As an interdisciplinary research group we have members in various Schools of Engineering, Chemistry and Physics across a few Universities (UTS, Sydney and UNSW and elsewhere). Therefore research projects run the full gamut from fundamental materials science to engineering devices and components. Cross-disciplinary activity is essential and one of the new skilled criteria employers seek, especially from post-graduate students. Student from all these departments are welcomed either as direct students at iPL or as indirect students in affiliated projects in each department. Students have ranged from undergraduate to postgraduate.
We have also had students from other universities in NSW including Newcastle University, Macquarie University, University of New South Wales, University of Sydney and the University of New England. Other broader national associations include Melbourne University, Curtin University and Southern Queensland University. iPL encourages and welcomes cross-institutional collaborations recognizing ultimately all of us serve the Australian public and have an obligation to get the best out of our higher education system.
Prof. Canning is Conjoint Professor at UNSW and has co-supervised students with Prof. Gang-Ding Peng from UNSW so other arrangements are possible. He is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney.
There are various types of students at iPL:
- Undergraduate research project (e.g. Capstones, Summer students, interns)
- Masters (1-2 Years)
- Honours - in Australia, those of sufficient merit bypass Masters (1 Year)
- PhD (3.5 years)
Good quality international students are more than welcome – usually high quality students are funded from overseas by their parent institution to spend a period of time as part of their postgraduate studies or even a PhD in its entirety. We will support application for special grants either within Australia or in their home country if the student is of sufficient calibre. In this way we have supported students from as far a field as Finland, Brazil, Denmark, Singapore, UK, France, China, Sweden, and the US. More
Interns: Whilst we welcome strong, independent self-funded interns, we do not provide funding. Recently we have hosted interns from France, Saudia Arabia and Ireland. Opportunities to link with startups as vocational trainees are also possible.
Below are some of the existing projects but iPL is flexible and will cater to interests across all disciplines particularly if there is genuine enthusiasm.
For more information email
SELF-ASSEMBLED PHOTONICS (UTS/USyd)
Optical wire chemical and biological sensors
Recent innovative breakthroughs enabling the self-assembly of photonic waveguides using nanoparticles will be exploited to develop novel chemical sensors. Metal detecting, customised organic molecules will be used to attach to the wires. Porphyrins and The controlled self-
assembly of inorganic nanoparticles is a revolution in the making.
Optical wire magnetic composites
In this project the combination of silica and ferroelectric nanoparticles offers a novel tool for increasing the Faraday coefficient of silica, leading to potentially compact Faraday rotators.
Single photon sources
Recent work has shown the integration of nitrogen-vacancy (NV) nanodiamonds into silica is possible using nanoparticle self-assembly. Single photon emitting centres were successfully embedded. This project will attempt to fabricate practical single photon emitting source for potential quantum computing and sensing applications.
Surface patterned self-assembly
This project will look at the role of patterning to direct and control deposition of drops, the self-assembly of nanoparticles and more. In particular, the integration of self-assembled nanoparticles onto silica and silicon chips will be explored.
Nanoparticle self-assembly inside structured optical fibres
This project will examine the optimisation of novel core structures inside optical fibres to enhance functionality and allow new devices, lasers and sensors to be fabricated.
EXTREME PHOTONICS, ENERGY and CLIMATE CHANGE (UTS/UNSW)
Understanding glass and the role of hydrogen within has led to Fibre Bragg gratings that survive beyond 1100°C. The optical fibre acts as a superb miniature processing laboratory that can help provide fundamental information on glass transformations particularly within complex glassy systems. This project explores using dopants in the glass in further optimising the performance.
Regenerated gratings - fundamentals
The underlying process of glass "smithing" has enormous potential well beyond fibre gratings. This is a new approach pioneered at iPL (and recently being developed commercially by a number of startups and companies) to use laser seeding to enable nanoscale control of normal bulk thermal heating and quenching of glass. Understanding the basic science is also critical and new discoveries and insights are being made regularly.
Regenerated gratings - applications
Applications to power industry, furnace characterisation and turbine measurements are currently being pursued through numerous local and international collaborations. This is an extremely topic area of relevance to the energy sector and ultimately climate change.
Ultra high temperature operating lasers
Work towards fibre lasers that can operate well above several hundred degrees has important ramifications for a number of sectors of national interest as well as fundamental implications for laser performance. Studying femtosecond processed glass is also being undertaken with collaborations in Europe through a Marie Curie exchange program and with other international partners in North America. The confirmation of molecular oxygen in nanoscaled structures and voids was carried out using state of the art Raman microscopy facilities within the School of Chemistry.
ADVANCED OPTICAL FIBRE FABRICATION AND APPLICATIONS (UTS, UNSW)
A new project area that recognises for the first time the potential of water self-assembly to explain the large anomalous electro-optic effects reported in optical fibres with UV poling back in 1995 is offered. This is an exciting new medium because until now the potential for water as an opto-electronic medium has not been recognised and is ideal for an ambitious students looking to revolutionise photonics and much, much more. This new paradigm was presented at CLEO Pac Rim in Singapore in 2017 opening opportunities to collaborate with colleagues overseas.
SMART DEVICE TECHNOLOGIES
Chemical and biochemical sensing, especially in the energy and environmental sectors (and also health) is one of the fastest growing research fields in photonics. The silica fibre host is perhaps the most desirable platform for a number of reasons including the ability to perform safe and remote interrogation and to have mufti-functionality. Various project opportunities to develop novel sensors in fibre and integrated form, some using the technologies briefly described above, are available. In particular, laser processing of surfaces is an extremely important project to both understand and control robust attachment of molecules to surfaces. First proposed in 2005 when presenting an invited talk in China, lab-in-a-fibre technology platform has taken many forms (lab-in-fibre, lab-on-fibre, lab-on-a-fibre, lab-around-fibre and so on) and it was terrific more than decade later to see in 2017 to see a dedicated symposium workshop at a major photonics event bring this to the fore http://www.photonics2017.org/index.php.