The University of Technology Sydney (UTS)   

INTRODUCTION - how can i PL help you?

In 2009 our leading photonics and optics research activities have relocated to new laboratory premises within the The University of Sydney. Reflecting the times, the School of Chemistry leads the way at the University for developing broader interdisciplinary programs spanning chemistry, physics and engineering. The group is highly interdisciplinary with members from Physics, Chemistry and Engineering.

We currently have twenty national and international collaborations spanning Oceania, the USA, South America, Europe and Asia covering areas as wide as materials research, nanophotonics, molecular photonics, self assembly, lasers, gratings, fibres, devices and systems. Applications in telecommunications, sensing, bio-diagnostics and much more are explored.

Towards the end of 2010, after a long wait iPL labs are finally commissioned within the Madsen Building at the University of Sydney. During this process over the last two years, iPL has had an immediate impact in raising and expanding the School of Chemistry’s profile both locally and globally. It has become a model example of the University's new cross-disciplinary approach to research and engagement. The labs are part of a larger capacity building exercise for the University to offer novel and distinct approaches to photonics research, including from a materials perspective that was pioneered by iPL. Our impact has been immediately visible - the School’s annual reports show how we are one of the dominant research groups actively contributing across many fields and adding substantially to the national and international networks of the School, and therefore the Faculty and the University. The success in internationalisation, another important core activity of the University, has seen Prof. Canning join the Latin Regional Board of the University to assist further development in that and other areas. Finally, it has not gone unnoticed the impact of chemistry in a growing number of Nobel prizes in Physics, especially those important to photonics – the coming International year of Chemistry in 2011 is an opportune moment to reflect and consider how Chemistry, largely a molecular engineering discipline, is being borrowed by other disciplines to enable progress both in applied and fundamental science and engineering. The University of Sydney’s White Paper admirably captures this ambiguity about each discipline and the need to have far greater engagement between fields, simply a measure of how integrated things have become as genuine sophistication in technology becomes the dominant influence in contemporary society. iPL through the School of Chemistry was well positioned to lead this charge.

Times continue to evolve and research moves us into new directions. The explosion in the internet-of-things, or IoT, which is a predominantly photonic enabled societal revolution, now takes iPL into new paradigms deeply philosophical and novel. To face this challenge, iPL has formally moved to the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) in 2017 where a new dynamic environment leading the way in the internet of things and the new technological challenges of which only photonics and quantum photonics can begin to deal with is underway. iPL retains its links with Sydney and Prof. Canning holds an Honorary Professorship, recognizing that materials and chemistry will continue to play an important part in addressing the microscopic aspects that have parallels with the new emergent phenomena around connectivity, something iPL was the first to recognise. Together with our ongoing partnership at UNSW, the home of the National Fibre Facility supported by nine partner Universities and a number of international programs, this opens up extraordinary cross-disciplinary opportunities that could not exist otherwise. 

We of course continue to welcome new collaborative ventures and opportunities with more colleagues and have particular pleasure noting the emergence of the medical space in our activities. Students of outstanding calibre are also welcomed to join either directly at UTS or through our partners.

This website is only a brief summary of our activities and literature. For more specific project details please do not hesitate to contact us.

  • Fibre sensing for rail and other infrastructure.
  • Glass and materials science
  • Laser material and device processing
  • Fibre fabrication research (rare doped, photosensitive, photonic crystal, air clad and a new generation of Fresnel fibres including Bragg and bandgap fibres)
  • Laser research (DFB fibre lasers, photonic crystal fibre lasers, air clad fibre lasers and many other structure and conventional fibre laser technologies
  • Hybrid photonic and electronic fibre and planar devices (electrophoretic mobility, contact angle, surface alignment, novel conductivity, nano interface processing, integrated porphyrins, plasmons, surface plasmons, SPR)
  • Imaging technologies (photonic crystal fibres for SNOM tips, other)
  • Smart devices smart photonics
  • Smart opthamology and medicine
  • Internet of things and smart sensing
  • Smart spectrometers, laser power meters and other devices
  • Broadband fibre sources (alternative to supercontinuum sources)
  • Self assembly, self-assembled photonics
  • Molecular photonics
  • New science and technologies
  • Ethics, policy and the politics of science 
  • New management and teaching methods
  • Commercialisation, startups
  • Intellectual property



  • Much more……..