Centre for Photonics and Photonic Materials


The members of the Centre for Photonics and Photonic Materials perform research across a range of topics in photonics. The facilities of the Centre include a pair of state of the art optical fibre drawing towers housed in a purpose-built cleanroom and optimised for fabrication of photonic crystal fibres (PCF). Whilst PCF has been a central part of the research for many years, current topics include fibre lasers, single photon optics, graphene, astrophotonics, photonics for medicine, non-linear optical theory and modelling, plasmonics and high energy pulse delivery.

Current research

Our current research is best expressed by our publications, which are available for download from the University research repository OPUS. Please contact the Centre Director or individual Centre members for collaboration enquiries.

A major focus of the research is to extend a deeper understanding of photonics, photonic materials and photonic devices into applications. In order to achieve this, the Centre members collaborate widely, within and beyond the University and with academic or industrial partners. Collaborations inform research through identification of important real issues to address and promote the uptake of the new ideas, materials and devices which we develop.


optical fibreWith new photonic crystal fibres, hollow-core and multi-core fibre designs we have targeted applications in wavelength conversion, high power pulsed laser delivery, endoscopy, fibre lasers, and increased understanding of pulse propagation in optical fibres.

With post-processing of conventional fibres or PCF we are able to manipulate the profile and dispersion of optical fibre modes, with applications including astrophotonics (the application of photonics technology to solve problems in astronomical observations), biomedical imaging, and mode division multiplexing.

We are applying our fibre expertise in the area of quantum technology, where we are developing new sources of individual photons. When used to transmit and process information, single photons enable tasks to be carried out that could not be done with bright pulses of light or with standard computers. Examples of such tasks include provably secure communications, enhanced precision sensing at low light levels, and simulation of complex quantum systems.

Through numerical simulation and analytical approximations we are working to explain the implications of nonlinear optics in tightly confining structures where the light fields are far from the plane wave approximation, and in graphene where the nonlinearity is strictly a surface effect.

Using the tools of nonlinear and time resolved spectroscopy we are investigating the properties of resonant plasmonic devices and the transient electronic states in organic photo-electric devices.

We are using our expertise in optical fibre design and fabrication to create a new area of optical fibre research specifically targeting applications in healthcare. We are creating new optical fibres for endoscopic imaging, remote chemical sensing and optical therapeutics. Through the Proteus Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration we aim to bring our new technologies into clinic as quickly as possible.