Programme Grant People


Kishan Dholakia

Kishan Dholakia (KD) has a long experience in the application of shaping light. His research has spanned fundamental photonics to interdisciplinary biomedical science. He has made a major internationally recognised impact in a variety of fields incl. optical micromanipulation, advanced optical sorting, methods of cell transfection with light and Raman spectroscopy. These advances have all been underpinned with his expertise in optical beam shaping. Notable work includes the controlled rotation of particles and chromosomes, the first 3D structures in optical traps and various studies of optical binding [1]. In 2003, he pioneered the area of passive optical sorting (fractionation) on optical lattices [2] (431 citations). His work on using “non-diffracting” light fields (Bessel, Airy) has been at the international forefront of the area [3, 4].

In the last five years he has extended and broadened his interdisciplinary research to make an internationally recognised impact in optically assisted cell transfection [5] and Raman spectroscopy [6]. He collaborates widely internationally and is part of numerous EU consortia including the Network of Excellence “Photonics 4 Life”. He has commercialised a suite of optical trapping apparatus through Elliot Scientific Ltd since 2004.

It is important to expand upon the leadership experience of KD in relation to this project. He has led several major collaborative projects to successful outcomes. Examples include the ATOM-3D NEST fp6 network of seven European partners that yielded 61 high impact papers (over 50% joint work, 2004-2007). KD coordinated this grant as well as initiating or co-initiating over 75% of the joint publications that arose. He led the EPSRC Bioplatform Grant (GR/S96296/01, £420K, that successfully levered £4.4M of further funding) and the subsequent Next Generation Biophotonics platform grant (EP/G061688/1; £1.1M). He has led the successful Basic Technology (BT) Grant ‘Sonoptics’ (£1.02M EP/D04877X/1) and the successive BT translation grant (EP/H045368/1 (£1M)). He has co-organised and/or co-chaired over a dozen international meetings in the last five years. He organises and co-chairs the largest international conference on trapping and light (annually since 2004, typ. 150-200 participants, held at the SPIE Annual Meeting in the USA).

Kishan Dholakia’s group website

Ifor Samuel

Ifor Samuel (IDWS) founded and leads the Organic Semiconductor Centre at the University of St Andrews. He is internationally recognised for his work on light-emitting organic semiconductors. He developed lightemitting dendrimers as a new class of organic semiconductor giving solution-processed light-emitting diodes with record efficiency [17, 18] (216 and 163 citations respectively). He has made a string of breakthroughs in organic semiconductor lasers [19] (229 citations since 2007), leading to the world’s first LED-pumped polymer laser [20, 21]. He has worked on the development of fluorescence techniques, including a new approach to studying protein interactions by fluorescence [22]. He developed (working with J. Ferguson, Ninewells Hospital) a new light source that enables ambulatory treatment of skin cancer using organic lightemitting diodes [23] and has the potential to transform skin cancer treatment. He is well known for interdisciplinary research and has a strong record of innovation leading to the filing of > 20 patents, the majority of which are licensed.

Ifor Samuel’s group website

Thomas Krauss

Thomas F Krauss (TFK) is world-renowned for his work in Photonic Nanostructures, especially PhotonicCrystals. Following his seminal work on 2D photonic crystals [7] (483 Citations) that introduced photonic crystals into guided-wave photonics, he has become one of the leaders in the field. He has been instrumental in exploring many fundamental aspects of photonic crystals, such as their basic properties [8], (177 citations), their enhanced light-matter interaction via the Purcell effect [9] (221 citations) as well as the phenomenon of Slow Light [10] (265 citations since 2005) and [11] (92 citations). More recently, his work has lead to the observation of nonlinear wavelength conversion at remarkably low powers even in silicon [12, 13]. In collaboration with KD, he has applied his expertise to Biophotonics problems, resulting in optically driven microcogs for microfluidics applications[14] and in the realisation of an integrated optical trap [15]. His work on slotted photonic crystal waveguides and cavities has resulted in the demonstration of some of the most sensitive yet exquisitely small optical biosensors [16]. He collaborates widely in the UK, EU and overseas (a highlight being the CUDOS collaboration in Australia) and he has coordinated 2 European Framework projects whose outcomes were both rated “excellent” by their respective review panels. He also leads the recently inaugurated White Rose Industrial Physics Academy ( that links academia to industry via undergraduate projects and thereby opens a new pathway to impact for research.

Thomas Krauss’ group website

Current Researchers

University of St Andrews
Yoshihiko Arita
Georgiy Tkachenko
Zhengyi Yang
Monika Pietrzyk

University of York
Yue Wang
Daan Stellinga
Chris Reardon
Donato Conteduca