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Blobs The GroupBox
The FacilitiesBox
Photonic Crystal FibreBox
Prof. Philip Russell
Head of Group
Mrs Alison Humphries
Group Secretary

The Group

The Photonics & Photonic Materials Group (formerly known as the Optoelectronics Group) is based at the Department of Physics, University of Bath. The group was formed in March 1996 with the arrival of Professor Philip Russell, and it currently consists of six permanent members of academic staff, two advanced research fellows, five postdoctoral research associates, ten PhD students and constant stream of visitors from all over the world. The group ethos/atmosphere is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary, ideas being generated and developed at frequent discussion meetings that focus on major research themes. These meetings are also a forum for trouble-shooting experimental and theoretical problems in the research and planning its future direction. The group holds a weekly group meeting which functions as a journal club, a seminar slot for visiting speakers and research project reports, and an opportunity for sorting out general issues.

The Facilities

The PPMG group specializes in nano- and micro-structured materials and their applications in photonics and related fields. It has first class equipment for fabricating photonic crystal fibre (from both pure silica and other softer glasses), for tapering fibres down to nm dimensions, for producing multilayer structures in nanoporous silicon, and for generating periodic patterns in photoresist by multi-beam holographic interferometry. The PPMG also has an extensive range of lasers, optical spectrum analysers and optoelectronic test equipment. These facilities, which will soon be housed in a brand-new cleanroom complex within a new SRIF-funded building, provide a solid platform for the group's explorations into the behaviour of light in wavelength-scale structured materials.

Photonic Crystal Fibre

The group is best known for its work on photonic crystal fibre (PCF) - a new kind of optical fibre which was first proposed in 1991. The very first example of a working PCF was reported by Jonathan Knight, Tim Birks and Philip Russell in 1996 and since then the field has grown to major proportions with groups all over the world getting involved in the multifaceted applications that PCF offers. The PPMG has consistently led the PCF field internationally, and as a result enjoys an enviable world-wide reputation for its work. This is reflected in its publications list (which includes several Nature and Science articles - a full record is available on this website) and the large number of plenary, keynote and invited talks its members give at major international meetings. The group has over 60 collaborations in place with universities, institutions and companies worldwide, and its work is frequently featured in the national, international and scientific/technical press. It has been granted a total of 15 patents on PCF-related inventions, and additional, as yet unpublished, patent applications number some 15. The Bath spin-off company BlazePhotonics Ltd (which was recently acquired by Crystal Fibre a/s), holds the world record for the lowest loss hollow core PCF (1.7 dB/km at 1550 nm).

Photonics & Photonic Materials Group, Department of Physics, University of Bath
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