My research interests lie in ultrasensitive absorption spectroscopy and optical manipulation.
Our spectroscopy work is done in the mid-IR (2.5-10 μm), where there are many strong fundamental ro-vibrational molecular transitions. Therefore, this is an extremely useful region of the electromagnetic spectrum for trace gas analysis in environmental or medical monitoring applications. In general, the fundamental vibrational bands active in this region have stronger line strengths than the overtone and combination bands typically used in the visible and near-IR regions. In addition, spectra are less congested, allowing selective spectroscopic detection of a large number of molecules. The 3 μm region is of particular importance due to the strong vibrational bands associated with the C-H, N-H, and O-H stretches. Applications include collaborations with other departments at the University of Oxford
to develop sensitive breath analysers based on absorption spectroscopy.
Our optical trapping work is based on two experimental techniques: optical tweezing and evanescent wave optical manipulation. Applications include the study of colloidal crystal formation, which can act as an analogue of nanocrystal growth.