Institute's Professor Martin Dawson wins second International Award in one year

Professor Martin Dawson, Director of Research has been named as the 2021 winner of the Global SSL Award of Outstanding Achievement by the International SSL (solid state lighting) Alliance (ISA).

The award is presented to individuals or organisations “who stay at the forefront of SSL development, whose outstanding contributions have changed our lives, and who lead the field with innovative applications impacting human society.”


High-accuracy integration of photonic devices from multiple-materials in close proximity offers unique possibilities of fabricating chip-based systems of more compact designs using optical devices.

A collaboration project between the University of Strathclyde, the University of Glasgow and the Australian National University, led by Michael Strain (Institute of Photonics, the University of Strathclyde) developed an enabling method to position devices of multiple materials in close proximity on host surfaces and systems, published in the Special Issue on Hybrid Integrated Photonic Platforms in Optical Materials Express.

 The reported method, based on the concepts of reversible adhesion, allows the pick-and-place integration of micron scale devices with high densities and without disturbing already integrated devices. This provides unique opportunities for creating systems with reduced separations on single chip. The technology is not limited to optical devices and can be useful for electronics specialists. Their work was also highlighted by Optica (former OSA) in a news release (


 EPSRC highlights IoP research on advanced laser technologies for quantum technology

In a case study published this week the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has highlighted the IoP’s work on the development of semiconductor lasers for optical engineering and quantum technologies.


Institute Director of Research, Professor Martin Dawson receives the IEEE Photonics Society Distinguished Service Award

This award is a second success for the Institute this year, following on from Martin’s earlier OSA Nick Holonyak Jr Award


Institute has 2 chapters published in Micro LEDs book published by Academic Press

A new book on “Micro LEDs”, Vol. 106 in the series ‘Semiconductors and Semimetals’, has been published by Academic Press, which contains two chapters by Institute of Photonics authors - one on biomedical applications of the technology and one on optical wireless communications applications”.


Optical Society of America highlights IoP work on photometric stereo imaging

In a press release today (11th January), the Optical Society of America has highlighted the IoP’s work on photometric stereo imaging as published in a paper in the journal Optics Express. The paper, by IoP PhD student Emma Le Francis as lead author and entitled Synchronization-free top-down illumination photometric stereo imaging using light-emitting diodes and a mobile device, Opt. Express, 29, 2, 1502-1515 (2021) , describes a novel approach to synchronising LEDs and camera in photometric stereo imaging and introduces a top-down illumination geometry appropriate for applications linked to indoor lighting. The link to the press release is accessible here: Researchers Acquire 3D Images with LED Room Lighting and a Smartphone | News Releases | The Optical Society (


Turing AI Acceleration Fellowship awarded to Institute of Photonics Dr Antonio Hurtado

Dr Antonio Hurtado, Senior Lecturer, at Institute of Photonics has received a prestigious fellowship to support his development of ultra-fast Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies for medicine, security and renewable energy


Martin Dawson gave (remotely) a keynote and an invited talk at conferences in China last week and will give a further invited talk at a conference in Japan in December


The keynote talk, entitled ‘Micro-LED cutting edge technology and innovative applications in the field of displays, wireless optical communication and imaging technology’ was given to an audience of several hundred in the Plenary Session of the prestigious 17th China International Forum on Solid State Lighting (SSL China) & 2020 International Forum on Wide Bandgap Semiconductors (IFWS) , Nov 23-25 2020, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China

The invited talks were/are in the Micro-LED forum at the 2020 World Display Industry Conference (2020 WDIC) at Hefei, China, Nov 20-21 2020 and at the upcoming 27th International Display Workshops (IDW’20), Dec 9-11, Fukuoka, Japan. These conferences are associated with or organised under the auspices of SID, the Society for Information Display.


Institute is Strathclyde's lead on £10 million Quantum Technology project

Dr Michael Strain of the Institute of Photonics, in the University of Strathclyde's Institute of Photonics, will, alongside Professor Martin Dawson, lead the Strathclyde contribution to this programme. The project is funded by the UK Quantum Technologies Challenge led by UK Research and Innovation and will look at increasing the reliability - and reducing the size, weight, power consumption and cost - of laser components and systems.Dr Michael Strain of the Institute of Photonics, in the University of Strathclyde's Institute of Photonics, will, alongside Professor Martin Dawson, lead the Strathclyde contribution to this programme. The project is funded by the UK Quantum Technologies Challenge led by UK Research and Innovation and will look at increasing the reliability - and reducing the size, weight, power consumption and cost - of laser components and systems.


