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Professor Stephen A Lynch

Professor Stephen A Lynch

College Dean of Research and Innovation
College of Physical Sciences and Engineering
Condensed Matter and Photonics Group

N/1.17, Queen's Buildings - North Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA


I have a dual role within the University. I am a research active teaching academic, and I have a senior management role within the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering.

In my academic job, I teach the 2nd year core module, Introduction to Condensed Matter Physics. My research explores how electromagnetic radiation interacts with matter on timescales from picoseconds to milliseconds. I work with ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and THz light. I am also interested in the quantum optical properties of materials.

In my Dean job, I look after the College’s Research and Innovation portfolio. This covers the seven constituent academic Schools, Architecture, Chemistry, Computer Science & Informatics, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics & Astronomy.


My postdoctoral research career began on joining Prof Sir Mike Pepper’s group at the Cavendish Laboratory, at the beginning of 2000, following the successful defence of my PhD at Trinity College Dublin. I was subsequently elected to a Research Fellowship at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, in 2002. During this time I worked on the development of far-infrared (THz) SiGe quantum cascade devices.

In 2007 I joined the London Centre for Nanotechnology at University College London, working first under the late Prof Marshall Stoneham FRS, and later Prof Gabriel Aeppli FRS. I was awarded an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship to work on the physics of far-infrared emission from impurity doped semiconductors later that year.

I moved to Cardiff University mid 2011 to a tenured academic position, first as Senior Lecturer before being promoted to a personal chair. I was appointed Associate Dean of Research for the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering in 2018, and subsequently Dean of Research and Innovation for the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering in 2020, following an open competition.

Professional memberships

I am a currently a Senior Member of the IEEE. I have been a member of the EPSRC College since 2008, and I have served several EPSRC Panels from 2010. I chaired one of the EPSRC ICT Panels in 2013. I have served on the Royal Academy of Engineering Sift Panel for Research Fellowships for 2010 and 2011. I have served on the 2011 IEEE Panel for elevation to Senior Member level.























PX2236: Introduction to Condensed Matter Physics

The focus of my research over the past two decades has been on light-matter interactions, more specifically the quantum physics behind these interactions.

During my first seven years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Cavendish Laboratory, I worked on the infrared and THz properties of semiconductor materials, with the goal of understanding whether it is possible to engineer a silicon-based quantum cascade laser. My 2002/2003 papers on THz intersubband electroluminescence from SiGe quantum cascade structures, were world-firsts and are still the most highly cited works in the field.

Following my move to the London Centre for Nanotechnology at UCL, the focus of my work shifted slightly, towards exploiting the THz properties of Group-V donor atoms in silicon for quantum technologies. Much of this work was performed at the FELIX free electron laser facility in the Netherlands. The highlight of this research was my 2010 Nature paper, which represents a breakthrough in the field of silicon-based quantum computing.

When I moved to Cardiff the focus of my work shifted slightly again, towards shorter wavelengths. Chalcogen (Group-VI) doners in silicon can be manipulated with more energetic mid-infrared light. This work was funded by the Leverhulme Trust. I also expanded my research interests to explore the electronic and optical properties of transparent oxide materials (in collaboration with Cambridge). More recently I have been working on Rydberg excitons in cuprous oxide. This fascinating subject bridges the gap between semiconductor and atomic physics. The work is funded by the EPSRC and is done in collaboration with my close colleagues at Durham University. I also have an interest in the optical properties of diamond and two PhD students under my supervision have been funded by De Beers.


Current supervision

Aisha Albeladi

Research student

Samuel Gavin-Pitt

Samuel Gavin-Pitt

Research student


Reza Hekmati

Research student


Ffion James

Research student