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Sean Molesky
Ph.D. (U. of Alberta), B.Sc. (U. of Alberta)

Research interests and affiliations

Research interests
  • Wave physics
  • Inverse design and optimization
  • Computational modelling
  • Stochastic physics
  • Algorithms
  • Applied mathematics
Expertise type(s) (NSERC subjects)
  • 2505 Photonic devices and networks
  • 3112 Photonics
  • 2502 Electromagnetics, compatibility and interference
  • 2715 Optimization
  • 2955 Numerical analysis
  • 2960 Mathematical modelling


Recent publications
Journal article
Forcade, G.P., Valdivia, C.E., Molesky, S., Lu, S., Rodriguez, A.W., Krich, J.J., St-Gelais, R. & Hinzer, K. (2022). Efficiency-optimized near-field thermophotovoltaics using InAs and InAsSbP. Applied Physics Letters, 121(19), 8 pages. Retrieved from
Journal article
Chao, P., Defo, R.K., Molesky, S. & Rodriguez, A. (2022). Maximum electromagnetic local density of states via material structuring. Nanophotonics, 9 pages. Retrieved from
Journal article
Chao, P., Strekha, B., Kuate Defo, R., Molesky, S. & Rodriguez, A.W. (2022). Physical limits in electromagnetism. Nature Reviews Physics, 4(8), 543-559. Retrieved from
Journal article
Molesky, S., Chao, P., Mohajan, J., Reinhart, W., Chi, H. & Rodriguez, A.W. (2022). T-operator limits on optical communication: Metaoptics, computation, and input-output transformations. Physical Review Research, 4(1), 15 pages. Retrieved from


Prof. Sean Molesky's expertise lies at the intersection of photonics, optimization, and computational modelling, broadly encompassing questions pertaining to inverse design, universal characteristics of wave phenomena (limits), and the development of numerical methods.

Prior to joining Polytechnique Montréal under a joint appointment with Institut IVADO in 2021, Prof. Molesky worked as NSERC postdoctoral fellow under the supervision of Prof. Alejandro Rodriguez at Princeton University (2017-2021). In 2017, he was awarded a Governor General's Gold Medal, and George Walker Prize, in recognition of the quality of research conducted during his doctoral thesis under the guidance of Prof. Zubin Jacob.


News about Sean Molesky

NEWS | October 5, 2022
An international multidisciplinary consortium led by Polytechnique Montréal Professor Denis Seletskiy receives more than $1.91 million in support from NSERC for its quantum sensing project | Read
NEWS | July 12, 2022
Quantum Photonics Quebec: over $377,000 awarded to three projects Polytechnique-led that advance innovation in quantum photonics | Read