Lancaster wins award to aid new photonics research

Lancaster University has been awarded €500,000 as part of a European programme to encourage the next generation of photonics researchers.

The €4.8M programme, Postgraduate Research on Photonics as an Enabling Technology (PROPHET) is funded by the EU Marie Curie funding mechanism.

There are nine academic partners, four industry partners and two associated partners in the consortium, with Lancaster leading one of the work packages on the development of diode lasers for environmental applications, as well as contributing to another work package with research on quantum dot solar cells.

Prof Tony Krier from the Department of Physics said: ’This is an excellent opportunity for young researchers to undertake cutting-edge research that will have an impact in a number of technologically important areas.’

Fourteen PhD students and five postdoctoral researchers will be trained over four years in a wide range of skills needed for a career in the industry.

These skills will be applied in four areas: mode-locked lasers for communications applications; solar cells for energy applications; gas sensing for environmental applications; and fast tunable laser sources for life-science applications.

Each researcher will experience academic and commercial environments thanks to the industrial involvement.

The young researchers will also benefit from secondments to other network partners, including Technische Universität Berlin and Istituto per la Microelettronica e Microsistemi in Italy.