The Institute of Photonics runs a Seminar Series, featuring high profile speakers working in the field of Photonics. The Seminars are then followed by tea/coffee which is served afterwards at the Institute of Photonics (5 th floor of the Wolfson Centre).
A Strathclyde University campus map can be found at http://www.strath.ac.uk/maps/johnandersoncampus/.
Everyone is welcome to attend.
For further details please contact:
Dr. Jennifer Hastie ( email@example.com)
The Institute of Photonics regularly hosts prestigious visitors to give seminars. Invitation to our seminars is extending to many departments across Strathclyde, local universities and our SUPA partners.
Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur: 30 years of photonic start-ups in academia and industry
Dr. Simon Poole
Level 2, Wolfson Centre
2.30p.m. Thursday 17th May 2012
Every company – even the largest household names such as Google or Apple or even IBM - begins life as a start-up. Drawing on experience gained from Dr Poole’s extensive start-up history, this presentation will look at how some of the companies and research groups which Dr Poole founded got started, what they did and how they subsequently developed and thrived. The presentation aims to inspire researchers who are considering how to commercialise their research to take the next steps and move out of the research lab and into the brave new world of commercialisation.
Dr Simon Poole is an engineer/entrepreneur with over 30 years experience in photonics in research, academia and industry. He has been involved in numerous successful start-ups in both academia and industry and is renowned for both his contribution to the technology of photonics (over 200 published papers) as well as the companies he has founded, who include Indx (sold to JDSUniphase in 1997) and Engana (now Finisar Australia). Dr Poole was elected as a Fellow of the IEEE in 2001 for his work as part of the team that development the erbium-doped fibre amplifier at Southampton University and is also a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia (FIEAust), a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical Engineers (SMIEE) and a Chartered Engineer (CEng). In 2010 he was named as one of the Warren Centre Australia’s ”Innovation Heroes” for his contribution to the development and commercialisation photonics and in 2011 was named as the 2011 NSW Pearcey Medallist for his contribution to the development of the ICT industry in Australia. He was also awarded the Institute of Engineers Australia (Sydney) Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2010.
Engineering Simplicity: easy to say; hard to do
Dr. John R. M. Barr
SELEX Galileo, Edinburgh
Level 2, Wolfson Centre
2.30p.m. Friday 28th October 2011
Laser engineering for rugged environments provides many challenges for the design team including performance, schedule and cost. The solution is an optimised design - but how do we find it? Some basic principles and constraints will be explained for lasers in these environments and examples of solutions given. The path is not always straightforward and does depend on individuals knowledge, previous experience and training.
The specific example of the design of a high energy optical parametric oscillator (OPO) will be given. The starting point was a design that had been developed over a number of years of lab based work. However, once in service, it was clear that the design had a basic flaw leading to poor manufacturing yield. The detective story required that the root cause be identified from several candidates. The corrective action then had to be implemented in a design that was now strongly constrained by the existing OPO space envelope and local environment.
The outcome was a new design based on fairly old principles. It is interesting to note that this new design was both more robust and cheaper to manufacture than its predecessor. The question of why the more optimal design was missed is of interest and may be relevant to the education of future laser engineers.
Concepts discovered (or re-discovered) have been applied to new lasers (not just OPOs) to provide simplification and a reduction in parts count
switchSENSE – a novel biosensing principle to detect and analyze molecules on a chip
Dr. Ulrich Rant
Walter Shottky Institut
Technische Universität München
John Arbuthnott Building, Room SB101
2.30p.m. Monday 5th September 2011
I will introduce a chip-compatible scheme for the label-free detection and size-analysis of biomolecules in real-time [1-4]. The ‘switchSENSE’ principle is based on an electrically actuated bio-interface and relies on DNA molecules which are driven to oscillate (switch their conformation) on microelectrodes by applying AC potentials. The switching behaviour serves as a universal parameter to infer the molecular state of the bio-interface and permits to detect the binding of target molecules (proteins or nucleic acids) to the layer. In particular, I will demonstrate that the switching behaviour is a sensitive indicator for the specific recognition of IgG antibodies, antibody-fragments, transcription factors, small proteins, and cancer related mutations in the p53 gene, which can be detected in quantities of less than 1 amol on the sensor surface and in the fM concentration range in solution.
