SPIE Member Michael Withford, director of the Macquarie University (MQ) Photonics Research Centre and the MQ node of the Australian Research Council's Centre for Ultrahigh-Bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS), was recently named director of the newly launched OptoFab labs.
OptoFab is a node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) that provides research space and expertise in the areas of optics and photonics. It includes four main laboratories at Macquarie University, Bandwidth Foundry International, University of Sydney, and University of Adelaide, with headquarters at Macquarie.
The labs provide services and technical support in the following fields, creating products for use in telecommunications, biotechnology, biomedicine, microelectronics, optical sensing, industrial processing, and defense and security industries:
- Laser micromachining and diamond deposition facilities at Macquarie University,
- Microstructured polymer optic fiber fabrication at University of Sydney,
- Silica and soft glass fabrication and optic fiber drawing at University of Adelaide, and
- Optical lithography and mask fabrication at Bandwidth Foundry International.
Micro-machined gas jets for the Sydney and Athens Olympic torches, lasers built into a microchip, and next generation optics for telescopes were just a few of the research projects on display at the OptoFab launch on 27 November 2013.
Withford is a member of the program committee for the "Laser-based Micro- and Nano-Processing" conference at SPIE Photonics West 2014 in San Francisco, Calif. (USA), and will chair a session on laser nano-structuring and processing 5 February. Withford is also coauthor of two papers to be presented on femtosecond laser processing and spatially-multiplexed single-photon generation.
Withford (pictured at right above with SPIE 2014 President H. Philip Stahl) received a PhD from Macquarie University in 1995 for his work on high-power metal-vapor lasers. His current research includes laser device development, laser applications, microphotonics, astrophotonics, and quantum photonics.