Department of Physics


Prize Fellow

Office: 3 West 3.17a
Tel: +44(0)1225 383042


Dr Richard Bowman

Research interests

My research centres around two main themes, waveguide circuits and microscopy. I aim to create reconfigurable waveguide circuits to enable telecoms and quantum optics at higher bandwidth, and using less power than current schemes.

Optical microscopy is a staple technique of the physical and life sciences, and is often combined with other techniques such as spectroscopy, micromanipulation, or electrical probing to characterize everything from biological tissue to microelectronic devices. I have developed and automated instruments including optical tweezers, micromanipulators, and microspectroscopy systems to investigate problems ranging from nematode worm physiology to nanostructure self-assembly. Collaboration with scientists from other disciplines is key to instrumentation research, and I am always interested to hear from potential collaborators within and beyond the University of Bath with new microscopy challenges.

I also have an ongoing interest in low cost instrumentation, as part of the growing global movement towards open hardware for science (see the GOSH manifesto). I have developed a 3D printed microscope complete with translation stage, demonstrating high-quality mechanics for a tiny fraction of the cost of traditional instruments.

The major research challenge here is how to achieve repeatable, precise positioning using roughly manufactured plastic parts. This work has a great deal of immediate application, and I am working with partners in Tanzania to enable local production of microscopes, which can be used for education, medical diagnostics, and scientific research. This work is done in collaboration with a not-for-profit spin out company, WaterScope, which I co-founded.


Read publications by Richard Bowman

View more publications »