The University of Strathclyde (>3,200 staff; >26,000 students) is one of Glasgow’s two large Universities and one of the major research units for photonics in Scotland (and the UK as a whole). Times Higher Education ranked the University of Strathclyde as the number one in the UK for Physics research based on the GPA scores from the most recent UK Research Excellence Framework exercise in 2014. Further, the University of Strathclyde was named UK University of the Year in the 2012 Times Higher Education Awards.

The Physics Department at Strathclyde comprises more than 30 research groups with a total staff count of about 200 people (including administrative and technical staff). Photonics research is one of the key strengths at Strathclyde. The Optics Division is the largest in the Physics Department with 19 academic members of staff and expertise in quantum photonics, atom optics, nanophotonics and non-linear optics and microscopy.

Uniquely to Strathclyde, the University also counts with the Institute of Photonics. This is an autonomous and cost-effective research unit within the Physics Department dedicated to the development of user-driven photonics research. The IoP currently has 10 Principal Investigators (all academic and/or research members of staff) and over 25 PhD students. The IoP has an international reputation for impact-inspired research in advanced lasers, optoelectronics, semiconductor micro-/nano-fabrication and neurophotonics. Specifically, Strathclyde’s IoP has played a pioneering role in diverse technologies, including optically pumped semiconductor lasers, micro-LED systems, quantum technologies, nanophotonics and hybrid semiconductor integration.

Since May 2015, the IoP is located in the Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) of the University, which at >£90M is Strathclyde’s highest single investment. At TIC, the IoP has ten purpose-built photonics research laboratories and a new 500 m2 cleanroom suite. These state-of-the-art facilities include key systems instrumental for the development of the present programme, such as micro-photoluminescence and spectroscopy systems for the characterisation of nanophotonic elements, hybrid transfer printing fabrication tools for the integration of semiconductor nanoscale devices into on-chip platforms, mask-free lithography systems for polymeric waveguide fabrication and bespoke neuromorphic photonic setups required for the characterisation of the brain-inspired devices and architectures of this programme.


MEET THE TEAM

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Antonio Hurtado

Senior Lecturer, Institute of Photonics

University of Strathclyde

Dr Antonio Hurtado has been a Lecturer at the Strathclyde’s Institute of Photonics (IoP) since October 2014 after being appointed to a prestigious and highly competitive Strathclyde Chancellor’s Fellowship. AH obtained his PhD degree and the title of European PhD from the Universidad Politécnica Madrid (UPM, Spain). His doctoral thesis was awarded the Extraordinary Doctorate Prize in Telecommunications Engineering.

He has developed and international career in photonics research, spanning over 15 years, working in Europe (in the Universities of Strathclyde and Essex in the UK, and in UPM in Spain), and in the USA (University of New Mexico, UNM). Crucially for this proposal, he has carried out cutting-edge research in neuromorphic photonics producing first reports on ultrafast artificial photonic neurons with vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) and on nanophotonics investigating hybrid nanostructured systems with nanowire (NW) lasers.

At Strathclyde, he has established in just over 3 years an independent, externally-funded research programme in neurophotonics and nanophotonics and which has already yielded first reports on the generation of ultrafast photonic spiking patterns in VCSELs and on the hybrid integration of NW lasers with on chip wave-guiding systems. He has been involved in diverse projects funded by European, UK national and US funding bodies. Notably, he was awarded two highly prestigious Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowships by the European Commission to work at the University of Essex, UK (‘ISLAS’ 2009-2011, €169k) and at UNM’s Centre for High Technology Materials, USA (‘NINFA’, 2011-2014, €239k). He has also been recently awarded a project by the USA’s Office of Naval Research Global (ONRG, 2017-2020, $442k) in brain-inspired photonics using bulk off-the-shelf optical components. This combined expertise ideally positions his work group at Strathclyde to develop this timely programme on neuromorphic nanophotonic architectures for ultrafast and energy efficient Artificial Intelligence and computing systems.

 

MICHAEL J. STRAIN

Senior Lecturer, Institute of Photonics
University of Strathclyde

Dr. Michael J. Strain is a Senior Lecturer in photonic semiconductor devices at the Institute of Photonics of the University of Strathclyde. Crucially for this proposal, MS has developed the microfabrication of Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) in both III-V and silicon materials that has resulted in the publication of 180 journal papers and conference proceedings (including 22 invited).

Furthermore, the PIC prototyping capability MS developed has been widely taken up by the research community, in particular, seeding collaborations with the Universities of Bristol, Bath, Ghent, Laval, Toronto and INRS Montreal. Michael J. Strain is currently PI and Co-I on research grants totalling over £3M in support for hybrid integration activities. The research proposed will directly benefit from the early successes of work in his work group, which demonstrated the feasibility of bonding III-V membranes to silicon waveguide devices and the creation of vertically integrated silicon devices. He is a key member of the group at the Institute of Photonics working on optoelectronic systems integration as part of the UK’s EPSRC Quantum Technology Hub programme and hybrid optoelectronic integration of micro-LED membrane devices onto non-native substrates. Previous projects also included work on high-speed mode-locked and micro-ring semiconductor lasers.


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