Optomechanics: quantum to classical boundary
My Ph.D. titled 'Cooling & sensing using whispering gallery mode resonators' explored the use of optical resonances called whispering gallery modes (WGMs) excited within silica microspheres attached to cantilevers ('microsphere-cantilever') to measure the Brownian thermal motion of the microsphere-cantilever and apply feedback cooling. Detection of picometer displacements were obtained with successful active feedback cooling of the mechanical modes of both the microsphere-cantilever and the tapered fibre used for exciting the WGM. Cooling down to below <10 K is obtained although creation of a macroscopic quantum ground state requires 1,000,000 factor improvement in detection noise! I passed my Ph.D. in late 2016 although probing this classical to quantum boundary is still of fundemental interest..
Optomechanics: inertial navigation
My post-doc and subsequently my EPSRC Doctoral Prize fellowship is focused on developing an inertial navigation device using the whispering gallery mode motion detector I setup during my Ph.D. In 2016/17 I investigated the microsphere-cantilever as a test-mass which deflects in response to acceleration. The optical whispering gallery mode circulating within the microsphere detects the deflection down to a resolution equivalent to the moon's influence on the Earth's gravitational field. This was prototyped for an industry funder and field-tested, surviving beyond +/- 60g shocks in an outdoor military vehicle. I now plan to conduct tests of a WGM gyroscope to measure rotation.
Working with Dr. Isabel Llorente-Garcia, we have been developing a method for early diagnosis of amyloid beta in bodily fluids for a non-invasive detection of Alzeimer's disease using chemical markers.
In the summer of 2018 we had an intern from Institut d’Optique Graduate School (Paris) who has finished setting up the experiment and has completed initial pre-trial measurements!
For more information on this project and Dr. Llorente-Garcia's work in biophysics visit this page here.