The University of Southampton

Optoelectronics Research Centre, Southampton to invest £300k for FAST lab upgrade

Published: 26 November 2008

The Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton will be investing approximately £300k over the next few months adding new equipment to the centres Femtosecond Applications of Science and Technology (FAST) lab, a multi user facility that allows a variety of ultrafast experiments to be performed.

The FAST lab was first opened back in 2004 costing £1.1M, providing the most comprehensive and flexible commercial ultrafast laser system in the world. Now four years on the ORC director, Professor David Payne has allocated money through the ORC’s strategic initiatives to purchase new equipment for the lab, and enable researchers to enter new areas of research.

The new improved FAST lab will include 2 – 3 separate areas allowing users to work simultaneously, and adding some significant new facilities that will allow Terahertz measurements, pump-probe spectroscopy, and non linear microscopy. Facilities for work with biological samples will also be significantly enhanced and will help to expand the biophotonics work carried out by the centres research team.

“This is a really exciting time for us; the investment into the lab will allow us to move into new areas and new collaborations, and open up external funding opportunities” said Dr Bill Brocklesby.

FAST lab manager, David Banks said: "Thanks to the funding from the ORC's strategic initiatives, we will now be able to better exploit the capabilities of the FAST lab laser system. Alongside partitioning of the lab into separate working areas so that we can finally realise the multi-user femtosecond facility that has long been called for, a number of new resources will be added."

The FAST lab facilities are available for universities and businesses to hire, if you are interested please visit the FAST Lab webpage or contact the FAST lab manager, Dr David Banks



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