Optical Physics

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.



Professor of Condensed Matter Physics
Prof. Robert Taylor

I am interested in the optical properties of materials, particularly in the areas of nanotechnology and quantum computing.

Professor of Chemistry
Prof. Harry Anderson

Our group does research in the areas of molecular materials synthesis, supramolecular chemistry, molecular recognition, polymers and dyes. All work is directed towards the design and creation of new molecular materials with useful optical, electronic or biomedical properties.

Associate Professor
Dr. Grant Ritchie

My research interests lie in ultrasensitive absorption spectroscopy and optical manipulation.

Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry
Dr. Roel Dullens

We are working in soft condensed matter in general with an emphasis on colloids. Our main experimental technique is optical microscopy, which includes confocal microscopy, fluorescence and simple video-microscopy (homemade and commercial microscopes).

Professor of Photonic Materials and Devices
Prof. Jason Smith

Our research focuses on the optical and electronic properties of solid state nanostructures for applications such as optoelectronics devices, quantum information processing and photovoltaics.

Associate Professor of Engineering Science
Paul Stavrinou

My research interests span the development of materials (organic and inorganic) for photonic applications and optoelectronic device components, i.e. modulators, lasers and amplifiers, particularly those involving strong localization, propagation and radiation of light.

Professor of Engineering Science
Prof Ekaterina Shamonina

My research covers metamaterials, electrodynamics, plasmonics, nanophotonics and microwave optics.

Royal Society University Research Fellow
Dr Josh Nunn

My research focuses on using Raman scattering to enable scalable quantum information processing with light. In particular, we are developing quantum memories for storing photons, and non-linear couplers to implement all-photonic logic gates.

Associate Professor of Engineering Science
Dr. Stephen Morris

I am interested in the development and fabrication of novel optoelectronic devices based upon organic and inorganic media.

Professor of Physics
Prof. Paul Ewart

Our research group has a strong background in the application of laser-based diagnostic techniques to the measurement of species in challenging environments, particularly within combustor systems.

Professor of Physics
Prof. Henry Snaith

Our research is primarily focused on developing the physics and technology behind low cost photovoltaic concepts.

Professor of Astrophysics
Prof. Gavin Dalton

I am working on wide‐field imaging and fibre‐fed spectroscopy instrumentation in visible and near‐infrared astronomy, both in instrument construction and science exploitation.

Hooke Professor of Experimental Physics & Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Professor Ian Walmsley

My research concerns the application of ultrafast optics to study quantum phenomena in light and in matter, and at the interface between them. This largely falls into two complementary running themes in my research group: (a) quantum optics and (b) ultrafast optics and metrology.

Professor of Physics and Engineering Science, Head of MPLS Division
Prof Donal Bradley

Professor Bradley’s research interests focus on plastic electronics – encompassing fundamental studies on low-temperature/solution processed semiconductor materials and their application in a range of fields including energy efficient displays, lighting and solar panels.

Professor of Applied Nanomaterials
Harish Bhaskaran
Reader in Particle Physics
Dr. Armin Reichold

My research interests lie in the field of optical metrology, encompassing absolute distance measurement systems and fibre based interferometry.

Associate Professor of Engineering Science
Dr. Chris Stevens

My research area is Ultrafast Electronics which is a rapidly developing field in which we explore the ultimate speed limits of electronics. In order to evaluate the performance of ultrafast electronic systems we have to develop new methods for analysing electromagnetic signals.

Professor of Atomic and Laser Physics
Prof. Simon Hooker

I am interested in applications arising from the interaction of very intense laser radiation with matter.

Professor of Chemistry
Dr. Dirk Aarts

We are working in soft condensed matter with a focus on the phase, interface and flow behaviour of colloidal particles. Our main experimental technique is optical microscopy, which includes confocal microscopy, fluorescence and simple video-microscopy (homemade and commercial microscopes).

Associate Professor and Reader in Physics
Prof. Axel Kuhn

I run the Atom-Photon Connection group, working on quantum optics and control, applied in particular to light-matter interactions at the single-quantum level.


Friday, March 15, 2013 - 12:15

The third Oxford Photonics day was held on Tuesday 12th March 2013. Around 70 researchers from across the University, with additional external guests participated in a successful event. Prizes for best Student Oral and Poster presentations were awarded.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 17:45

We are pleased to announce the date for the next Oxford Photonics Day, which has been set for Tuesday 8th October 2013 (0th week) and will take place in the Department of Engineering Science.   More details are to follow in the coming few weeks.

Monday, November 4, 2013 - 10:15

From November 1st, an Oxford team will lead a consortium of six European research institutions in a three year project entitled Wavelength-tunable Advanced Single Photon Sources (WASPS), funded by the European Commission under FP7.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 12:15

Two new Royal Society University Research Fellows, Dr Brian Patton and Dr Josh Nunn, have recently started new research programmes in Photonics.

Monday, July 28, 2014 - 11:30

The 6th Oxford Photonics Day is due to be held on Wednesday 8th Oct in the Thom Building, Lecture Room 1, in the Engineering Department in Oxford.

Monday, July 28, 2014 - 11:45

Display technologies are at the heart of the technology revolution that has swept the world over the past decades.

Monday, September 15, 2014 - 23:00

I-CASE EPSRC Studentship advertised: applications wanted! Check out the advert:


Friday, October 3, 2014 - 15:00

Congratulations to Professor Martin Booth who has been awarded the 2014 International Commission for Optics (ICO) Prize “for his innovative and pioneering research on dynamic optical methods and new approaches to adaptive optics”.

Friday, November 28, 2014 - 15:15

University of Oxford has been chosen to lead one of the four Quantum Hubs in the £120m Quantum Technology programme. Optical physicist Professor Ian Walmsley will lead a consortium of academic and industrial partners to deliver quantum technologies ...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - 15:30

We are pleased to announce the date for the 7th Oxford Photonics Day, which has been set for Monday 20th April 2015 (0th week, Trinity term). It will be held at the Department of Engineering Science. The event will be free to attend for members of the Oxford Photonics Network. The programme will include...

Monday, January 19, 2015 - 15:30

Engineers and Scientists around the world are getting ready for the 2015 International Year of Light (IYL). This International Year has been the initiative of a large consortium of scientific bodies together with UNESCO. The 2015 IYL will consist of ...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - 10:45

The 7th Photonics Day will be held on 20th April 2015. We once again look forward to a set of lively talks ranging from application of quantum dots to optical sensing of nucleic acids. Speakers come from across Oxford and the UK.  

Please register here: http://goo.gl/forms/3Pe4PkS0dh

Here is the workshop programme:

Friday, February 5, 2016 - 21:45

The Optical Society (OSA) has published a brochure about how optics and photonics impacts the global economy.

Monday, March 14, 2016 - 17:15

Doctoral prize award from the Institute of Physics

Monday, October 17, 2016 - 07:45

The 2017 Oxford Photonics Day will be on Wednesday 19th April. To register for the event, which is free, please go to:


Registration for this event is now closed