Photonics, the science of light, is underpinning many recent developments in communications, solar power, lighting, data storage, displays and could even lead to a quantum revolution in computing.
Optical fibre communications forms the backbone of all land based communications and as the bandwidth increases we require faster devices, switches and new systems concepts. Meanwhile climate change is driving renewable energy research towards solar power and low power lighting. The Photonics group located in Electrical Engineering is pursuing world leading research topics leading to cheaper, faster information and communication technologies, inexpensive sensors to revolutionise healthcare and new methods of harvesting renewable energy.
Photonics has recently been significantly strengthened by the addition of the High Performance Networks group (HPN) led by Professor Dimitra Simeonidou. This group specializes in the application of advanced technologies to future communication network infrastructures together with the study of control, node architectures, and technologies best suited for future requirements.
Incorporated in the group is the Centre for Quantum Photonics (CQP) which spans Physics and Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Here is a world-leading experimental group in quantum information and quantum communications developing future quantum technologies and exploring fundamental science using photons.
Photonics research ranges from the engineering of optical communications devices through the development of wavelength scale structures to guide, trap and collect light out to the fundamental physics of photonic quantum information.
The Photonics group some 45 active researchers including 8 academic members of staff and 12 RA's with around 25 PhD students supported by a multi-million pound grant income. The research is funded by EPSRC, EU and industry collaborations including Nokia, QinetiQ, Hewlett Packard, Kodak, Agilent Technologies, TRL, and Oclaro. Bristol is coordinator of EU framework 7 programmes IOLOS, QUANTIP and SPANGL4Q and ERANET project SSQN. The group leaders (Professors Rarity and O’Brien) hold prestigious ERC individual grants.
The research in the group covers the following three areas.