Santanu Basu founded Sparkle Optics Corporation in 2002. Before then, he was the technology manager and a senior system engineer for the Space Based Laser Program, IFX at the Boeing Company. He worked at IBM Research Center on ultrafast optoelectronics where he pioneered the demonstration of quantum well modulators on silicon. He worked at MIT where he first experimentally demonstrated transiently pumped Ni-like extreme ultraviolet laser, which has now become a popular X-ray laser scheme. He worked at Northrop Corporation where he made lasers for underwater sensing.

He has a B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from IIT, India, a M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, a M.S. in Mathematics, a M.S. in Applied Physics and a PhD in Applied Physics all from Stanford University. He has over forty publications and holds fifteen patents, issued or pending. He chaired four SPIE conferences on high power lasers, and he taught the first SPIE course on slab lasers. He is a fellow of SPIE.

He has made many first demonstrations in his career, including first moving slab laser(1985), first diode-pumped mode-locked laser(1986), first injection seeding of a Q-switch laser with a mode-locked pulse train(1987), first generation of X-rays using a train of mode-locked pulses(1987), first amplification of diode laser pulses in Ti-sapphire(1988), first demonstration of pulse shaping of diode pulses by spectral filtering(1988), first design and demonstration of InGaAs multiple quantum well modulators on silicon(1989), first table top Ni-like soft X-ray laser(1992), first tunable DWDM demultiplexer(2001), and first viable design of a hundred kilowatt solid state laser(1987).