IPAS Comprehensive Review of nanoporous anodic alumina photonic crystals featured in Nanomaterials

A comprehensive review introducing the fundamental development and significant advances of nanoporous anodic alumina photonic crystals for chemo- and biosensing applications. The different fabrication methods, photonic crystal architectures, surface chemistry functionalisation methods and examples of sensing applications are collated along with prospective outlook about this research field.

Nanoporous Anodic Alumina Photonic Crystals for Optical Chemo- and Biosensing: Fundamentals, Advances, and Perspectives
Cheryl Suwen Law, Siew Yee Lim , Andrew D. Abell, Nicolas H. Voelcker  and Abel Santos  Nanomaterials 2018, 8(10), 788 – DOI: 10.3390/nano8100788


IPAS First 3D printed freeform OCT probe featured in Scientific Reports

What can 3D printing do? IPAS 3D printed micro-optic can obtain sectional images of micro-structures deep in a body via a non-invasive or minimally-invasive approach. This is the first 3D printed freeform micro-optic for an optical coherence tomograph (OCT) probe.

Two-photon polymerisation 3D printed freeform micro-optics for optical coherence tomography fibre probes.
Jiawen Li, Peter Fejes, Dirk Lorenser, Bryden C. Quirk, Peter B. Noble, Rodney W. Kirk, Antony Orth, Fiona M. Wood, Brant C. Gibson, David D. Sampson,  & Robert A. McLaughlin
Scientific Reports 8, 14789 (2018)


IPAS members recruited for DSTG Cadetship

Congratulations to the following IPAS members who were successfully recruited to join DSTG in the future, following the completion of their Postgraduate Degree.

  • David McAfee, MPhil Student, will join the  Electro-Optic Processing & Exploitation group under the National Security & Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance Division
  • Adam Gambell, MPhil Student, will join the  Laser Technology Group, under the Cyber and Electronic Warfare Division
  • Lily Taylor, Honours Student, will join the Cyber Surveillance/Information Integration Group.

The DST Cadetship Program is an entry-level employment pathway for high performing undergraduate students currently studying a relevant Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) degree. Should you have any questions regarding the DST Cadetship Program, please contact: DSTgroupSTEMcoordinator@dst.defence.gov.au

First IPAS REARCH OPEN DAY in the Braggs


The atmosphere in the Braggs has never been more exciting than it was on Thursday 6 September 2018. It was the first #IPASOpenDay with attendance of more than 200 people from the general public, university stakeholders, STEM students and industry partners. The day kicked off with an hour of presentations by six IPAS team leaders who shed light on the culture and ground breaking research within IPAS. The “loud and clear” message for school students was about the tremendous opportunities in Defence, Space and Start-ups in SA.

The event offered a unique opportunity for all visitors to experience the state of the art facilities at IPAS up close. All IPAS-related research labs in the Braggs, MLS and Physics buildings were open for more than two hours and it was rewarding to see wide-eyed visitors coming out chatting excitedly about their experiences. With so much to offer, it was our pleasure to see such a diversity of people at IPAS especially the STEM students who had so much fun and gained so much from the experience. The IPAS demonstrations table with the Interferometer and the Radio Laser was always full of people with interesting questions. The visitors even got to experience a fluorescent chocolate fondue, and see how to measure radiation through a banana smoothie…

The day was a huge success and a credit to those staff who put together such a fun and inspiring event. Next year will be even bigger and better. Given the benefits of explaining to the community what we really do at the University, this might be something to be considered more broadly across the campus. The philosophy of opening the labs to all and being transparent about our activities can be very powerful.

If you are interested in exploring potential synergies and being part of next year’s event, please contact Elodie Janvier, IPAS Strategic Research Development Manager.

For more information, please look at the video and  IPAS website.







IPAS Metastable Krypton featured in Physical Review Letters

MiladPublished this week in the prestigious Physical Review Letters journal, IPAS researchers have demonstrated a record performance in the generation of metastable krypton by using a two photon excitation technique. This is set to bring extreme value as a source for metastable atoms for laser cooling and trapping applications, in particular for atom trap trace analysis (ATTA).

