The University of Exeter is a member of the UK’s Russell Group of leading research-intensive universities. It is ranked amongst the UK’s top 10 universities in the Higher Education league tables produced by the Times and the Sunday Times, is one of the top 200 universities in the world according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and is ranked 161st in the QS World University Rankings. It participated in 166 FP7 projects, including 81 as sole applicant or coordinator and is to date involved in 60 Horizon 2020 projects, including 30 as sole applicant or coordinator.
The University of Exeter is investing m in the innovative Living Systems Institute (LSI) building. This is the University’s largest single investment in science, and part of an overall investment of m since 2008. The LSI provides state-of-the art laboratory space. This includes high-specification optical laboratories. The LSI is a centre for interdisciplinary research, a beacon of excellence and an impact centre.
In the group led by Prof. Frank Vollmer, heavily manipulated light fields are used for the study of biological systems. Of specific interest is the use of resonant light fields in high-Q cavities (whispering gallery modes, WGM) for sensitive label-free molecular-level detection. The group is applying this WGM biosensing technique towards the goal of single molecule detection and analysis as well as towards integration in hand-held chip-scale biosensors and lab-on-chip devices. The group also explores related topics such as laser-induced flow fields (optofluidics for lab-on-chips), next generation biosensors, bioplasmonics as well as applications of quantum optics in biodetection. There is also an interest in nanophotonics, particularly in disordered photonic crystal structures where Anderson-localized fields can be used in detection as well as for designing random lasers. In summary, the Vollmer group is an interdisciplinary group with research interests in biosensing, next generation biosensors silicon photonics, biophotonics, nanophotonics, plasmonics optofluidics, optical trapping Anderson Localization molecular interactions at a biosensor interface novel materials for biosensing novel physics for biosensing.