In addition to the quantitative analysis of ‘classical’ interaction parameters like affinity constants or association/dissociation rates, previously inaccessible information about the target molecule size and shape are obtained from a molecular dynamics analysis. When proteins bind to the layer, the increase in hydrodynamic drag slows the switching dynamics, which allow us to determine the size of the captured proteins. We demonstrate the identification of different antibody fragments and small proteins by means of their kinetic fingerprint. The implications of the switching dynamics measurement for a novel type of on-chip protein analysis will be discussed, in particular with respect to the engineering of antibodies.
 Nano Letters 4, 1290-1295 (2009)
 PNAS 104 (44), 17364-17369 (2007)
 JACS 132, 7935 (2010)
 PNAS 107 (4), 1397-1401 (2010)
Metal-glass nanocomposites through engineering to applications
Dr. Amin Abdolvand
Photonics Research Group
University of Dundee
John Arbuthnott Building, Room SB101
2.30p.m. Friday 19th August 2011
For many centuries the presence of metal nanoparticles has been evident because of the unusual colour effects associated with them. The red and yellow colours of many medieval church windows originated from silver, gold and copper nanoparticles embedded in the window glass. The first evidence of using gold nanoparticles in antiquity dates back to the 4th century AD (The Lycurgus Cup). The physics of the processes remained a mystery until Michael Faraday, the well-known 19th century physicist, discovered that this effect is due to a new type of optical absorption in metal particles with dimensions substantially less than the wavelength of light. Metal particles which have sizes of the order of one to several hundreds of nanometres, are the subject of intensive research efforts across the world. This is due to the fascinating differences in the optical properties they exhibit compared to bulk metals. When a metal nanoparticle is smaller than the wavelength of light, the light reflected from it is replaced by light scattering, which is particularly strong at the resonance frequencies of collective electron excitations in the nanoparticle. These oscillations are known as particle plasmons or surface plasmon resonances. For noble and alkali metals, where the conduction electrons are sufficiently free-electron-like, the collective excitations show themselves as pronounced resonance effects in optical scattering and absorption spectra.
My efforts are towards the development of metamaterials that – in the spirit of the original meaning of this term – are based on nanostructured composite materials and exhibit exceptional properties due to the inclusion of artificially implanted inhomogeneities. This concept is based on tailoring the properties of, and providing new functionalities to, artificial materials created by controllable formation of metal nanoparticles in glass matrices; so-called metal-glass nanocomposites (MGNs). We systematically investigate the entire range of parameters necessary to develop metamaterials by exploiting the generic functionalities of patterned MGNs. These artificial nanomaterials are being designed and investigated in detail utilising a combination of a novel fabrication techniques, and by modifying/tailoring their optical properties with short and ultra-short laser pulses. It is my hope that the technology developed will find a wide range of applications not only in optics and optical industries, but also in micro- and optoelectronics – e.g. the integration of optical and electronic components at extremely small scales for optical computing. I believe that a number of manufacturers and industries will ultimately benefit from the work – e.g. computer chip industries, manufacturers of optical data storage devices for security applications, optical sensing devices, display technology, healthcare devices and artists/manufacturers of contemporary jewellery.
Quantum optics with single semiconductor spins
Dr. Brian D. Gerardot
School of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh
John Arbuthnott Building, Room SB101
2.30p.m. Friday 20th May 2011
Abstract: Designing and utilising materials with which the quantum states can be defined and controllably manipulated presents both huge challenges and fantastic opportunities. One such prospect has the potential to revolutionise the fields of communication and computing: quantum information processing (QIP). For this objective, perhaps the most feasible approach is to interface flying bits of quantum information, photons, with a quantum state. Hence quantum optics, the study of light-matter interaction at the quantum level, occupies a central role in the emerging field of QIP. A new paradigm stimulated by QIP is the application of quantum optics to solid-state media. Unique advantages in the solid-state are the ability to repeatably address a single emitter and add semiconductor functionality.
However, a significant challenge is finding a highly coherent quantum state in a semiconductor. Spin is a natural choice. A single spin can be trapped in a quantum dot, which is a ‘zero-dimensional’ spatial region, to isolate it from phonons, a major source of dephasing. However, an electron spin interacts with ~10,000 nuclear spins in a quantum dot. Unless the nuclear spins are controlled, a complex undertaking, the electron spin coherence quickly dissipates. An alternative is a hole spin in the valence band, which does not directly couple to the nuclear spins. I will present recent results which exploit quantum optical techniques to initialise, manipulate, and read-out single spins in a quantum dot embedded in a charge-tunable device. Remarkably, the hole spin is found to be highly coherent. This discovery is made by observing coherent population trapping, an optical quantum interference phenomenon, with a single hole spin.