NEWS 2011

IPOS Researchers receive $4.9M in research funding

IPOS researchers have a received a total of $4.9M in research funding in recent announcements. The Australian Research Council will fund 2 Discovery Projects, 3 DECRAs, 2 Future Fellows, 2 Linkage Projects and 2 LIEF grants, and the University of Sydney will fund 1 Major Equipment grant. This is a great success for the IPOS researchers involved in these project and for the University as a whole.

Discovery Projects

  • Dr. Boris Kuhlmey and Dr. Alexander Argyros
    Drawn metamaterials: scalable nanofabrication for optical components of the future
    $495,000 for 2012-2014
  • A/Prof Tim Schmidt, Prof. Scott Kable, and Dr. M. McCarthy, Dr C. Michael and Prof. J. Stanton
    Double resonance spectroscopy for astrochemistry
    $360,000 for 2012-2014


  • Dr. Chad Husko
    Optical solitons on a photonic chip: unprecedented light control at the nanoscale
    $375,000 for 2012-2014
  • Dr. Jochen Schröder
    Ultra-stable photonic-chip pulse source
    $375,000 for 2012-2014
  • Dr. Chunle Xiong
    Quantum entanglement using slow-light-enhanced nonlinearity
    $375,000 for 2012-2014

Future Fellowships

  • Prof. John Canning
    Optical fibre nanophotonics for sensing
    $929,000 for 2011-2015
  • Dr. Mark Pelusi
    Broadband compensation of nonlinear signal distortion in optical fibre communications
    $661,000 for 2011-2015

Linkage Projects

  • The University of Sydney & The Silanna Group
    Prof. Martijn de Sterke, Prof. Simon Fleming, Prof. Ben Eggleton, and Dr. S. Duvall, and Dr. P. Atanackovic
    Deep-ultraviolet light source by frequency doubling of blue or green light for disinfection
    $265,000 for 2012-2014
  • The University of Sydney & Finisar Corporation
    Prof. Ben Eggleton, Dr. Jochen Schröder, and Dr. M. Roelens
    A versatile optical wavelength and mode switching device for future telecommunication networks
    $249,000 for 2012-2014

LIEF Grants

  • Prof. Joss Bland-Hawthorn, Dr. Sergio Leon-Saval, A/Prof. John O’Byrne and A/Prof. S. Croom, Dr. M. Ireland, A/Prof M. Colless, Dr. S. Ellis, Dr. J. Lawrence.
    GNOSIS-J: completing the revolutionary OH suppression spectrograph
    $300,000 for 2012
  • Prof. Ben Eggleton, Dr. Mark Pelusi, Dr. Jochen Schröder, and A/Prof. W. Shieh, Prof. R. Tucker, Prof. A. Nirmalathas, A/Prof. C. Lim, Prof. E. Skafidas, Prof. M. Austin, Dr. T. Nguyen, Dr. L. Bui
    Coherent detection based characterisation facility for ultra broadband photonic and RF systems
    $300,000 for 2012

The University of Sydney Research Equipment and Infrastructure Scheme

  • Prof. Ben Eggleton, A/Prof. David Moss, Dr. Chunle Xiong, Pfor. Joss Blan-Hawthorn, A/Prof. Stephen Bartlett and Dr. David Reilly.
    Superconducting single photon detectors
    $200,000 for 2012

Alessandro Tuniz wins AIP NSW Postgraduate Award


The winner of the AIP Postgraduate Presentation for 2011 was awarded to Alessandro Tuniz, University of Sydney for his talk on Drawing the Invisible Fibres for Hyperlenses and Emperor’s Clothes. Alessandro received the 2011 Crystal Postgraduate figurine, and a $500 cheque from the AIP. The judging panel also awarded a highly commended prize to Robert Williams, Macquarie University for his talk on Lasers Switched on by Light: An Optically-Driven All-Fibre Q-Switch. Robert received a $150 cheque from the AIP.
Check the AIP report here

Astrophotonics instrument success


In a world first, IPOS researcher Prof. Joss Bland-Hawthorn, along with other colleagues from the University of Sydney's School of Physics and the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) have commissioned a new instrument on the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT), making use of new and novel astrophotonic technology.

The Sydney-AAO Multi-object IFU (SAMI) is a multiplexed integral field unit (IFU) astronomical instrument based on hexabundle technology and feeds the AAOmega spectrograph.

Hexabundles are a new fibre-imaging device developed by the Astrophotonics Group and consist of 105-micron core multimode fibres with only five micron cladding, which are lightly fused over a short distance to form an imaging bundle with high fill-factor. The instrument consists of thirteen hexabundles and so can observe thirteen astronomical targets at once.

The spatially resolved spectroscopy enabled by the SAMI instrument will allow astronomers to measure a wide range of key physical parameters, such as dynamical mass, angular momentum, the location of star formation and many others. It will also remove the biases inherent in single fibre studies of the same kind. The hexabundle technology has been crucial in enabling easy construction of a system which can target more than one object at once in this spatially resolved mode.

The SAMI team, led by Scott Croom (USyd.) and Jon Lawrence (AAO) who installed the instrument, aligned and tested it on the sky over a four-night run from 1 to 4 July 2011 proving it to be a huge success.

The instrument was able to acquire data on both stars and galaxies, with preliminary analysis of the galaxies clearly demonstrating the ability of SAMI to measure galaxy dynamics. These results bode well for the prospects of carrying out major new surveys with SAMI, potentially targeting thousands of galaxies with spatially resolved spectroscopy.

Apart from Prof. Bland-Hawthorn, the SAMI team included Dr Julia Bryant, Assoc. Professor Scott Croom, Dr Lisa Fogarty, Professor Geraint Lewis and Mr Sam Richards from the University of Sydney.