The Photon Science Institute brings together experts from a range of fields including physics, chemistry, medical sciences, pharmacy, earth sciences, life sciences and engineering to collaboratively work on projects and to solve problems using their vast knowledge base and the PSI's world-leading facilities.

Staff spotlight

Dr Mark Dickinson

Dr Mark Dickinson graduated in Physics from the University of Manchester in 1981 and carried on to research into multi-oscillator ring laser gyroscopes for his PhD in 1984. He was appointed as lecturer in the School of Physics and Astronomy in 1989 and is currently a Reader. His research covers a number of areas, with a background in Laser Physics, he now specialises in medical and biological applications of lasers and optics. Recent projects include laser tweezing, blood flow measurements in the microcirculation, laser nerve stimulation for human pain studies, optical coherence tomography, a range of dental applications for lasers and spectral imaging of neotropical tree frogs.

He has worked in collaboration with a number of medical/dental/biological groups and has been involved with industrial partners, including University spin-off companies. Dr Dickinson is an author, member and one of the key organisers of the Photon Science Institute. He is currently the Deputy Director of the Photon Science Institute and also the Faculty Assistant Vice Dean for Research (Impact).

Dr David Binks

Headshot of David Binks

Dr David Binks obtained a BSc in Physics in 1992 and, after a time in industry, a PhD in Laser Physics in 1998, both at the School of Physics and Astronomy in Manchester. He was appointed as a lecturer there in 2004 and is currently a Reader, as well as the Director of Undergraduate Recruitment. His research aims to understand carrier dynamics and interactions in quantum-confined semiconductor nanostructures studied using steady-state and time-resolved laser spectroscopy techniques, and thereby inform the improvement of their properties for a number of important applications, such as solar cells, LED's, and chemical sensors. Currently, these nanostructures include InGaN/GaN quantum wells, colloidal quantum dots, and dispersions of 2D materials such as MoS2 and graphene oxide.

Dr Ahsan Nazir

Dr Ahsan Nazir graduated in Physics from St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, in 2000. For his DPhil he developed schemes for quantum information processing in semiconductor nanostructures, graduating from the Department of Materials and Worcester College, University of Oxford, in 2004. He joined the University of Manchester in January 2014 as a Photon Science Institute Fellow after spells as a University Research Fellow at Griffith University, Australia, an EPSRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Theoretical Physics at University College London, and most recently as an Imperial College Junior Research Fellow.

His research interests are based around understanding the delicate interplay of quantum coherence and noise in open quantum systems. He has developed a number of innovative methods to model open quantum systems beyond common approximations, and applied them in diverse areas ranging from solid-state quantum information processing to quantum biology. By building on the idea of redrawing the boundary between system and environment, he now aims to develop an efficient framework in which to study both the equilibrium and non-equilibrium dynamics of many-body open quantum systems, with applications such as robust quantum state generation, biomolecular energy transport, and solar energy conversion. He also collaborates with several experimental and theoretical groups worldwide.

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