Dr Jennifer Hastie


Institute of Photonics

Personal statement

Jennifer Hastie is a Deputy Director of the Institute of Photonics and leads a research team with a main interest in optically-pumped semiconductor and solid-state lasers for high spatial and spectral brightness and broad tunability at novel wavelengths. 

Jennifer built her team with an EPSRC Challenging Engineering Award (EP/I022791/1), gaining an international reputation for research in the area of narrow linewidth semiconductor disk lasers (SDLs) with advanced wavelength flexibility for applications including metrology and lithography; spanning ultraviolet, visible and infrared spectral regions through the use of novel materials and intracavity nonlinear frequency conversion techniques.  A particular research highlight was the development of intracavity-pumped tunable crystalline Raman lasers, including CW diamond Raman lasers. 

As a result of the group’s work in the area of ultra-narrow linewidth lasers, Jennifer is a member of the Management Board of the UK National Quantum Technology Hub in Sensing and Timing (www.quantumsensors.org), leading the development of novel lasers for high performance optical clock systems.  The Hub, led by Prof Kai Bongs and Director Simon Bennet of the University of Birmingham, includes leading research groups from the Universities of Glasgow, Nottingham, Southampton and Sussex, and Imperial College London. This international centre of excellence is translating state-of-the-art lab technology into deployable practical devices with the academics working with >60 industry partners to translate research into marketable applications.


Biography: Jennifer joined the IoP as a PhD student in 2000.  In 2004 she was awarded a 5 year research fellowship by the Royal Academy of Engineering to develop visible and ultraviolet semiconductor disk lasers for applications in biophotonics and was Principal Investigator on two further grants funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC): for work on ultraviolet SDLs (EP/D061032/1) and on InP quantum dot SDLs (EP/E056989/1), the latter in partnership with Dr Andrey Krysa of the University of Sheffield and Prof Peter Smowton of Cardiff University.  She has also been a co-investigator on an EPSRC Engineering Platform Grant for the development of advanced solid-state laser systems (EP/E006000/1) and a grant on diamond Raman lasers (EP/E056989/1) with IoP colleague Prof Alan Kemp.  She was the Strathclyde lead investigator on the UK Quantum Technology Hub for Sensors and Metrology (PI Prof Kai Bongs, University of Birmingham, EP/M013294/1), and the lead academic investigator on two Innovate projects with M Squared Lasers Ltd to translate her group’s research on ultra-narrow linewidth semiconductor lasers for quantum technology (EP/M508287/1 and IUK 102667). This has been followed by her role on the Management Board of the UK National Quantum Technology Hub in Sensing and Timing (EP/T001046/1), leading a research programme on essential underpinning technologies including compact locked laser systems.

Jennifer was the Programme Chair of the VECSELs conference at SPIE Photonics West in 2013 and again in 2020, and was an active member of the Technical Programme Committee of the international OSA conference Advanced Solid-State Photonics 2009-2013. She is a Senior Member of the IEEE and a Senior Member of the Optical Society of America, and in 2019 she served as a lecturer on the OSA Siegman International School on Lasers at the University of Rochester, USA.


Cascaded crystalline Raman lasers for extended wavelength coverage : continuous-wave, third-Stokes operation
Casula Riccardo, Penttinen Jussi-Pekka, Guina Mircea, Kemp Alan J, Hastie Jennifer E
Optica Vol 5, pp. 1406-1413 (2018)
Sub-kHz linewidth VECSEL for cold atoms experiments
Moriya P H, Hastie JE
Advanced Solid State Lasers 2018 OSA Laser Congress (2018)
1.4 µm continuous-wave diamond Raman laser
Casula Riccardo, Penttinen Jussi-Pekka, Kemp Alan J, Guina Mircea, Hastie Jennifer E
Optics Express Vol 25, pp. 31377-31383 (2017)
Tunable, CW laser emission at 225 nm via intracavity frequency tripling in a semiconductor disk laser
Rodríguez-García Julio M, Pabœuf David, Hastie Jennifer E
IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics Vol 23 (2017)
Tunable narrow linewidth AlGaInP semiconductor disk laser for Sr atom cooling applications
Paboeuf David, Hastie Jennifer E
Applied Optics Vol 55, pp. 4980-4984 (2016)
Processing and characterisation of II-VI ZnCdMgSe thin film gain structures
Jones Brynmor E, Schlosser Peter J, De Jesus Joel, Garcia Thor A, Tamargo Maria C, Hastie Jennifer E
Thin Solid Films Vol 590, pp. 84-89 (2015)

More publications

Professional activities

The National Quantum Technologies Showcase 2018
Proceedings of SPIE (Journal)
Advanced Solid-State Photonics (ASSP)
Member of programme committee
VECSELs III, Photonics West 2013
Progress towards transfer printing of II-VI and III-V DBR-free VECSELs
Vertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VECSELs) X

