Photonics for devices, networks and energy

Research in photonics, that which embraces the science and technology of light, is having an impact on our lives much like what has been seen in previous electronic and digital revolutions. The various applications of photonics range from communications technology (i.e. transmission of voice, video and data on light waves) to entertainment systems, and from biology (i.e. surgeons utilizing lasers in surgery) and quantum computation to environmental sensing (i.e. laser scanners reading bar codes) and green technologies (i.e. solar energy). Photonics have an often unseen but crucial role to play in almost all areas of life, enabling new and advanced technologies.

The Centre for Research in Photonics at uOttawa is a world-recognized research facility in which our Faculty’s researchers are hard at work to bring you the latest developments and innovations to truly transform our present into the future.

Areas of research

  • Solar energy
  • Biophotonics
  • Microwave photonics
  • Plasmonics
  • Quantum photonics
  • Fibre optics
  • Optoelectronics
  • Optical materials

What's happening in this field?

Converting energy at the nanoscale to reduce energy waste

Of all the energy consumed in the world, over 50% of it is wasted as heat in the surrounding environment, with less than 0.5% of this heat being converted back into electrical power. Professor Raphael St-Gelais and his team are working to create a solution that would recycle this heat into electricity using a portable conversion module, which could be mounted directly onto any hot surface.

uOttawa's SUNLAB shines light on future of green energy

When Karin Hinzer first began research into renewable energy more than 10 years ago, she was convinced the technology wasn’t going to be that useful.

It was only in discussing her work with a classroom full of students that the potential for the technology was put into perspective for the University of Ottawa professor.

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