Photonics - Tampere University of Technology

Laboratory of Photonics

Photonics, the science and technology of light, plays an increasing role in all aspects of the human endeavour. The research groups forming the Laboratory of Photonics work on advancing the fundamental knowledge of light interaction with novel materials and nanostructures, the development of photonic materials, devices and solutions addressing major scientific and societal challenges. For example, our research topics target new solutions for high-speed and energy-efficient manipulation of data, harvesting of solar energy, sensing of pollutants, process control, and next generation medical tools. We unite complementary thematics creating the highest concentration of photonics research  expertise in Finland.

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Applied Optics

The applied optics group, lead by Assoc. Prof. Juha Toivonen, studies and develops advanced optical spectroscopy techniques to monitor e.g. atomic and molecular concentrations. The AO group works mostly with gas phase detection, and utilizes the latest photonic components. The group is introducing new online monitoring techniques that have industrial potential.

Recent research topics include:

  • Optical diagnostics of combustion gases
  • Optical detection of alpha radiation
  • Photoacoustic spectroscopy of gases
  • Supercontinuum spectroscopy for sensitive multi-species analytics
  • Monitoring heavy metals in water

>> Find out more about our applied optics research

Infrared Light Sources


The Infrared Light Sources group, led by Assist. Prof. Markku Vainio, develops coherent infrared light sources and methods especially for highly sensitive and selective molecular spectroscopy. The main research areas are:

  • Femtosecond optical frequency comb generation in the mid-infrared region
  • Generation of optical frequency combs by CW-pumped cascaded quadratic nonlinearities
  • Frequency-comb-based molecular spectroscopy
  • Widely tunable narrow-linewidth infrared sources based on nonlinear optics and quantum cascade lasers

>> Find out more about our infrared light sources research



The Metamaterial and Plasmonic Devices Group, lead by Prof. Humeyra Caglayan, studies metamaterials, plasmonics, new quantum materials and their integration into photonic devices. 

Our group focuses on engineering the fundamental interaction between light and matter and applying this understanding to light trapping, energy collection and extraction, communication, and sensor applications. These studies involve novel photonic and plasmonic structures and quantum materials; with reduced dimensions, improved performances, and novel optical and photonic functionalities.

The main research areas of the metaplasmonics group are:

  • Tunable Metamaterials and plasmonic devices
  • Epsilon-Near-Zero (ENZ) metamaterials
  • Graphene and similar 2D crystal based nanophotonic devices
  • Quantum plasmonics and quantum metamaterials: Enhance light matter interaction with single emitters and enable collective emission of quantum emitters.

>> Find out more about our metaplasmonics research



The nanophotonics group, lead by Prof. Tapio Niemi, conducts research on plasmonics, metamaterials, resonant nanostructures and pulsed-laser deposition of nanoparticles.

Experimentally, the group relies on UV-nanoimprint lithography, pulsed laser ablation and various standard nanofabrication and characterization techniques. It also collaborates closely with the semiconductor group for quantum well and dot samples. Most recently, the group developed a Raman spectroscopy setup. The group also has simulation capabilites for nanophotonic structures, using a combination of commercial (Comsol Multiphysics) and self-made software.

SEM image and simulation of a nanocone.

Recent research topics include the following:

  • The fabrication of metallic nanocones by nanoimprint lithography and their linear and nonlinear optical properties [Nano Lett. 2012]
  • Second harmonic generation with silicon nitride films [Appl. Phys. Lett. 2012]
  • Single-step fabrication of gold/silicon core/shell-nanoparticles by pulsed laser ablation in liquids [Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2012]
  • Broadband infrared mirrors using guided-mode resonance in a subwavelength germanium grating [Opt. Lett. 2010]
  • Improving the emission efficiency of periodic plasmonic structures for lasing applications [Opt. Comm. 2011]

>> Find out more about our nanophotonics research


Nonlinear Optics

The nonlinear optics group, lead by Prof. Martti Kauranen, studies fundamental issues regarding the nonlinear optical response of materials. This work is made possible by unique measurement techniques and theoretical models, which allow the nonlinear responses to be precisely characterized.

The group is particularly interested in the separation of surface and bulk effects to the nonlinear response and their multipole contributions. Nanostructured materials are another important topic. The group uses both plasmonic metal nanoparticles and purely dielectric materials, with the goal of designing nonlinear metamaterials with enhanced nonlinear properties.

