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 Optics.org

In a recent news article, Optics.org 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.