This research area focuses on the design, modelling, fabrication, processing and evaluation of new or improved devices and systems whose quantum unit is the photon.
This research area focuses on the design, modelling, fabrication, processing and evaluation of new or improved optical devices or systems (planar wave-guide and fibre-based) whose quantum unit is the photon. This includes ultraviolet (UV), visible, infrared (IR), terahertz (THz) and microwave radiation.
This research area includes, for example:
- the use of optical components such as high-speed sources and all-optical modulators
- non-linear optical elements
- photonic band-gap
- silicon photonics
- metamaterial device structures.
It also encompasses hybrid integrative technologies to realise higher-level functionality (for example solid-state lasers and fibre lasers, sensors and sensor arrays, and optical subsystems), and application drivers (for example optical computing and data storage, optical communications, manufacturing, security and medical technologies).
The strategy for this research area recognises the high quality of research undertaken in this area, as demonstrated by the existence of leading research groups in the UK, and its impact on both information and communication technologies (ICT) sectors and non-ICT sectors. This research area has an extremely strong overlap with the larger Optoelectronic devices and circuits research area, with researchers often working in both.
We want researchers to continue to place an emphasis on taking a systems approach in order to foster more informed design, and to enable the community to continue addressing challenges beyond their own domains.
Working with new materials
We want to maintain a portfolio of research which continues to be informed by work on new materials and basic technology, for example new two dimensional (2D) materials and nanophotonics. We want that research to have closer links to other areas within and beyond ICT through increased cross-disciplinary approaches to research and co-creation of research.
Responding to future priorities
We want researchers to consider how they can respond to future challenges and priorities, for example:
- the internet of things
- energy efficient computing
- contributions to enabling infrastructure.
Supporting UK global manufacturing
Our portfolio should continue to play a pivotal role in high value manufacturing through its work on laser research, because this supports the UK to compete on the global manufacturing stage. Future activities around this research area should be conducted in a way that maximises the benefits in this field.
We want to maintain a substantial research area which includes a mixture of projects and programmes ranging in scale and scope. They should foster a healthy balance between support for earlier and for more established researchers.