Condensed Matter and Photonics

Our group is involved in shaping the future of condensed matter and photonics research from theory and experiment to application and exploitation.

Silicon wafers
Nanocrystalline diamond films grown on silicon wafers. The interference between the reflected light from the silicon wafer and NCD film creates a colour depending on the film thickness - 70nm for blue and 140 nm for gold.

We bring together fundamental physics and development of device concepts though measurements and simulations of fundamental structural, optical, electrical, and magnetic processes in organic and inorganic semiconductor, metallic and magnetic nanostructures.

Our research is improving the understanding of:

  • light-matter interactions
  • charge and spin transport
  • the development and verification of theories
  • the development of novel device concepts
  • high sensitivity photometric and spectroscopic instruments.

Our research units

Our activity is structured into five research units:

Photonics and Biophotonics

Photonics is of ever increasing importance impacting on a huge range of applications and has 20% of UK based physicists employed in this sector.

Quantum Materials and Devices

The fundamental study of quantum mechanical effects in basic materials, photonics, and electronic devices underpins future paradigms such as quantum information processing, quantum cryptography, and future electronics.

Nanoscale Science and Technology

The study of phenomena at the nanoscale has lead to new technologies and applications that have profound implications on our everyday lives.

Theory and Computational Physics

We have a wide range of research activities in the fields of condensed matter theory, classical electrodynamics, photonics and nonliner optics, as well as molecular dynamics and transport phenomena.

Imaging, Sensors and Instrumentation

The work of the instrumentation groups comprises world-leading expertise in cryogenic design, superconducting detector technology, terahertz metamaterial and quasi optics, translated into end user instrument design and fabrication.

Our facilities

The group is equipped with a suite of state-of-the-art laboratories which include:

  • two class 1000 cleanrooms for device and test structure fabrication
  • diamond growth
  • low-energy electron microscopy (LEEM)
  • ultrafast non-linear optical micro-spectroscopy.

It also has extensive experimental and theoretical capability including a number of world-leading material, device fabrication and characterisation techniques invented within the group.

We also have close collaborative relationships with the Institute for Compound Semiconductors (ICS), and the Cardiff Diamond foundry.