Arjun Yodh

Arjun Yodh
Standing Faculty

James M. Skinner Professor of Science and Department Chair

Research Areas: Condensed Matter, Biophysics, Medical Physics, AMO

DRL: 215-898-6354

2N6 DRL; 2E15 DRL (Chair's Office)

Arjun G. Yodh is the James M. Skinner Professor of Science and Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania. Until recently he was Director (2009-2020) of​ The Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM) and its NSF-supported Materials Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). His home department is Physics & Astronomy. Yodh graduated from Cornell University (1981) with a BSc in Applied & Engineering Physics; he obtained his PhD from Harvard (1986) under the guidance of Tom Mossberg, and he then spent two years at AT&T Bell Laboratories as a post-doc working with Steve Chu and Harry Tom. Yodh joined the faculty at Penn in 1988, where he has remained for his entire career. In addition to mentoring >100 PhD students and post-doctoral associates during his career, Yodh has made significant contributions to education, outreach and diversity at Penn (broadly defined). As LRSM Director, for example, he played a major role creating and implementing STEM education and outreach programs that target people at all levels. Notable among these efforts are LRSM partnerships with the University of Puerto Rico (PREM, Co-Director) and the Girard College of Philadelphia, as well as research experience programs for undergraduates (REU, Site-grant PI), high school students (PSSI), and high school teachers (RET) in the Philadelphia region and beyond.

Positions held:

James M. Skinner Professor of Science, University of Pennsylvania (2000-present)
Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy (2022 – present) 
Director, Laboratory for Research on Structure of Matter (LRSM) and NSF-MRSEC (2009-2020)
Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania (1997 – present)
Associate Professor of Physics, University of Pennsylvania (1993-97)
Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Pennsylvania (1988-93)
Postdoctoral Research Associate with Harry W. K. Tom, AT&T Bell Labs (1987-88)
Postdoctoral Research Associate with Steven Chu, AT&T Bell Labs (1986-87)



1986: Ph.D. Harvard University

1981: B.Sc. Cornell University

Research Interests

Yodh’s current interests span fundamental and applied questions in condensed matter physics, medical physics, biophysics, and the optical sciences. Most of his experiments involve optics in one way or another. Areas of ongoing research include: soft materials such as colloids, liquid crystals and other complex fluids, networks, films, glasses, carbon nanotubes, optical microscopy, optical micromanipulation, linear/nonlinear optics, laser spectroscopy, light scattering, and biophotonics/biomedical-optics especially for functional imaging and monitoring of living tissues with diffusing light (brain, breast, muscle, spine, placenta) and for photodynamic therapy and therapy monitoring.


Member of the graduate groups of the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS).  Member of several interdisciplinary institutes including,  The Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM), the Center for Soft and Living Matter, the Center for Advanced Metabolic Imaging and Precision Medicine (CAMIPM), and the Abramson Cancer Center. Held secondary appointment in the Department of Radiation Oncology in the Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM).


CV (file)
Yodh CV.pdf579.49 KB