Department of Physics and Astronomy
Associate Professor Michael SteelThis is the home page for the research group of Associate Professor Mike Steel in the Department of Physics & Astronomy.
We work as part of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS) within the MQ Photonics Research Centre in the Dept of Physics and Astronomy at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.
CUDOSMuch of this work takes place as part of the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS), a 7 year program between 7 universities with federal funding of over $23M. Macquarie contributes three chief investigators to this major Australian effort in photonics: Associate Professors Mick Withford, Judith Dawes and myself.
Hot newsOctober 2015: A new successful ARC grant!
PhD and Masters of Research Student ProjectsWe are always looking for talented enthusiastic PhD students. We are seeking outstanding candidates to perform theoretical and/or experimental research in quantum integrated photonics and integrated nonlinear optics.
Interested? The Contact page contains instructions on what information to send me to initiate a discussion.
You can see some details about available projects on the Opportunities page.
New arxiv manuscript on a quantum treatment of stimulated Brillouin scattering in nanoscale waveguidesHere's a new piece of work that straddles both areas of current interest in the group: quantum nonlinear optics and opto-acoustics. In a new arxiv paper with long time collaborator John Sipe at the University of Toronto, we take another look at the derivation of equations of motion for the opto-acoustic interaction behind stimulated Brillouin scattering in waveguides. We attack the problem with the techniques of guided wave nonlinear quantum optics. By identifying the right Hamiltonian for the opto-acoustic coupling, the coupled mode equations fall out in a very neat fashion. This also opens the way for thinking about Brillouin interactions at the quantum-classical boundary.
September 5, 2015
New paper on the implications of acoustic dissipation for stimulated Brillouin scattering in waveguidesOne of the things that makes the coupling between light and sound in waveguides complicated is the strong dissipation that phonons suffer. Most last only a few nanoseconds. In a new Scientific Reports paper (lead author Christian Wolff at UTS) we look at how the existence of phonon loss means the amplification of light by stimulate Brillouin scattering can be reduced considerably by the phonon lifetime. It's not a deal-breaker, but one needs to be aware of the issue.
July 24, 2015 paper out in Physical Review A (lead author Christian Wolff at UTS) that provides a rigorous derivation of the equations of motion for stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) in nanoscale waveguides. SBS is the nonlinear interaction between light and high frequency phonons (sound waves) and has tremendous promise as a basis for ultracompact devices for microwave photonics, sensing and narrow linewdith chip-based lasers.
July 23, 2015
Our new review paper on femtosecond laser written waveguides
for quantum optics applications (lead authors Thomas Meany and Markus Gräfe)
is out in Laser and Photonics Reviews.
This paper is a collaboration with the group of Alexander Szameit (Instite of Applied Optics, Jena, Germany) and provides a detailed survey of the use of
laser written circuits for many quantum applications, especially those exploting 3D capabilities.
January 12, 2015
We have a new paper at Optics Express
(lead author Christian Wolff at UTS)
detailing how symmetry principles can help to accelerate the computation and design problems
of nonlinear opto-acoustics (a phenomenon known as Stimulated Brillouin Scattering).
Our new paper (lead author Qiang (Jocelyn) Liu)
on Faraday rotation in femtosecond
laser written waveguides is out in Optics Express.
Jocelyn's work explores the challenges
in developing optical isolators in glass waveguides.
She also achieved some of the nicest theory-experiment agreement
you're likely to see in an optics experiment!
September 19, 2014
Our new manuscript (lead author PhD student Zachary Chaboyer) on demonstrating tunable quantum interference in a 3D 3-arm Mach-Zehnder interferometer is up on the arXiv. We show that our laser written structure should be able to significantly improve phase estimation sensitivity in the quantum regime.
Congratulations to Qiang Liu on being awarded her PhDOur PhD student Qiang (Jocelyn) Liu has received her PhD for her thesis work on laser-written waveguides in magneto-optical glasses. Jocelyn's work brings us closer to a dedicated optical isolator for the laser written waveguide platform. Well done!
July 18, 2014
Our new manuscript (lead author Luke Helt) on the effect of loss on heralded pair generation by spontaneous parametric down-conversion is up on the arXiv. This work investigates how the loss modifies the generated biphoton state, sometimes for good!
Our new theory of Stimulated Brillouin Scattering (SBS) in nanoscale waveguides (lead author Christian Wollf at UTS) is up on the arXiv. Christian has found some really neat ways of teasing out the different forces involved in modern SBS systems.
PhD student Tom Meany graduates to ToshibaWe are delighted that our former PhD student Thomas Meany has taken up an exciting postdoc position at Toshiba'sCambridge Labs in the UK. Tom will be continuing his work in the area of integrated quantum photonics in new directions involving solid state single photon sources.
May 1, 2014 New Journal of Physics.
April 5, 2014
Media coverage of our hybrid single photon source
The paper on our hybrid single photon source in Laser and Photonics Reviews
has attracted a bit of media attention.
Amongst others, we've been picked up by Scatterings in Optics and Photonics News
and The Register, UK.
Here's the original press release.
I've written a commentary
on recent work at Caltech that showed non-classical plasmon statistics.
In a major collaboration between Macquarie, the University of Sydney and Université Nice
Sophia Antipolis (lead authors, we've shown active multiplexing of three and four single photon channels
in a hybrid glass/lithium niobate device. We hope this is the future of single