Royal Academy of Engineering award for Institute Deputy Director, Dr Michael Strain

Dr Michael Strain, Deputy Director of Institute of Photonics has been awarded a Senior Research Fellowship by the Royal Academy of Engineering.  Dr Strain’s research will be aimed at the miniaturisation of visible light optical systems onto a single chip. By integrating systems onto a chip, complexity can be significantly scaled up while improving mechanical robustness, power consumption and reducing production costs.

The long-term aim of the work is to take make optical systems in a format which can be integrated with portable, low power electronics, such as chip-scale spectrometers integrated onto mobile phone platforms for point-of-use diagnostic tools.


Tiny devices promise new horizon for medical imaging

Miniature devices that could be developed into safe, high-resolution imaging technology, with uses such as helping doctors identify potentially deadly cancers and treat them early, have been created in research involving the Institute of Photonics.


IoP recent work on Micro-LED based visible light communication reported by IEEE Spectrum

Based on our self-developed micro-LED array following in-series configuration, high-speed visible light communication links have been achieved at different free-space distances [1]. Over 10 Gbps data rates are accomplished within 5 m transmission distances. Extending the transmission distances to 20 m, the data rates are maintained at the Gbps. This work was also reported in IEEE Spectrum on 15 April which can be read here.[1] E. Xie et al., "Over 10 Gbps VLC for Long-Distance Applications Using a GaN-Based Series-Biased Micro-LED Array," in IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, vol. 32, no. 9, pp. 499-502, 1 May1, 2020


Single photon sensitive link across Glasgow city centre

In collaboration with Edinburgh University and Clyde Space AAC, researchers at the Institute of Photonics are developing optical communications systems with extremely small size, weight and power requirements operating with single photon sensitivity. These systems, developed as part of the “QuantIC” National Quantum Hub, are attractive for data transmission between cube satellites. In December 2019, an important breakthrough was achieved, when we experimentally demonstrated a long distance link over 750 m. Watch live footage from the day, as we used microscopic light-emitting diodes and single photon detectors to beam data at 20 Mb/s across Glasgow city centre.


Led-by-LED technology demonstrators

In November 2019 researchers from the Institute of Photonics showcased technology demonstrators at the National Quantum Technologies Showcase at the Queen Elizabeth II Exhibition Centre, and at the “Quantum City at the Royal Institution”, both in London. The exhibit at the Royal Institution has been filmed. Please watch Dr Herrnsdorf explain the research on micro-LEDs and single photon detectors that is happening at the Institute of Photonics as part of the “QuantIC” Quantum Hub.


Two ‘Best Paper’ Recognitions for the Institute of Photonics at the IEEE Photonics Conference 2019


At the IEEE Photonics Conference in San Antonio, Texas, last week, the IoP received two significant marks of recognition for its work on micro-LEDs and visible light communications:

The first was the IEEE Photonics Technology Letters Best Paper Award 2019. This award is given 3 years’ retrospectively for the Best Paper published, in this case in 2016, as Reviewed by the PTL selection committee based on four criteria; Originality, Technical Content, Impact, and Presentation. The paper, entitled “High bandwidth GaN-based micro-LEDs for multi-Gb/s visible light communications” by R.X.G. Ferreira et al., is a collaboration between the IoP and teams from Oxford, Cambridge and Glasgow Universities, supported under the EPSRC UP-VLC Programme Grant (2012 – 2017) that was led by Strathclyde. It was selected out of over 600 papers published by the journal in 2016 and currently tops the Popular Articles list of IEEE PTL, with over 9,469 full text views.

The second was the 2nd place award in the Student Best Paper award competition, recognition given to IoP/Fraunhofer PhD student Georgios Arvanitakis and his co-first-author IoP PhD student Jose Carreira for their paper entitled “Underwater wireless optical communications at 100MB/s using integrated dual-color micro-LEDs”. Georgios and Jose will share the $500 prize money awarded.


Well done to all concerned!


Neurophotonics team publish new article in

In a recent news article, have featured ground breaking work by the Neurophotonics team at the Institute of Photonics. They discuss a new LED optical array that is capable of independently illuminating specific brain regions, while also providing wide-area brain surface illumination. And if operated correctly, everything stays cool.


