Research areas

  • Research into photonics materials and devices enable us to transfer our optical knowledge to a platform which is stable and easy to use. This is of benefit both in the lab and, more importantly, outside academic circles to the general public. We are actively working on a range of material and device concepts that span improvements in current technology such as telecommunications, displays, lasers, and solar cells, to future technology such as quantum optic devices and microfluidic circuits.


  • Imaging is an important aspect of photonics research across many departments within the University. We are constantly applying ourselves to the generation of novel methodologies, hardware and processing techniques for enhanced image formation. Research is focussed to improve spatial and temporal resolution, acquiring data from a wide range of processes and is applied acoss a broad variety of specimens.


  • Research in optical physics allows us to understand the basic properties of light and its generation from a fundamental starting point, as well as forming an important precursor to future technology. Current research covers many areas from the generation of short wavelength radiation (soft x-ray) and intense laser pulses, to the analysis of ultrashort pulses, optical metrology and quanum optical information processing.


  • Spectroscopy is a key component of any optical toolkit, providing non-invasive monitoring of the composition of a sample. We use spectroscopy for a wide variety of sensing in many different scenarios, across length scales from the very small in ultrafast single molecule spectroscopy; to monitoring the combustion process in engines; to providing detailed spectra of stars and galaxies in astrophotonic applications.

  • In biophotonics we aim to apply our optical expertise to the advancement of research on biological themes. This involves scientists and engineers working closely with biologists and clinicians to deliver optical solutions to complex bio-related issues. The solutions may be in the form of enhanced imaging capabilites for observing biological structure and processes, or optical manipulation within biological environments, or creating biological nanomachines for specified tasks.