IN THIS SECTION
Planar Waveguide & Slab Lasers
The Planar Waveguide and Slab Lasers group is led by Professor Dave Shepherd and investigates the advantages of the planar geometry for novel laser sources.
Current work capitalises on the excellent thermal management properties that the planar waveguide/slab geometry offers and compatibility with high-power diode-laser pump sources. Coupled with crystalline gain media exciting opportunities are possible for realising laser sources not achievable via standard routes, thus enabling difficult or weak laser transitions.
While constantly emerging applications continue to be a foundation for new developments, our current emphasis is placed on increasing the range of accessible wavelengths and demonstrating power-scalable solutions in both pulsed and CW regimes.
Ultrafast Multi-GHz Waveguide Lasers
Supervisor: Prof D Shepherd
Monolithic channel waveguide devices with integrated saturable absorption and dispersion control provide an ideal basis for highly compact ultrafast lasers with femtosecond pulse durations and repetition rates in the GHz regime.
This project will build upon our recent ground-breaking results in this area, extending the capabilities of such lasers for example through master-oscillator-power-amplifier configurations and applying to fields such as supercontinuum generation to deliver octave-spanning frequency combs.
Extension to new host materials with the capability of producing even shorter pulses will also be investigated.
This work will involve collaboration with several groups within the ORC and with the University of St. Andrews.
High-power integrated-photonic composites
Supervisor: Dr Jacob Mackenzie
One of the critical challenges in high-power photonic and electronic systems, optical components, lasers, and high-density integrated circuits is efficient extraction of internal waste heat. In many cases in new engineering projects, thermal management has become increasingly vital, now implemented at the frontend system design rather than as an afterthought. It is a similar scenario for high-power photonics.
To address future engineering challenges one would like to have composite structures that combine media with very different yet complementary properties, so that an advantage can be gained over single-component materials. For our project sponsors, Gooch & Housego, their interest lies with “the ability to robustly bond a variety of photonic materials, and to understand the mechanical properties and mechanisms of surface activation/chemistry that underpin this, [which] are key enabling technologies for 21st Century photonics.”
The project will investigate new approaches based on ultra-precision engineering techniques, novel bonding methods, state-of-the-art deposition processes, and super materials, such as SiC and diamond, to augment optically active materials while extending the potential range of composite materials that can be employed, simultaneously enhancing the thermal and photonic functionality to enable next generation high power density photonic applications.
For further details contact Dr Jacob Mackenzie. Applications may be made in through the PhD application process with an expression of interest in this project.
Copyright University of Southampton 2006