The University of Technology Sydney (UTS)   

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 both fundamental and applied areas spanning materials research, nanophotonics, molecular photonics, self assembly, lasers, gratings, fibres, devices and systems. Applications in telecommunications, sensing, bio-diagnostics and much more. 

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, setting new benchmarks for quality scientific work, influencing and maturing many groups there. It has become a model example of Sydney University's new cross-disciplinary approach to research and engagement, serving as a role model for many of its subsequent centres. 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 were one of the dominant research groups actively contributing across many fields, expanding and transforming the scope of chemistry in new ways, adding substantially to the national and international networks of the School, the Science and Engineering Faculties 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, as well as contributing to many aspects of international engagement elsewhere. 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 International year of Chemistry in 2011 reflected how much of chemistry has essentially become engineering in nature, servicing many other fields and applications. iPL has been at the forefront of breaking down barriers between Faculties with students from Physics, Chemistry and Engineering all joining. The University of Sydney’s recent White Paper admirably captures this ambiguity about each discipline and the need to have far greater engagement between fields,.

Times continue to evolve and research and technological evolution has necessitated a move for iPL 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, both 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 and collaborations 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. 

With the advent of the Internet of Things and clearly the dominant role photonics is playing, in 2018 iPL will relocate UTS  new Techlab, with 8500 m2 of space bringing together key technologies from across UTS. The IoT utilises the full electromagnetic spectrum spanning RF, terahertz, infrared, near IR, visible, UV and shorter wavelengths - the environment at Techlab signals a new renaissance in photonics and electromagnetics in Australia and iPL will be a key player. This is an extraordinary venture designed in a unique way to enhance collaboration and create new opportunities. iPL and the Global Big Data Technologies Centre will both be positioned there as will many other parties, both educational and industrial.

We of course continue to welcome new collaborative ventures and opportunities with more colleagues across Australia, Oceania and the world (and off-world soon if space faring colonies come to fruition given their need to use our extreme photonic technologies!) 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. 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 ophthalmology and medicine
  • Internet of things and smart sensing
  • Distributed 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
  • Space applications of photonics and optics
  • Biomedical and cardiophotonics
  • RF & photonics



  • Much more……..