Category Archives: Paper Summaries

IPAS Star Trek Tractor beam featured in Physical Review Applied


IPAS researchers led by Dr Philip Light and PhD Student Ashby Hilton have created an infrared tractor beam – or light-driven energy trap – for efficiently guiding into and confining atoms inside a hollow optical fibre. The work is opening the way for new quantum experiments that may lead to new secure communications or advanced sensing technologies. This innovative research has received several interests from major media outlets such as: The Advertiser, The Lead, UK Daily Mail and was invited for the interview with ABC Radio.

High-efficiency cold-atom transport into a waveguide trap
A.P. Hilton, C. Perrella, F. Benabid, B.M. Sparkes, A.N. Luiten, and P.S. LightPhys. Rev. Applied 10, 044034 – Published 12 October 2018.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevApplied.10.044034


Research Paper Summary by Dr Karan Gulati on drug-delivery and electrical stimulation therapy

Conversion of titania (TiO2) into conductive titanium (Ti) nanotube arrays for combined drug-delivery and electrical stimulation therapy

Electrical stimulation therapy (EST) involves placing electrodes at the site of fracture and applying small voltage to enable quicker bone healing, however, this technique faces limitations of bacterial infection/inflammation. A simple solution could be delivering drugs locally at the site of trauma while enabling EST, from the surface of tiny and minimally invasive drug eluting bone implant. Hereby we demonstrate the ability of nano-engineered Ti bone implants in the form of tiny wires with Ti nanotubes preloaded with drug, for combined EST and drug releasing abilities.

Authors: Gulati, K., Maher, S., Chandrasekaran, S., Findlay, D.M., Losic, D.

Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 4 (3), pp. 371-375 (2016)



Research by Dr Phil Light to improve precision measurement of time and frequency

Bidirectional microwave and optical signal dissemination

We have developed a technique to combine and distribute highly stable microwave and optical signals from physically separate frequency standards to multiple locations. This capability can be used to improve precision measurement of time and frequency.

Authors; Light, P., Hilton, A.P., White, R.T., Perrella, C., Anstie, J.D., Hartnett, J.G., Santarelli, G., Luiten, A.N.

Optics Letters 41 (5), pp. 1014-1017 (2016).

Full abstract and paper available here

Phil pigeons

IPAS Best Papers for 2015

on 29 January 2016 at the IPAS New Year Event we announced winners of our “IPAS Best Papers” competition for 2015. We were inundated with entries showing the quality and impact of the research being conducted by IPAS members.

Winners for the best ECR led Paper were Abel Santos, Agnieszka Zuber and Xiaozhou (Michelle) Zhang. The best PhD Student Led Paper Awards went to Malcolm Purdey, Parul Mittal and Tess Reynolds. The Best Overall Paper Award went to Gar-Wing Truong and the Best Transdisciplinary Paper with a Strong Medical/Animal Science Element (sponsored by IVF Vet Solutions) went to Melanie McDowall.

See below for a short summary of each of these outstanding papers.

Best IPAS Paper Open Category

Gar-Wing Truong

Gar-Wing Truong

Paper Title/Authors: Accurate lineshape spectroscopy and the Boltzmann constant (G.-W. Truong, J. D. Anstie, E. F. May, T. M. Stace, A. N. Luiten)

Journal Name: Nature Communications

Summary: We developed a laser thermometer that tracks the amount of motion in cesium atoms to measure the Boltzmann constant, a fundamental quantity linking temperature to atomic motion, with world-leading precision. This work has revealed new insights into light-atom interactions and also contributes to a world-wide effort to redefine the kelvin (a unit of temperature).


PhD Student Led Paper Awards

Malcolm Purdey

Malcolm Purdey

Paper Title: Boronate probes for the detection of hydrogen peroxide release from human spermatozoa (Malcolm S.Purdey, Haley S.Connaughton, SaraWhiting, Erik P.Schartner, TanyaM.Monro, Jeremy G.Thompson, R. JohnAitken, Andrew D. Abell)

Journal Name: Free Radical Biology and Medicine

Summary: This work uses new fluorescent sensors to detect hydrogen peroxide in sperm. Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidant that is found in poorly motile sperm and can indicate infertility. The new sensors could distinguish poor quality sperm, and could find use detecting male infertility.