Recent research topics include:

  • Multipole effects
  • Surface and bulk effects
  • Nanostructured materials
  • Nonlinear microscopy
  • Photoreactive organic materials
  • Nematicons
  • Random lasing

>> Find out more about our nonlinear optics research


Optoelectronics Research Centre

The Optoelectronics Research Centre, lead by Prof. Mircea Guina, conducts a comprehensive chain of research activities targeting synthesis of novel III-V semiconductor materials, development of advanced nanotechnology tools for the fabrication of optoelectronics devices, and the development of application tailored optoelectronics components. Using five Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) reactors we can fabricate a wide range of material compounds based on GaAs, InP and GaSb. We pool our efforts to maintain a leading position in MBE by developing new techniques enabling breakthroughs in fabrication of compound semiconductor nanostructures (for example: Appl. Phys. Lett. 97, 173107, 2010). We have two fully equipped clean rooms dedicated to processing and packaging of specialized laser diodes and solar cells.

Researcher operating an MBE reactor in Laboratory of Photonics.

The main research areas of the semiconductor group are:

  • Epitaxy of dilute nitride (GaInAsNSb) compounds
  • Site-controlled epitaxy of quantum dots
  • Epitaxy of GaSb heterostructures for 2–3 µm wavelength range
  • Application of nanoimprint lithography (NIL) for processing optoelectronic devices
  • Development of ultrafast laser diodes for telecommunication
  • Development of high-power narrow-linewidth eye-safe laser diodes for LIDAR
  • Development of high power semiconductor disk lasers (SDLs) for spectroscopic applications (589 nm, 650 nm, 1120 nm, 1156 nm, 2 µm, 2.3 µm)
  • Development of high-efficiency solar cells for concentrated photovoltaic systems (CPV)


Many of our activities are carried out within the framework of European Commission FP7 consortia, COST networks, and other bilateral collaborations with industry and high profile research groups in Europe, USA and China.

>> Find out more about the Optoelectronics Research Centre


Photonic Glasses

Photonic Glasses group is led by Assist. Prof. Laeticia Petit. The Photonic glasses group conducts research on the preparation and characterization of specialty photonic glasses with new or interesting optical properties including work on glass-ceramics from phase-separation/crystallization and from particles doping process. One focus of our research is to understand the composition-structure-property relationship in these materials, with the goal to tailor new compositions to suit specific applications. Applications of such optical glasses are for example specialty fibers including fiber lasers, upconverter fibers and photoresistant fibers with limited increase of loss during lasing and also 2D/3D waveguide for molecular/bio sensing

Recent research topics include the following:

  • Fluorophosphate glasses for Mid-IR sensing
  • New Er doped glass-ceramic bulk and fiber amplifiers
  • Persistent luminescent glasses
  • 2D and 3D upconverters

Many of our activities are carried out within the framework of COST and ITN networks, and other bilateral collaborations with research groups in Europe, USA and Australia.


Surface Science

Surface Science group, lead by Prof. Mika Valden, conducts research on the phenomena at surfaces and interfaces of nanostructured metal and semiconductor materials. The main objectives are to gain insights into the physicochemical properties of the solid–solid, solid–liquid and solid–gas interfaces at molecular level and to develop novel materials by functionalizing surfaces on the nanometer scale.

NanoESCA k-space full field imaging. Ag111 single crystal band structure in reciprocal space. Field of view 4.5 Å^-1, binding energy range from 3.50 to -0.75 eV, spectrometer energy resolution 400 meV, excitation source HeI, 21.219 eV. Acquisition time approximately one hour.

The main research areas of the Surface Science group are:

Experimentally, the group relies on various surface sensitive methods. The main research methods are photoelectron spectroscopy, photoemission electron microscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy, low energy electron diffraction, and impedance spectroscopy. The surface analysis systems are equiped with various sample preparation and surface modification facilities enabling sample treatments in UHV and atomic layer deposition (ALD). In addition, we have access to advanced synchrotron radiation-based research facilities at MAX IV Laboratory: e.g. high-resolution photoelectron spectroscopy and X-ray absorption spectroscopy.

>> Find out more about our surface science research


Ultrafast Optics

The ultrafast optics group, lead by Prof. Goëry Genty, focuses on the study of nonlinear phenomena and dynamics associated in waveguide structures. The research conducted involves theoretical studies, the development of advanced computational models as well as experimental investigations. Current interests extreme energy localization in chaotic and turbulent regimes and the stimulation of waves with extreme amplitudes in optical fibers. The UFO group also develops broadband optical sources with characteristics tailored to specific applications such as spectroscopy or coherent optical tomography.

Recent research topics include:

  • Extreme events in optical systems
  • Broadband sources for spectroscopy and optical coherence tomography (OCT)
  • Second-order coherence supercontinuum

>> Find out more about our ultrafast nonlinear optics research

Updated by: Juha Toivonen, 17.09.2018 18:14.
Content owner: Caglayan Humeyra
Keywords: science and research, laboratory of photonics, research, groups, topics