Interests and the research topics of the Group are not limited to the projects listed below. We are always open and welcome to collaboration.

Ongoing projects

OFFULA: Optical fiber fabrication using lasers (Business Finland; 2023-2026)

Optical fibers offer a convenient method for creating optical sensors, directing light to, and collecting light from, the measurement region, so called extrinsic sensors or using the fiber itself as the transducer, so called intrinsic sensor. For the past few decades, there has been a fast growing of new technologies in optical fibers pushing the fabrication of active fibers to the front stage for many research groups and industry. Performances of active optical fibers must be improved and it can be achieved by using glass-ceramics, which are rare-earth ions doped crystals in glass. In this proposal, we will lay the foundation for a sustainable technology using a completely new and innovative drawing tower. We plan to demonstrate that the tower can be used to draw silica fiber with same quality than fiber drawn from conventional drawing tower. We also plan to demonstrate that the same equipment can be used to draw not only soft glass but also glass-ceramics so new fibers with enhanced spectroscopic properties can be obtained using this unique drawing process.

IBAIA: Innovative environmental multisensing for waterbody quality monitoring and remediation assessment (HORIZON-RIA EU Fund; 2022-2026)

Environmental water pollution is a growing global issue, leading to increasing regulations and concurrent increased demand for improved water quality monitoring solutions to meet the European Green Deal objectives. Real time in situ devices offers the promise of more rapid and efficient monitoring, and numerous such solutions are available from a wide number of primarily non-EU suppliers. However, existing in situ solutions detect very limited parameters, and are restrained by high costs, low reliability, and high energy usage. To better meet end user needs and improve environmental water quality monitoring, novel sensing technology is required. To this end, IBAIA will develop four innovative optimally functionalised sensor modules based on complementary photonics and electrochemical (EC) technologies. Mid-IR will be used to detect organic chemicals, Vis-NIR for microplastics and salinity, Optode technology for physicochemical parameters, and EC technology for nutrient salts and heavy metals. Leveraging consortium expertise in cutting edge material science, microfluidics, data processing and integration/packaging technology, these four sensors will be integrated and packaged into a single advanced multisensing system and validated by end users in real in situ conditions. The IBAIA
system will more accurately monitor a wider range of parameters than existing solutions, whilst simultaneously being more cost effective, more reliable, more environmentally friendly to manufacture, and more user friendly to use. These dramatic improvements will manifest in an extremely competitive product that acts as a one-size-fits-all solution for many end users, with a highly EU-centric supply chain, that will supplant a wide number of inferior non-EU alternative solutions.

PhotonART: When archaeology meets contemporary glass art and advanced photonics (Pirkanmaa Regional Fund; 2021-2023)

This multidisciplinary three-year Art-Science project aims to design unique contemporary glass art masterpieces and photonics materials inspired by ancient and historic Chinese glazes. In this project, the composition of Ancient Chinese glazes will be analyzed to understand the role of the bubbles, crystals and colloidal intermetallic nanostructures on their extraordinary colors and textures. In this project, the research findings from the analysis of the Chinese glaze will be used to prepare new glasses for art and science with similar crystals and metallic nanoparticles. If prepared with similar crystals and metallic particles, glasses are expected to possess not only unique color and texture useful for the Glass Artist but also optical properties which could be promising for science, especially for advanced photonics (nano-optics, plasmonics, photonics, microphotonics, biorobotics, computing and telecommunication, among other key areas of science and technology).

GlowTrack: In-vivo imaging device based on biophotonic implants (Academy of Finland; 2020-2023)

Implants can find multiple different applications in medicine, from in bone reconstruction to treatment of teeth sensitivity. One important problem is their imaging post-operation as they are invisible in X-ray imaging. Recently, a new optical imaging technique was developed using persistent luminescence (PeL) nanoparticles. However, this technique presents major limitations: the nanoparticles need to be charged before injection and these particles are not biocompatible. The proposing team showed the potential of merging glass with PeL particles. We plan to develop clinically relevant implants which not only are bioactive but also emit PeL from Red to NIR. The novel implants, based on novel PeL particles, could be then charged through the skin to be imaged in-vivo allowing one to monitor in-vivo and over time the implant resorption without the use of X-Ray.  This research will have a major impact not only in bio-imaging and but also in all light-based materials for photonics.

Completed projects

ATLANTIS: Advanced active glass-ceramics into optical fibers (Academy of Finland; 2017-2022)

In this 4 year project, new optically active phosphate-based glasses and glass-ceramics are developed and drawn into fibers. The glass-ceramics are obtained by adding nanoparticles in the glassy matrix or by controlling in-situ the growth of nanoparticles in the glassy matrix. The main goal of this project is to understand the fundamental effect of the glass/glass-ceramic network on the RE solubility, RE luminescence properties and the material photo-response during lasing. We also plan to demonstrate that it is possible to predict prior to drawing the fibers the stability of the fibers during lasing from the photoresponse of the glass/glass-ceramic. The originality of the project lies in the development of fibers drawn from glass-ceramics. The proposed effort is interdisciplinary and will require know-how in optical glass science, optical and luminescence properties, nucleation and growth, glass-light interaction and fiber technology.

Composition analysis of ancient and historic Chinese glazes as part of the PhotonART project (Magnus Ehrnrooth Foundation; 2021)

In this 1 year project, effort will be focused on the analysis of selected Chinese glazes to understand composition-color-structure relation.

MULTIPLY, PeLFIB: Persistent Luminescent Glass Fiber (Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Action; 2020-2021)

We are part of MULTIPLY which is a 5 year Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Action co-ordinated by the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies, Aston University. This MSC action offers interdisciplinary training for over 50 outstanding international experienced researchers in the areas of photonics science, technology and applications over the programme duration. In this project, we propose to develop fibers with persistent luminescence. These fibers could be used for new imaging solutions to healthcare professionals.

CERAM: Particles-containing silicate and phosphate glasses  (Academy of Finland; 2018-2019)

Silicate and phosphate based glass-ceramics will be prepared using REPUSIL and melting process. The study includes i) the synthesis of rare-earth doped nanoparticles with controlled optical properties and size distribution and ii) the dispersion of these nanoparticles in different glass matrices in order to develop novel glass-ceramic materials with novel and better optical properties