Within Aston University, FONTE is coordinated by the Aston Institute of Photonics Technologies (AIPT) is one of the largest photonics research centres in the UK, with 90+ staff and current grant funding amounting to €20M, of which the majority come from EU projects. AIPT’s success has been built on significant achievements in high-speed optical transmission and processing, nonlinear photonics, fibre grating technology, femtosecond laser material processing techniques, nano-photonics, fibre lasers, bio- and medical photonics, and in various fibre optic sensing applications. Underpinning these achievements is one of the strongest theoretical and advanced numerical modelling photonics research groups in the world. AIPT has an impressive portfolio of project funding, industrial and international collaborations, five spin-out companies, highly cited research papers and 60 patents, all demonstrating excellence in the field. AIPT maintains active and fertile collaborations with industrial companies and academic institutions throughout the world. AIPT has accumulated valuable experience in supervising and administrating diversified research projects, fostering new research and industrial collaborations, undertaking various training activities, and managing world class research facilities available for new projects.
Key research facilities, infrastructure and equipment
The AIPT provides outstanding facilities and infrastructure that are ideally suited for research and training activities across the FOCUS, with extensive theoretical and computational support, direct access to experimentalists working in the field, and established industrial links. AIPT’s experimental work is carried out in 30 laboratories covering 1500 square metres. Facilities include two fibre re-circulating loops (10/40 Gbit/s), BERT (10/40Gbit/s), 3 major UV laser systems for the fabrication of fibre gratings; Class 10000 (locally 1000) cleanroom; 5 state-of-the-art fibre laser laboratories, environmental test chambers and a range of other equipment. A high performance computer cluster is built with 28 Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2609 v2 @ 2.50GHz with 8 cores each. In summer 2016 the university plans to invest a further £7M to create a brand new 1800 square metre state of the art laboratory suite for the Institute, including laboratories dedicated to bringing industry and AIPT researchers together.