Advanced laser lab

The Photon Science Institute is a diverse and dynamic academic community which actively promotes the ethos of interdisciplinary research and development.

Located within the Alan Turing Building is a wide range of laser systems which together provide a unique array of sources. Our aim has been to assemble a diverse range of wavelengths with the narrowest linewidths, highest powers and shortest pulses so that researchers can pursue a wide range of activities quickly, facilitating interdisciplinary research and external collaborations. To support these wide ranging laser sources the PSI has invested in an extensive array of diagnostic equipment: fast oscilloscopes, detectors, power and energy meters, spectrometers, and fibre delivery systems.

PSI facilities

  • Continuous wave (CW), narrow linewidth tuneable sources

    Intended for the highest resolution spectroscopic work, these systems are based on titanium sapphire and dye laser ring oscillators, and with frequency doubling and active stability provide radiation in the range 205 nm to 1100 nm with a linewidth of down to 10 kHz.


  • Nanosecond lasers

    For users requiring high photon energy tuneable radiation, the PSI has two ns systems. Both are based on Nd:YAG pumped dye lasers, one with a parametric OPO with SHG and sum-frequency mixing for UV-visible output, whilst the other is configured for narrow linewidth IR operation via an OPO/A and difference-frequency mixing.


  • Ultrafast laser sources

    Our ultrafast pulsed sources are suitable for applications spanning THz generation to ultrafast molecular kinetics and consist of six systems with broadly the following specifications:
    • 80 MHz, 100 fs, tuneable from 690 to 1020 nm
    • High repetition rate (~100 kHz), with extended tuning provided by 2nd and 3rd harmonic generation, two OPAs and DFG.
    • 1 kHz, 6 mJ, again with 2nd and 3rd harmonic generation and with three white light seeded OPAs (two for UV and one for IR). There are plans for CEP stabilisation for this system.
    • 1 kHz, 130 fs system with two non-collinear OPAs and one white light seeded OPA.
    • 1 kHz, 1 ps system with SHG and OPAs for UV and IR operation. There is also a sumfrequency mixing unit for enhanced IR.
    • A large bandwidth oscillator producing <20 fs pulses at 800 nm.

There are many sophisticated experimental systems in the Photon Science Institute and in addition, we have invested in key basic facilities which allow immediate exploitation of our laser sources through UV-VIS-NIR absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy, high spatial resolution fluorescence and triple Raman/photoluminescence spectroscopy.

In addition, Prof David Collison is Director of the National EPR Facility, which is based at the PSI and the Institute has access to international synchroton and free electron laser facilities as follows:


Further information

We welcome enquiries about access to the PSI Facilities from all interested researchers, both academic and industrial. Please send an initial request for contact to the Email below and we will get back to you as soon as possible:

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