Bright Lights and Optical Memories with Japan
This year, scientists from Southampton and Kyoto Universities are celebrating the tenth anniversary of collaborations in the field of Optoelectronics. Together, the groups are exploring the effects of intense light fields produced by high power, short pulsed lasers on glass and other transparent materials to develop nano-scale 3D photonic components and optical memories for high speed computing.
This long-lasting collaboration between Professor Peter Kazansky’s group at the Optoelectronics Research Centre in Southampton, and Professor Kazuyuki Hirao’s group in Kyoto started in 1998, when Professor Kazansky was invited as a visiting professor to Japan to participate in the HIRAO Active Glass project. The collaboration continued in the Photon Craft Project (2000-2005) funded by JST, and more recently the Nanoglass project funded by NEDO. EPSRC has funded UK work, travel, exchanges, and joint experimental and theoretical studies in the collaboration through a series of grants; the most recent of which is a grant of about £400,000 that will run until 2010.
The collaboration has resulted in a number of discoveries in the field of laser direct writing in materials and in particular the discovery of self-organized nano-grating formation during laser machining - the smallest nanostructures ever created by light inside transparent materials.
The structures could have applications in the areas of nano-fluidics for ‘lab-on-a-chip’ applications, and in high-density re-writable memory for optical computing.
Author: Hannah Foreman, Infrastructure and International Manager, EPSRC