High Brightness Semiconductor Disk Lasers

Our research

The team conducts research in the area of optically-pumped semiconductor disk lasers (also known as VECSELs) for high spatial and spectral brightness and broad tunability at novel wavelengths.

VECSELs have been a long-standing theme at the Institute of Photonics. Early research was instigated by Professor Martin Dawson in 1997, and developed into a broad range of projects involving a large number of researchers and collaborators over the years.

The current team has an EPSRC Challenging Engineering award supporting our research into narrow linewidth operation and advanced wavelength flexibility for applications including:

  • metrology and lithography
  • spanning ultraviolet
  • visible and infrared spectral regions through the use of novel materials
  • intracavity nonlinear frequency conversion techniques

We have extended our research on´╗┐ intracavity nonlinear frequency conversion techniques for the development of intracavity-pumped tunable crystalline Raman lasers, including CW diamond Raman lasers. We're working closely with the Compact Solid-State Lasers Team lead by Dr Alan Kemp on this research.

Who we work with

We work closely with the new Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics in Glasgow (FCAP) on a number of projects. The studentships for two of the team’s PhD students, Julio Rodriguez and Riccardo Casula, are part-funded by FCAP.

We also collaborate with a number of academic groups based at the University of Sheffield, the University of Ulm, the Tampere University of Technology, the City University of New York and Professor Kai Bongs’ Cold Atom Physics Group at the University of Birmingham.

Our projects & grants

Project Duration Funding body Funding level £ 
Innovate UK Collaborative R&D: Compact Light Engines for Strontium Clocks  May 2015 to October 2016  Innovate/EPSRC  500,000 
National Quantum Technology Hubs: Sensors and Metrology - One of four national hubs aimed at driving quantum technology towards the market as part of a large governmental initiative. The hub is led by the University of Birmingham with Glasgow, Nottingham, Southampton, Strathclyde and Sussex as partners. Dr Jennifer Hastie is the Strathclyde lead on this project.  December 2014 to November 2019  EPSRC 35,500,000 
Ultraprecision optical engineering with shortwavelength semiconductor disk laser technology challenging engineering May 2011 to April 2016  EPSRC 996,024 
Diamond Raman lasers  October 2008 to March 2012  EPSRC  627,792 
INP/AlGaInP quantum dot lasers for 650-780NM emission  October 2007 to September 2010  EPSRC  132,925 
Deep to near ultraviolet surfact emitting semiconductor laser sources for biomedicine  April 2006 to April 2008  EPSRC  124,092 
Post doctoral research fellowship for Dr Hastie  May 2004 to April 2009  The Royal Society of Engineering  214,044