As head of the Millimeter-wave and Terahertz Devices Group in RLE, Hu has made significant contributions to physics and device applications over a broad electromagnetic spectrum from millimeter wave, THz, to infrared frequencies. These contributions involve both technology development for detectors and sources, and system-level imaging and sensing applications. Within this body of work, Hu's most distinctive contribution is his development of high-performance THz quantum cascade lasers and real-time THz imaging, that is, making movies in T-rays. This work will lead to important applications in sensing and imaging.
Hu received his BA from Lanzhow University in 1981 and his PhD in physics from Harvard University in 1987. From 1987 to 1989, he was a postdoctoral associate at University of California, Berkeley. He joined the MIT faculty in 1990 in EECS and was promoted to full professor in 2002.
Hu is a fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA), the American Physical Society (APS), the IEEE and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been an associate editor of Applied Physics Letters since 2006, and was the co-chair of 2006 International Workshop on Quantum Cascade Lasers.