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University of Wales Gets $600,000 Optoelectronics Grant

Photonics.com
Jan 2003
BANGOR, Wales, Jan. 22 -- Researchers at the School of Informatics at the University of Wales at Bangor (UWB) Opto-electronics Group have received a $600,000 grant to continue exploring how optoelectronics can be used to create faster telecommunications networks, aid cancer research, build safer automobiles and combat terrorism.

The four-year award, from the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council of the United Kingdom, supports existing research in nanoscale and nonlinear optical design and measurement and allows expansion into biophotonics and microsystem optics. Alan Shore, chairman of the Electronic Engineering Department, and Paul Spencer and Paul Rees, senior lecturers at the university's School of Informatics, will lead the project.

The researchers said the funding will enable them to make advances in nanoscale dynamics in optoelectronic devices, intersubband nonlinear optoelectronics, semiconductor quantum computer interconnects, organic optoelectronics and biochip optical interconnects and nanoscale material processing and optical micromachine fabrication.

Further research into the operation of semiconductor lasers, such as vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), will make it possible to develop devices that can be used in fields such as environmental and medical sensing, they added.

Telecommunications networks with data rates in the terahertz range are the goal of the team's research into intersubband "quantum cascade" lasers.

"The successful development of this new generation of lasers will enable telecommunication companies to increase the capacity of existing optical fiber networks without installing additional fibers," Shore said.

The team will also focus on the challenges associated with interconnecting the building blocks of the first quantum computers and will investigate using light to "power" a new generation of micromachines; it will also draw on its achievements in "biological" lab-on-a-chip technology to develop optical sensing technology within biochips to improve bioparticle identification.

For more information, visit: www.informatics.bangor.ac.uk



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