The University of Southampton

Grants for new devices for healthcare and industry

Published: 13 October 2011


New applications in healthcare and telecommunications will be made possible by two grants awarded to the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

New applications in healthcare and telecommunications will be made possible by two grants awarded to the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

A grant for £0.5 million awarded to a team led by Dr Anna Peacock, will combine two important and highly topical optical technologies: optical fibre tapers and semiconductor functionalised fibres. This research will lead to the development of optoelectronic devices spanning a wide range of wavelengths with the potential to impact many disciplines.

“The award of this grant is very exciting as this research will be crucial for the development of our semiconductor fibre technology and its potential applications,” said Dr Peacock. “The construction of commercially relevant devices such as ultra-compact broadband mid-infrared sources for healthcare, frequency comb generators for spectroscopy and sensing, and highly nonlinear optical couplers and switches for ultrafast telecoms applications should stimulate a fruitful collaboration with industry.”

New advances in ultrafast fibre laser technology at the ORC and a grant for £0.6 million will also make it possible to demonstrate table-top mid-infrared lasers with sufficient power to efficiently ablate and deposit high-quality thin polymer films for numerous applications.

“In this grant we aim to demonstrate the highest power and highest pulse energies yet reported from an ultrafast Optical Parametric Oscillator (OPO),” said Professor David Shepherd. “This power scaling is made possible by new advances in ultrafast fibre laser technology at the ORC, which will act as the pump source for these OPOs. This then takes OPOs, which have previously been seen as primarily scientific tools for laser laboratories, into a regime where they could be useful for materials processing and consequently a number of real-world applications covering photonics, electronics and medicine."

Both of these grants were awarded in September 2011 and will run for three years.

Published: 12 October 2011 


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