The Applied Optics Group occupies two floors in the University of Kent’s Photonics Centre in the Jennison Engineering Building on the Canterbury campus. We are well equipped with state-of-the-art lasers and optical tools and supported by technical services and workshops. Several rooms across the 400 square metres of floor space have been designed to host lasers and are equipped with water cooling, interlock and safety features.

We run or have access to facilities and equipment including:

Optical laboratories

We run a total of eight optical laboratories, hosting seven full-size vibration-isolation optical table systems as well as several other non-isolated optical breadboards. Selected rooms are set-up for high power lasers with interlock systems.

Clean air suite

We have access to a class 1000 clean-room complex and two class 100 laminar flow benches. The clean rooms are equipped with a recently installed CO2 laser for fibre tapering and a Vytran glass processing oven for advanced fibre processing.

Workshop facilities

We have access to highly-qualified mechanical and electronic workshops. The Electronics workshop is equipped with a computer-controlled milling machine for prototyping electronic boards. We also run our own small workshop, and have a chemical prep room equipped with two fume cupboards.

OCT systems

We maintain a number of fully-functional spectral domain and swept source OCT systems suitable for pre-clinical studies, including a 1060 nm OCT system on cart, with movable arm, for anterior chamber, skin and art investigations; a 1300 nm OCT system for histology, an 820 nm OCT systems with versatile scanning (T, A, B and C-scans) on a chin rest, and further systems at 1050 nm and 1300 nm.

Optical sources

We have a wide range of semiconductor and fibre lasers/amplifiers, tunable laser sources for fluorescence lifetime imaging, large bandwidth sources such as superluminiscent diodes and amplified spontaneous emission sources,  extremely large bandwidth sources (NKT Photonics), Titanium Sapphire lasers, an argon laser, a CO2 laser and He-Ne lasers.

Optical and electronic measurement instrumentation

We operate two fibre-input large-band optical spectrum analyzers, a double monochromator, a PC controlled spectrometer, power-meters, RF spectrum analyzers up to 20 GHz, oscilloscopes up to 20 GHz, network analyzers up to 500 MHz, four lock-in amplifiers, ultrafast photodetectors up to 20 GHz, several digital 1 GHz oscilloscopes (HP and LeCroy) and low frequency spectrum analyzers.

Prof Jackson and instrumentation

Fibre optics

We have fusion splicers, a Vytran glass processing system for producing specialty splices and fibre tapers, and accessories for cutting, cleaving and inspecting fibres.

Scanning devices

We have a wide range of resonant and galvanometer scanners, as well as sub-micrometer and micrometer PC controlled translation stages.

Computing and digital processing

We have a range of computing facilities, including computers equipped with frame grabbers and imaging software for data acquisition and processing, and an optical design workstation with the Zemax optical design package.