More SUPA research:


Heriot-Watt University School of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Research fields for the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences.


Semiconductor Physics

Much of the technological revolution of the last 50 years has been underpinned by semiconductor physics. Our research in this area spans the nano-scale world of quantum dots to device modelling.



Ultrafast Optics

Femtosecond laser sources can be used to probe fundamental processes in optical materials as well as to process materials in unique ways for a myriad of exciting applications.





Applied Optics & Photonics

A large research team exploiting optics (fibre optics, lasers, adaptive optics, optical tweezers,...) for the manipulation and measurement of the world around us.


Nonlinear Optical, Dynamics & Complexity

We live in a nonlinear Universe and this group studies the effects of spatio-temporal dynamics on optical systems as diverse as image processing and atomic/molecular optics.




Optical Interconnects

Our research examines optics in computing, including next generation architectures and encryption schemes. This research includes diffractive optics, optical backplanes, photon-counting technologies, as well as relevant semiconductor optoelectronic device research.


High power solid-state lasers have many applications in science and engineering. We have pioneered new device architectures with diode laser excitation of planar waveguides for high brightness lasers; related research is on custom micro-optics for diode lasers and the fabrication of waveguides in ceramic optical materials.

Materials & Plasma Processing

Low pressure plasmas are of great technological importance for synthesising diamond and nanocrystalline silicon, or in functionalising polymer surfaces. Our research focuses on understanding the physics of such plasma processes and in optimising the products.

Theoretical Physics

Theoretical work relating to many of the above fields is carried out in the School. In particular, in semiconductor physics, nonlinear dynamics, optical architectures and vacuum quantum electrodynamics.