and focussed on Condensed Matter Physics, specializing in microwave and millimeter-wave (or terahertz) spectroscopy techniques to study the electrodynamics of materials under the guidance of Dr. George Gruner and was awarded his doctorate in 2002.  Dr. Helgren took a post-doctoral position at UCSD working with Drs. Frances Hellman and Bob Dynes in the Department of Physics and his research focussed on magnetic semiconductor materials.  He accepted a joint position as an Assistant Project Scientist in the Department of Physics at UC Berkeley & in the Materials Science Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and worked there until joining the faculty here at California State University East Bay.

Professional Focus

I am currently working on a number of projects including testing methods to improve the efficiency of organic, polymer-based solar cells using nanotechnology.  I am also interested in modeling and characterizing metamaterials, engineered objects that interact with light in non-intuitive ways, e.g. negative index of refraction materials. 

Recently, along with Drs. Kimball and Singley in the Physics Department and Dr. Masiello in the Chemistry Department, I have obtained funding for an ultrafast laser frequency comb system which provides us the capability to perform terahertz time-domain spectroscopy of materials.


  • Ph.D. Physics UCLA


Fall Quarter 2015
Course #SecCourse TitleDaysFromToLocationCampusTextbook Info
CHEM 490003Independent StudyARR ARRHayward Campus View Books
PHYS 399901Issues in PhysicsTH10:00AM1:30PMSC-N236Hayward Campus View Books
PHYS 490001Independent StudyARR ARRHayward Campus View Books
PHYS 490002Independent StudyARR ARRHayward Campus View Books
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