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Dr Michael Strain

Senior Lecturer

Institute of Photonics

Personal statement

My research group has expertise in the design and micro-fabrication of Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) technologies across a wide range of material platforms.  We develop new materials for specialist applications and collaborate with industrial partners to ensure the future scalability and foundry compatability of these techniques.


Silicon PICs: I have a significant background in the design and micro-fabrication of integrated silicon photonics and have developed devices for applications from sensing and information processing, to cavity-enhanced non-linear interactions and quantum optics.  In particular I am interested in the development of scalable PICs that can be easily electronically tuned and addressed with simple fibre optics and am developing technologies to take this technology from device to systems levels.  This work is supported by strong collaboration with the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre at the University of Glasgow.  

Future Materials:  Not all optical functions can be realised with standard foundry material platforms such as silicon and InP.  We develop new material systems for specific applications, such as ultra-thin-film diamond for quantum optics, together with the advanced micro-processing required to create optical devices.  We have interests in single crystal diamond, III-nitrides and complex oxide materials.

Heterogeneous Integration:  Many integrated photonic material platforms have particular strengths (e.g. III-V's for light generation and detection) but are limited in complimentary areas.  In this work we seek to marry different materials in single systems to make best use of the material properties where they are needed in PICs.  For example, by locally bonding III-V materials to silicon waveguides, the light generation of the III-V's can be created where necessary in a low-loss complex silicon PIC.  

This technique also allows photonic integration of specialist materials like diamond with standard PIC technology, giving flexibility in circuit design and the prospect for scaling where materials are scarce and monlithic PIC technology is prohibitive.  Other areas of interest are hetereogeneous PICs for mid-IR applications.

Micro-LED imaging arrays: We are developing high speed LED displays with pixel dimensions of only a few tens of microns.  These devices are used for data transmission (Gb/s), covert imaging and the control and navigation of autonomous robotic agents without the need for electrical signal transmission links.   


Hybrid integration of an evanescently coupled AlGaAs micro-disk resonator with a silicon waveguide by nanoscale-accurate transfer printing
Guilhabert B., McPhillimy J., May S., Klitis C., Dawson M. D., Sorel M., Strain M. J.
Optics Letters Vol 43, pp. 4883-4886, (2018)
Thin film diamond membranes bonded on-demand with SOI ring resonators
Hill Paul, Gu Erdan, Dawson Martin D., Strain Michael J.
Diamond and Related Materials Vol 88, pp. 215-221, (2018)
Temporal encoding to reject background signals in a low complexity, photon counting communication link
Griffiths Alexander D., Herrnsdorf Johannes, Lowe Christopher, Macdonald Malcolm, Henderson Robert, Strain Michael J., Dawson Martin D.
Materials Vol 11, (2018)
Nanoscale accurate heterogeneous integration of waveguide devices by transfer printing
Guilhabert B., McPhillimy J., Klitis C., Dawson M.D., Sorel M., Strain M.J.
IEEE Photonics Conference 2018, (2018)
Hybridisation of diamond with silicon photonic resonators
Hill Paul D., Gu Erdan, Dawson Martin, Strain Michael
De Beers Diamond Conference, (2018)
High precision transfer printing for hybrid integration of multi-material waveguide devices
McPhillimy John R., Guilhabert Benoit, Klitis Charalambos, May Stuart, Dawson Martin D., Sorel Marc, Strain Michael J.
Advanced Photonics Congress - Integrated Photonics Research, Silicon, and Nano-Photonics 2018, (2018)

more publications

Research interests

  • Silicon Photonic Integrated Circuits (in the near and mid-IR)
  • Heterogeneous integration (e.g. III-V on SOI)
  • Wide-bandgap integrated optics (diamond, GaN)
  • Waveguide and on-chip resonators for NLO
  • III-V micro-lasers
  • Chip-scale vector beam sources
  • Structured illumination for imaging and data comms.


'Hetero-print': A holistic approach to transfer-printing for heterogeneous integration in manufacturing
Dawson, Martin (Principal Investigator) Martin, Robert (Co-investigator) Strain, Michael (Co-investigator) Watson, Ian (Co-investigator) Guilhabert, Benoit Jack Eloi (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Jun-2018 - 31-May-2023
Fraunhofer UK Research Limited: Studentship Agreement | Le Francois, Emma
Dawson, Martin (Principal Investigator) Strain, Michael (Co-investigator) Le Francois, Emma (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2017 - 01-Apr-2021
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Robertson, Joshua
Hurtado, Antonio (Principal Investigator) Strain, Michael (Co-investigator) Robertson, Joshua (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2017 - 01-Apr-2021
UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging (Quantic) / R140296-103
Dawson, Martin (Principal Investigator) Gu, Erdan (Co-investigator) Strain, Michael (Co-investigator) Watson, Ian (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Aug-2016 - 31-Jan-2017
UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging (Quantic) / R140296-105
Strain, Michael (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2014 - 30-Sep-2019
Visible light communications on microchip systems
Strain, Michael (Principal Investigator)
Hybrid integration of GaN LEDs onto silica based PICs for data communications
Period 01-Nov-2016 - 31-Mar-2017

more projects


Institute of Photonics
Technology Innovation Centre

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