Photonics Research Journal

A paper based on research from the Photonics Materials and Devices group, titled “1  Gbps free-space deep-ultraviolet communications based on III-nitride micro-LEDs emitting at 262 nm”, has been selected for the front cover of the Photonics Research Journal’s special issue on Semiconductor UV Photonics.


Congratulations to our Director, Professor Keith Mathieson, who has been awarded a prestigious Chair in Emerging Technologies by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng)

Professor Keith Mathieson’s appointment will enhance his research into technologies interfacing with the brain that aim to advance treatments for brain disorders, dementia and sight loss and will use the funding to explore neurotechnologies to treat these conditions. His aims will include systems for restoring functional vision to blind people, to be developed in partnership with Stanford University. He will also establish a centre for excellence in neurotechnologies at the University. 

Professor Mathieson’s appointment, which he took up on 1 April 2019, will be worth just over £2.6 million in funding over its 10-year term. 

Royal Academy of Engineering technology chair for Strathclyde Professor


SPACOMM 2019: Best Paper Award

Research presented by Dr Alex Griffiths at The Eleventh International Conference on Advances in Satellite and Space Communications (SPACOMM2019) has been selected as "Best Paper" for the conference. The presented work described how micro-LED technology can be used for low size, weight and power inter-satellite communications.


Strathclyde Chancellor's Fellow

Congratulations to Dr Johannes Herrnsdorf who has been successful in securing a Strathclyde Chancellor's Fellowship, which commenced in June 2019, as part of the Global Talent Programme 2019.  Johannes' research focuses on high-speed electronic interfaces for optoelectronic devices.


Professor Martin Dawson invited speaker at ICDT Conference in China

The Institute of Photonics’ pioneering work over the past 20 years on micro-LEDs, an area now receiving great commercial attention as a new form of high-brightness and high resolution display technology, was showcased in the Plenary session of the International Conference on Display Technology (ICDT) in Kunshan, China (March 2019). This meeting, organised under the auspices of the Society for Information Display (SID), takes place annually in China, linked to China’s $30 billion (2018) display industry. Prof. Martin Dawson gave this well-received talk to over a thousand delegates from across all areas of the international displays research and commercialisation community.


Dr Antonio Hurtado is Strathclyde's lead on £3.354 million international project

An international project aimed at increasing the efficiency and portability of artificial intelligence (AI) technology has been launched with the University of Strathclyde as a partner.

The ChipAI Project is developing a nanoscale photonics-enabled technology capable of delivering compact, high-bandwidth and energy efficient neuromorphic (brain-like) central processing units (CPUs).

Dr Antonio Hurtado is Strathclyde's lead on £3.354 million international project


£80 million funding boost will help Scottish universities and businesses develop ‘quantum’ technology that could help save lives

Scottish universities are set to receive a share of an £80 million investment in quantum technology research that could save lives, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced today on a visit to the University of Strathclyde.

The funding will be given over five years to four UK development centres - Glasgow, Birmingham, Oxford and York (with the Institute of Photonics being an academic partner of 3 of the Quantum Hubs) – to create technology that could help save more lives in search-and-rescue missions, hostage situations and help firefighters tackling a blaze.


Professor Allister Ferguson named Robert E. Hopkins Leadership Award recipient

Congratulations to Professor Allister Ferguson, founder of the Institute of Photonics, who has been named the 2019 Robert E. Hopkins Leadership Award recipient by The Optical Society.

 Professor Allister Ferguson named Robert E. Hopkins Leadership Award recipient


Strathclyde Partners in Manufacturing Innovation Project

The University of Strathclyde has been announced as a partner in an ambitious, £5.54 million manufacturing research programme supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The five-year programme, named Hetero-print, aims to develop new techniques for creating advanced optical and electronic materials and devices by specialised forms of printing on the micro- and nano-scales.

Strathclyde partners in manufacturing innovation project


EPSRC UKRI Innovation Fellowship

Johannes Herrnsdorf won an EPSRC UKRI Innovation Fellowship on structured illumination and digital lighting at the few-photon level. Dr. Herrnsdorf will develop platform capability comprising microscopic light-emitting diodes and single photon detectors, which enable imaging and optical wireless networking using only a small number of signal photons.

The technology promises to have a small footprint, low power requirements, and high reliability. It may find application in space communications, the industrial internet of things, underwater communications, high-speed and low light level imaging, automated video surveillance, and micro-fabrication.

The Fellowship is hosted by the Institute of Photonics and strongly supported by Fraunhofer UK, the Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications, the Advanced Forming Research Centre, and Aralia Systems.