PhysicsOur research: impact & commercialisation

Our research has enormous impact beyond the fundamental science. The UK Research Excellence Framework 2021 rated 75% of our impact case studies as world-leading, with the highest impact quality profile in Scotland.

Recent success stories

Many of our graduates have gone on to success in a host of technology industries, and the department has strong ongoing contacts with industry.

Notable spin-out successes in recent years from the department include:

Cascade Technologies

Cascade manufactures gas sensors based on our departmental research. These are used for environmental, security and process monitoring. Cascade has recently been acquired by US-based firm Emerson in Strathclyde’s largest spin-out company sale.

Laser companies

Creation of laser companies in Glasgow serving global markets as a result of research from our photonics group. Examples include the formation of Microlase Ltd as a spin-out (now Coherent Scotland Ltd) and M-Squared Lasers Ltd.

Fluorescence spectrometers

Fluorescence spectrometers have wide ranging applications. These come from fluorescence lifetime research undertaken by the Photophysics Group since 1993. This has contributed to the success of the University spin-out IBH and its subsequent merger with the multinational Horiba.

First UK Fraunhofer centre

The first UK Fraunhofer research centre, the Centre for Applied Photonics (Fraunhofer CAP), set up in Glasgow in 2012. The Institute of Photonics, along with Coherent, M-Squared Lasers and Thales, were instrumental in this decision.

LED devices

Other Institute of Photonics research in micron-scaled LED devices which has led to spin-out mLED Ltd.

Atoms, beams & plasmas group

Technology from the atoms, beams & plasmas group in microwave and millimetre-wave sources and amplifiers. This has been exploited commercially by UK industry and public sectors such as security, defence, health and the environment.