Optoelectronics and nanotechnology
The research in this area encompasses optoelectronics, nanotechnology, and atomic spectroscopy.
The optoelectronics group was established in 1987. The research activity in this area is mainly focused on Plastic Optical Fibres (POF) for data communications and sensors. In fact the group was the first in a UK institution to undertake and pioneer POF research. Recently the group has developed a novel solar illumination technique using POF for light collection and concentrating. For application of POF in data communications, the group has devised innovative mode scrambling and filtering techniques to significantly enhance the performance of high numerical aperture fibres. The optical scramblers developed achieve bandwidth optimization, significant improvement in reliability and repeatability of data links. Techniques have been also developed to realise high-performance optical couplers and splitters. Research also focuses on wavelength division multiplexing for use in peer-to-peer communication networks. The group has developed highly sensitive passive and dynamic displacement sensors using POF to enable accurate vibration measurements of structures.
London Met has offered use of the POF facilities, for extended periods, to visiting European researchers and other UK university collaborators. These facilities are also being used for consultancy and industrial research contracts and this is an area of activity the group endeavours to expand.
Current research activity includes:
- Novel structures and applications of POF
- Novel Opto-Electronic and Plastic Optical Fibre Sensors
For more details see our Optoelectronics Group.
This area of work at the University is in its infancy and is undertaken with collaboration with leading European institutions. Groundbreaking research work by the group includes:
- the formation of stacked-cup carbon nanotubes using chemical vapour deposition (CVD) from ethanol over silica
- hydrogen activated axial inter-conversion in SiC nanowires
- significant improvement in the quality of carbon nanotubes using of Al, Ga, In and Pb in the catalytic CVD of carbon nanotubes.
Within this research group includes atomic spectroscopy which is led by Professor Edward Steers. The research in this area until recently was supported by the EU "Analytical GD Research Training Network "GLADNET" coordinated by EMPA (Thun, Switzerland), with a total funding of €2.86M. The network consisted of 16 partners working in the field of glow-discharges as tool for elemental and molecular analysis, both for solid bulk materials and content depth profiling. The major objective of GLADNET was to train a fresh generation of research personnel in Glow Discharge Spectroscopy technologies, in a European context bringing them to world-class level. Professor Steers is a past chairperson of the Institute of Physics Spectroscopy Group and of the Association of British Spectroscopists, and has been active in conference organisation. He collaborates closely with Imperial College, Physics Dept. FTS laboratory, but has close links with many other Glow Discharge (GD) groups throughout Europe.