Physics of measurement and materials

Our research in applied physics seeks to identify and pursue opportunities for new technologies, techniques and materials.

Dense shaped connective tissue, Image by J Jana
Image by J Jana

We have a strong history of technological innovation and have contributed to the department’s record of spring-boarding successful spinout companies.

Our research primarily targets issues with societal impacts, such as the energy or water management sectors. We welcome new collaborations in our key areas.

Research topics

Development of optical sensing and imaging systems

Research in this area focuses on the development of optical sensing and imaging systems. We utilise optical sensing for a variety of measurements such as temperature, bacterial count and fruit freshness. Imaging systems primarily focus on biological samples for items like cartilage, fruit and nerves.

Microfluidics and nanofluidics

Our researchers have access to a soft lithography facility for making microfluidic chips. We use these in applications involving colloids such as cells, bioparticles, and Janus particles.

In the Dynamic Microfluidics Laboratory, we explore moving droplets, including phenomena such as superhydrophobicity and capillary uptake. We also have capabilities in nanoscale fluidics, such as using pores and pipettes to analyse nanoscale colloids and bioparticles.

Related research centres

Our researchers

Dr Claude Aguergaray

  • Raman spectroscopy for cancer detection
  • Biophotonics and optical sensing
  • Fibre lasers
  • Laser micromachining and microfabrication

Professor Neil Broderick

  • Fibre Lasers
  • Nonlinear optics
  • Photonic crystal fibres
  • Optical Sensors
  • Micromachining

Dr Maarten Hoogerland

  • Spectroscopy
  • Ultra-cold atoms
  • Quantum optics
  • Lasers

Dr Cushla McGoverin

  • Vibrational spectroscopy
  • Fluorescence spectroscopy
  • Chemometrics

Professor Cather Simpson

  • Ultrafast spectroscopy and quantum chemistry
  • Pulsed Laser micromachining and microfabrication

Associate Professor Frédérique Vanholsbeeck

  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Fluorescence
  • Nonlinear microscopy

Associate Professor Kasper van Wijk

  • Geophysics
  • Laser ultrasonics
  • Elastic wave scattering
  • Seismology

Dr Geoff Willmott

  • Experimental and theoretical soft condensed matter
  • Janus spheres
  • Nanofluidics, nanoscale pipettes and pores
  • Dynamic microfluidics