Parul Mittal

Parul Mittal

Paper Title: Proteomics of endometrial cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis (Parul Mittal, Manuela Klingler-Hoffmann, Georgia Arentz, Chao Zhang, Gurjeet Kaur, Martin K. Oehler, Peter Hoffmann)

Journal Name: Proteomics- Clinical Applications

Summary: By using the state of the art technique ‘MALDI mass spectrometry imaging’ we have discriminated the regions of the healthy endometrial tissue from regions of tumors with an AUC = 0.985 [AUC expresses the discrimination power and assumes values between 0 (no discrimination) and 1 (perfect discrimination)].

Tess Reynolds

Tess Reynolds

Paper Title: Optimization of whispering gallery resonator design for biosensing applications (T. Reynolds, M. R. Henderson, A. François, N. Riesen,J.M.M. Hall, S.V. Afshar, S.J. Nicholls, T.M. Monro).

Journal Name: Optics Express

Summary: We investigated how to optimize the sensing performance of microsphere resonators using an analytical model that allows any combination of resonator diameter and refractive index to be compared. By incorporating the sensitivity and quality factor of each resonator into a new figure of merit, sensing performance can readily be optimized.


The Best Eearly Career Researcher Led Paper Awards

Abel Santos

Abel Santos

Paper Title: Realisation and Advanced Engineering of True Optical Rugate Filters Based on Nanoporous Anodic Alumina by Sinusoidal Pulse Anodisation (Abel Santos, Jeong Ha Yoo, Charu Vashisth Rohatgi, Tushar Kumeria, Ye Wang Dusan Losic)

Journal Name: Nanoscale

Summary: This study is the first realisation of true optical rugate filters (RFs) based on nanoporous anodic alumina (NAA). A rationally designed sinusoidal pulse anodisation was used to engineer the characteristic reflection peaks and interferometric colours of NAA-RFs with precision, which can be finely tuned across the UV-visible-NIR spectrum.

Agnieszka Zuber

Agnieszka Zuber

Paper Title: Detection of gold nanoparticles with different sizes using absorption and fluorescence based method method (Agnieszka Zuber, Malcolm Purdey, Erik Schartner, Caroline Forbes,Benjamin van der Hoek, David Giles, Andrew Abell, Tanya Monro, Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem).

Journal Name: Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical

Summary: Growing world demand for gold necessitates developing a new, easy-to-use and fast method for detection of low concentrations of gold at the exploration drilling site. Two optical methods: absorption and fluorescence are shown to be suitable for as low detection of gold as 74ppb.

Xiaozhou (Michelle) Zhang

Xiaozhou (Michelle) Zhang

Paper Title: Photoregulation of α-Chymotrypsin Activity by Spiropyran-based Inhibitors in Solution and
Attached to an Optical Fiber (Xiaozhou Zhang, Sabrina Heng, and Andrew. D. Abell)

Journal Name: Chemistry-A European Journal

Summary: We report the development of novel photoswitchable protease inhibitors of which the activity can be switched ‘on’ and ‘off’ by light. An inhibitor of this class was attached to a microstructured  optical fibre to produce a biosensor for proteases that can be used in disease diagnosis and


Best Transdisciplinary Paper with a Strong Medical/Animal Science Element (sponsored by IVF Vet Solutions)

Melanie McDowall

Melanie McDowall

Paper Title: Redox and anti-oxidant state within cattle oocytes following in vitro maturation (IVM) with bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15) and follicle stimulating hormone (Melanie Sutton-McDowall, Malcolm Purdey, Hannah Brown, Andrew Abell, David Mottershead, Pablo Cetica, Gabriel Dalvit, Ewa Goldys, Robert Gilchrist, David Gardner, Jeremy Thompson)

Journal Name: Molecular Reproduction and Development

Summary: Conventional IVM is suboptimal as oocyte-derived growth factors (such as BMP15) are absent from conventional systems. While the addition of exogenous BMP15, plus hormones such as FSH, considerable improves IVM quality, the underlying metabolic profiles are unknown. BMP15 supplementation considerable improved mitochondrial activity and oxidative metabolism within the oocyte.

Recently Published Research by IPAS member Mel Mcdowall

Redox and anti-oxidant state within cattle oocytes following in vitro maturation with bone morphogenetic protein 15 and follicle stimulating hormone

We demonstrated that the metabolic activity of cattle oocytes (eggs) varies in response to different hormones and growth factors, namely follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15), two common additives used to culture oocytes in vitro. Specifically, BMP15 influences the activity and characteristics of mitochondria (the power stations of the cell) in a manner that is associated with improved health of oocytes and subsequent embryos.

