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Photon Science Institute

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Photon science and applications

At its heart, research in photon science and applications is motivated by the fundamental science of photon-matter interactions.

Research is conducted over a wide range of length and time scales, with photon energies spanning the far infrared to X-ray regions.

Extending the frontier

By extending the frontier of precision measurements, researchers are able to manipulate single atoms and molecules to study fundamental properties of matter such as nuclear interactions that govern the evolution of stars and production of elements.

Techniques developed within the Photon Science Institute have been exported to facilities such as CERN to study exotic atoms at the limits of nuclear existence. These same methods are also used for probe excitation and ionisation processes and for spatial manipulation.

This spectroscopic research supports the development of photon characterisation techniques used in the nuclear industry with remote detection and robot platforms.

Laser spectroscopy focus

There is a strong emphasis on the application of laser spectroscopy techniques within the theme, where it is used for trace gas analysis including isotope ratio detection and tomography.

Members of the theme are pioneering advances in surface characterisation techniques such as Near-Ambient Pressure XPS, NanoSims and LIBS.

A key capability of photon-matter interactions extends into the world of materials processing, with intense laser sources being increasingly exploited for precision patterning, cutting and drilling.

At the ultimate energy frontier, research is currently being undertaken to utilise lasers to develop new compact particle accelerators. These many activities run through the diverse research activity of the theme.