More professional activities


UK National Quantum Technology Hub in Sensors and Timing
Hastie, Jennifer (Principal Investigator) Riis, Erling (Principal Investigator) Arnold, Aidan (Co-investigator) Griffin, Paul (Co-investigator) Hastie, Jennifer (Co-investigator) Riis, Erling (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2024
UK National Quantum Technology Hub in Sensors and Timing
Hastie, Jennifer (Principal Investigator) Riis, Erling (Principal Investigator) Arnold, Aidan (Co-investigator) Griffin, Paul (Co-investigator) Hastie, Jennifer (Co-investigator) Riis, Erling (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2024
Single-frequency laser engineering at exotic wavelengths for quantum technologies
Hastie, Jennifer (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2022
COALESCe - TSB Quantum Tech Project with Fraunhofer CAP and M Squared Lasers.COmpAct Light Engines for Strontium Clocks
Hastie, Jennifer (Principal Investigator)
"A large number of applications, including those in research, defence, and finance require compact optical clocks that retain
their accuracy and reliability for lower costs and footprints than existing systems. Optical clocks are capable of better
stability and lower uncertainty than the current standard of time; however, each clock requires a range of lasers with
demanding requirements specific to the atomic species at the heart of the clock. Neutral strontium is one of the most
widely used atoms. It has a key transition that must be addressed using a laser source with emission wavelength at 461nm,
power 1W and linewidth (spectral purity) 32MHz. Currently researchers must use expensive or inadequate laser
sources to meet these requirements. In this project we will meet all the above requirements of neutral strontium in a low
cost, compact system based on semiconductor disk laser (SDL) technology. The advantageous properties of SDLs for
tunable, narrow linewidth operation have previously been demonstrated in the laboratory; however, their potential to
address wavelengths of interest for optical clocks, and moreover to achieve this in a compact commercial format, have yet
to be realised. We will engineer a stabilised, narrow linewidth 922nm SDL with frequency doubling to 461nm within the
cost and volume parameters required for strontium optical clock-based systems to emerge from the research laboratory
and address applications in the field."
01-Jan-2015 - 31-Jan-2016
UK Quantum Technology Hub for Sensors and Metrology
Hastie, Jennifer (Principal Investigator) Arnold, Aidan (Co-investigator) Griffin, Paul (Co-investigator) Kemp, Alan (Co-investigator) Riis, Erling (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2014 - 30-Jan-2019
Ultra-Precision Optical Engineering With Short-Wavelength Semiconductor Disk Laser Technology (Challenging Engineering)
Hastie, Jennifer (Principal Investigator)
It has been 50 years since the first operation of the laser, yet there are still many new applications being made possible by continued innovation in laser technology. A range of exciting optical engineering techniques are currently being developed by scientists and engineers to achieve ever greater precision in sensing, manufacturing, and measurement: from the fabrication of nanometre-scale crystal structures created by laser light patterns to the probing of atomic energy levels to define the time and frequency standards used for communications and navigation. Such visible- and ultraviolet-based (short wavelength) research is very active; however, investigators are currently making do and having to become rather adept at converting current lasers with complex systems for beam shaping, amplification and frequency conversion which generally fall short of the desired wavelength, power and finesse, and confine this technology to the lab. This programme will develop a new class of simplified and tailored short wavelength laser systems in collaboration with these scientists and engineers in order to address a gap in the laser toolbox, dramatically improve capability, and bring these currently specialist techniques out of the lab to the level of widely deployed technology. The core laser technology for the optical engineering systems targeted will be semiconductor disk lasers (SDLs). SDLs are distinct from conventional high performance lasers in that the gain material is engineered on the nanometre scale. Rather than a laser crystal (millimetres long), a flow of dye, or a pressurised tube of gas, light amplification is provided by several quantum wells (QWs): ultra-thin (few nanometres thick) layers of semiconductor, positioned with nanometre-scale accuracy with respect to the light field in the laser. Aside from commercial advantages in terms of compactness, cost and wavelength flexibility, this set-up is fundamentally suited to the very high coherence, low noise laser performance required for ultra-precision optical engineering. Nearly all SDLs operate in the near- or mid-infrared regions of the spectrum; however, many more applications will open up if their full potential for visible and ultraviolet operation is realised. The unique capability in short wavelength SDLs that Dr. Hastie's team has developed over the past 5 years means that she is now in a position to push the technology to target genuine applications for wider benefit. She has identified UK and international research partners for the realisation of high finesse semiconductor laser systems in the visible and UV, together with end users at research institutions in the UK. The Challenging Engineering award will provide the platform necessary to lead this research network and address the identified challenges. Three different optical engineering systems will be targeted initially:* interference lithography - an effective, low-cost method of fabricating nanostructures over a large area and widely deployed in the fabrication of circuits in the semiconductor industry* ultraviolet spectroscopy - for measuring the concentrations of important atmospheric trace gases* optical clocks - for the improvement in time and frequency standards used for communications, satellite navigation and testing of fundamental physics. These areas are complementary in terms of the required laser engineering and performance, will achieve a step-change in capability through the application of short wavelength SDLs, and are sufficiently diverse to provide scope to actively pursue multiple promising research directions and applications, many not yet predicted.
01-Jan-2011 - 30-Jan-2016

More projects


Institute of Photonics
Technology Innovation Centre

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