Lab renovation

Renovations on our Level 5 laboratories are now complete! Funding from the Faculty of Science and School of Physics supported this valuable initiative that will support our research and research training.

PhD completion

Laser Speckle Contrast Image of drying Liquol. (E Miles, PhD thesis, 2018)

Congratulations to Elaine Miles who has successfully completed all requirements for her PhD. As per her citation Elaine investigated the extension of laser speckle based imaging methods to new problems in cultural materials conservation. She showed that it was possible to image underdrawings, obtain in-situ information about canvas paintings and study the temporal behaviour of drying paint. Her research will inform new approaches to characterising cultural materials.

Elaine is now forging a successful career at the Bureau of Meteorology where she is a Senior Ocean Climatologist.

New article in Advanced Materials Technology

A new approach to in-plane surface plasmon polariton detection is demonstrated in a new article in Advanced Materials Technology by Dr Eugene Panchenko, other members of the group and collaborators at Tel Aviv University. The design is based on metal–semiconductor–metal photodetectors that are acknowledged as having one of the best speed characteristics among photodetectors. The technique has the potential to enable the integration of surface plasmons as signal carriers in future high-speed optoelectronic integrated circuits. More information here.

UNESCO proclaims May 16th as the International Day of Light


On 14 November, the 39th Session of the UNESCO General Conference proclaimed the date of May 16th as the International Day of Light.  The proclamation of this annual International Day will enable global appreciation of the central role that light and light-based technologies play in the lives of the citizens of the world in areas of science, technology, culture, education, and sustainable development. For more info see

PhD graduations

L-R: Stuart Earl, Ann Roberts, Eugene Panchenko, Tim James

Congratulations to Dr Stuart Earl and Dr Eugene Panchenko who were awarded their degrees at the Sir Robert Menzies Oration on the 18th September.

Optics group info session

Prospective Physics MSc students are invited to the optics group information session which will be conducted as a ‘walk and talk’ tour through the group’s laboratories in the Basement and on Level 5 of the David Caro Building. The tour will begin with a brief introduction to the group followed by a walk through our laboratories. There will be an opportunity for informal discussions with group members after the tour.

When: 12 noon Monday 16 October 2017

Where: Level 5 David Caro (Physics) Building

Refreshments provided.

Lukas Wesemann attends student leadership conference at Frontiers in Optics

Attendees at OSA Student Leadership Workshop

Representing our OSA Student Chapter at the 2017 Student Leadership Conference in Washington DC was a great experience for me. Meeting optics students from all over the world strongly motivated me to be an active member of the society – talking to someone in person makes all the difference.  Out of the large range of fascinating talks, a discussion on not-so-linear career planning, lead by Carlos Lopez-Mariscal from Underwater Photonics, impressed me. I’m more than happy to share my insights and contacts with anyone interested!
Lukas Wesemann, PhD student

New research article in Nature Physics

Dr Alex Wood, Professor Robert Scholten are the authors of a new article, ‘Magnetic pseudo-fields in a rotating electron–nuclear spin system’ published in Nature Physics on 7 August. They used quantum sensors, nitrogen–vacancy (NV) centres, in a rapidly rotating diamond to detect pseudo-fields in the rotating frame to explore precession effects via quantum sensing. This defines a new approach to quantum control using rotationally induced nuclear spin-selective magnetic fields and provides an integral step towards realizing precision rotation sensing and quantum spin gyroscopes. The article can be linked from here. An interview with Dr Wood and A/Prof Andy Martin is available at the University of Melbourne Pursuit page.

PhD completion

Congratulations to Eugene Panchenko who completed his PhD studies. Eugene investigated new approaches for elucidating the properties of light. He demonstrated that optoelectronic devices combining metallic nanostructures and semiconducting materials can monitor guided electromagnetic waves or determine the polarisation states or colour of freely propagating light. His findings may enable new approaches to optical imaging, computing and communications.

We are delighted that Eugene is continuing in the group as a research fellow.

Number of posts found: 25