This study is unique in that custom made, fluorescence markers of metabolism, plus autofluorescence (the natural glow of cells, hence no chemicals were used to create the signal) were used to not only look at the total activity of the cells, but the localisation of activity and patterns of expression, with in live cells. Most techniques involve toxic labelling or the cells to be fixed.

This work is a collaboration with The University of Melbourne, Macquarie University, University of New South Wales and University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Authors: Sutton-Mcdowall, M.L., Purdey, M., Brown, H.M., Abell, A.D., Mottershead, D.G., Cetica, P.D., Dalvit, G.C., Goldys, E.M., Gilchrist, R.B., Gardner, D.K., Thompson, J.G.

Molecular Reproduction and Development 82 (4) 281–294 (2015)

2015 - Sutton

Paper summary by Mr Patrick Tapping: Optical pumping of poly(3-hexylthiophene) singlet excitons induces charge carrier generation

Patrick Tapping

Patrick Tapping

Three-pulse ultrafast laser spectroscopy is used to study the excited states of the conjugated polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) in solution on the femtosecond time scale. P3HT is a much studied material used to produce plastic solar cells. In this work we show that a secondary laser excitation pulse can produce charged species on the isolated polymer chains.

Authors Tapping, PC, Kee, TW

Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 5 (6), 1040-1047 (2014)


Paper Summary by Dr David Huang: Computational study of P3HT/C60-fullerene miscibility

Dr David Huang

Dr David Huang

Flexible plastic solar cells can be made from mixtures of conducting polymer and fullerene (buckyball) molecules. This work uses theory and computer simulations to show that typical mixtures of these molecules are very close to the limits of miscibility. This result has implications for the performance of plastic solar cells, which is sensitive to the degree to which the molecules demix.

Author: Huang, DM (2014)

Australian Journal of Chemistry 67 (4), 585-591


Paper Summary: Unraveling the interplay of backbone rigidity and electron rich side-chains on electron transfer in peptides: the realization of tunable molecular wires

John Horsley - Version 5

This paper has been selected for F1000Prime, a collection of recommended top articles in biology and medicine, contributed by the F1000 Faculty. It was recommended as being of special significance in its field.

Paper summary written by John Horsley:

Electrochemical studies were reported on a series of peptides constrained into either a 310-helix or β-strand conformation, with variable numbers of electron rich alkene containing side chains. The ability of the alkene(s) to facilitate electron transfer through the peptides by acting as a “stepping stone” was demonstrated. Furthermore, experimental data gleaned from the saturated and unsaturated tethered peptides revealed an interplay between backbone rigidity and effects arising from the alkene side-chains on electron transfer, which was also supported by theoretical studies. These findings provide a new approach for fine tuning the electronic properties of peptides by controlling backbone rigidity, and through the inclusion of electron rich side-chains. This allows for manipulation of energy barriers and hence conductance in peptides, a crucial step in the design and fabrication of molecular-based electronic devices.

Authors: Horsley, JR, Yu, J, Moore, KE, Shapter, JG, Abell, AD

Work in collaboration with Flinders University

Journal of the American Chemical Society DOI: 10.1021/ja507175b (2014)

image description

Linewidth of collimated wavelength-converted emission in Rb vapour

Prof Andre Luiten

Prof Andre Luiten

We perform detail measurements on blue laser light generated via mixing two infra-red lasers within an atomic vapour. This has applications in quantum information science and low atom number detection.

Authors: Akulshin, A, Perrella, C, Truong, G-W, Luiten, A, Budker, D, McLean, R

Applied Physics B: Lasers and Optics, doi: 10.1007/s00340-014-5823-0 (2014)

Collaboration with Swinburne University of Technology, University of Western Australia and University of California, Berkeley, US

Perrella 1 Perrella 2


Quantifying the rate and depth dependence of bioturbation based on optically-stimulated luminescence (OSL) dates and meteoric 10Be

Prof Nigel Spooner

Prof Nigel Spooner

We have studied “bioturbation” (mixing by animals, plants and insects) of a soil from northeast Queensland using “Optical Dating”, a technique that measures how long ago individual grains of soil were last exposed to sunlight. We show for the first time how mixing rate and depth are related in a bioturbated soil, which is important because these both much affect soil fertility.

Authors: Johnson, MO, Mudd, SM, Pillans, B, Spooner, NA, Keith Fifield, L., Kirkby, MJ, Gloor, M

Image Fig1_map.png

Work done in collaboration with ANU, University of Leeds, University of Edinburgh

Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 39 (9) 1188–1196 (2014)