Electronic & electrical engineeringCentre for Microsystems & Photonics
The Centre for Microsystems and Photonics (CMP) has extensive expertise in the design, fabrication and testing of MEMS, microsensors, microfluidics, optoelectronic and photonic sensors and systems. Our research strategy is to ensure that fundamental research and generation of new knowledge is actively pursued, accompanied by strong engagement with industrial collaborators.
The Centre comprises a multidisciplinary research team which contributes to theoretical and practical developments in the fields of fibre-optic and guided wave optic sensors, fibre lasers, micromechanics, gas sensing spectroscopies, together with lab-on-a-chip and microfluidic technologies for biological and clinical applications. Our academic and postgraduate research team includes both home and international PhD students and postdoctoral researchers from a variety of engineering and science disciplines.
Over the last 20 years, an integral part of our research activities includes collaborative work and knowledge transfer with Rolls Royce, M Squared and Thales, and more recently also with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies including AMS Biotechnology, Roslin Cells and AstraZeneca.
Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)
We have extensive experience in MEMS design, characterization and application, and the commercial foundry manufacture of MEMS. Much of our research is in the area of optical MEMS with the goal of substituting conventional optical components with their MEMS equivalents in order to benefit from the advantages that optical MEMS can deliver namely low-cost, low-weight, free-space optical devices which can be integrated to yield miniaturized photonic communication, sensor and imaging systems. We also undertake research in the emerging area of optofluidics where microfluidics and optical devices are integrated to yield new types of optical and fibre-optic components.
The demand for sensing technology continues to grow and our research applies photonic technologies to meet the demanding measurement requirements of condition monitoring and asset management. Optical sensors encode information about the measurand of interest using the physical properties of light such as wavelength, frequency, polarization, phase or amplitude. Our research spans a wide spectrum of sensor development from demonstration of proof of concept sensing principles through to development and application of ruggedized systems deployed in harsh environments. We have a long established international track record in this field. Our current projects include application of tunable diode laser spectroscopy for aero-emissions monitoring; photoacoustic spectroscopy for trace gas detection; and optical fibre sensor technology for acoustic emission detection.
Microfluidics and Lab on a Chip
Microfluidics is the science and technology of controlling volumes of fluids ranging from microlitres to picolitres. Microfluidic devices are typically characterized by channel networks with at least one dimension in the micrometre range. The technology enables greater control over mass transport in fluids to be achieved using reduced sample volumes and ensures fast prototyping. We use microfluidics for the development of screening and diagnostic systems for healthcare applications, including fundamental biological research, drug screening and personalized medicine therapy, for the creation of human organ-on-a-chip in vitro models and for synthetic biology applications.