Professor of Optoelectronics
Robert Eason is a Professor in the ZI/ORC in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences. He has research interests that span optical and nonlinear optical materials, laser-material interactions, the growth and characterisation of optical thin films fabricated by pulsed laser deposition, optical waveguides and femtosecond laser technology and applications, particularly in the area of direct laser printing. He has been in the ORC since 1989, and was appointed as a Professor of Optoelectronics in 1999.
In 1999 Professor Eason received the Royal Society Millennium Award, for the Public Understanding of Science, and he has received two Vice-Chancellor Teaching awards in 2007 and 2013
His current research interests address three different areas of optical and laser science.
Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD): he is involved in the growth of a range of thin-film optical waveguides for applications as waveguide lasers. The key here is to understand and control the PLD process so that the resultant waveguide has the optimal material properties for efficient lasing performance. The record for lasing performance so far has been a waveguide laser that produces 23W of output power with an efficiency of 70%.
Ultrashort pulse laser materials processing: using laser pulses in the ~ hundred femtosecond range (10-13s), materials can be very efficiently machined, transferred and printed at microscale dimensions. He has led the use of digital micromirror devices (DMDs) for use in spatially patterning the laser pulses used to perform these operations. Using DMDs to generate arbitrary patterns on the workpiece has led to patterning with features below the wavelength of light.
Laser-patterned paper-based diagnostics: we have developed a laser-based platform technology that is used to pattern the building blocks of lateral flow point-of-care diagnostic test devices. Our manufacturing technique has led to production of customised prototypes as well as production runs of devices that are multiplexed, high sensitivity and semi-quantitative, opening up the field of point-of-care diagnosis for a range of current diseases and conditions that present global healthcare problems.