Here, they show an efficiency of up to 2% per pulse; a great step towards achieving the holy grail of 10% that would allow the dating of deep ice core samples. This has the potential to revolutionise the ice core research field by addressing one of its key unmet challenge of extending the existing 800,000 years dating record back in time to 1.5 million years and  help unravel many mysteries that are still puzzling geologists today.

Laser-Based Metastable Krypton Generation
M.A. Dakka, G. Tsiminis, R.D. Glover, C. Perrella, J. Moffatt, N.A. Spooner, R.T. Sang, P.S. Light, and A.N. Luiten
Phys.Rev.Lett.121,093201 – Published 31 August 2018.


Sapphire Clock awarded the prestigious 2018 Defence Science and Technology Eureka Prize

1Congratulations to Sapphire Clock team for being awarded 2018 Defence Science and Technology Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia.

By combining two decades of pioneering research with cutting-edge engineering, the Sapphire Clock Team’s technology offers the potential for a step change in the performance of the Jindalee Over-The-Horizon Radar Network, a vital Australian defence asset. The Sapphire Clock offers a thousandfold improvement in timing precision, helping Australian defence agencies identify threats to the nation.

The Eureka Prizes is one of the biggest nights for Australian science and highlights all the incredible work coming out of Australia. Presented annually, the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes reward excellence in the fields of research & innovation, leadership, science engagement and school science. The winners were announced last night at the award dinner  held in the Sydney Townhall.


Turning agriculture waste into new industries

IPAS researchers Prof Andrew Abell and A/Prof Tara Pukala  are part of a University of Adelaide research team who will lead the Agricultural Product Development Research Consortium to increase the agriculture value and turn it into new products.

The Consortium, led by Prof Vincent Bulone, has been granted $4M over four years by the State Government through its Research Consortia Program. It will bring together a total of 18 partners to develop high-value products from agricultural waste: nine South Australian-based companies from the agriculture and food sector, and another nine national and international academic institutions and industry partners. The support coming from the partners brings the total value of the consortium to $10.9M.

The Consortium will build on the work of Adelaide Glycomics, a carbohydrate analytical facility at the Waite campus, and make use of other, complementary analytical activities provided by the Adelaide Proteomics Centre at the University’s North Terrace campus. “This Consortium draws together a unique combination of research expertise, facilities, industry know-how and resources. It promises increased profitability and sustainability for our local agricultural and horticultural industries, and significant health and economic benefit for our whole state,” says University of Adelaide Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Mike Brooks.
“The Consortium has already drawn the support of four international industry partners, which shows the incredible commercial potential to be developed.”

The Consortium partners are: University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, CSIRO, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), Filsell’s Orchards Pty Ltd, Raw Nation Wholefoods Pty Ltd, AE Cranwell & Sons, Ashton Valley Fresh, JVJ Co Pty Ltd, Vanquish Technologies, SA Mushrooms, Coopers Brewery Ltd, Potatoes South Australia Inc, CarbOzide Pty Ltd, Agilent Technologies Australia Pty Ltd, Plant & Food Research, Ingredion Inc (USA), Carlsberg Group A/S (Denmark).

For more information, please see The University of Adelaide website.


IPAS DECRA named South Australian Tall Poppy of the year 2018

Ben_SAAwardCongratulations Dr Ben Sparkes  who was named South Australian Tall Poppy of the Year at the 2018 SA Government Science Excellence Awards. Dr Sparkes is developing a device that can extend the maximum distance of quantum cryptography, which will boost the security of communications for government, business and the broader community. 

Unveiling of China-Australia Joint Laboratory for Fabrication of the special Optical fibres and biochemical Detection Innovation (CAFODI)

unveiling ceremony

Building on two complementary areas of research excellence with strong industry relevance, IPAS and the Laser Institute (LI) of the Shandong Academy of Sciences (SDAS), the Joint Laboratory CAFODI (China-Australia Joint Laboratory for Fabrication of the special Optical fibres and biochemical Detection Innovation) was established in September 2017, and officially unveiled by Hon David Ridgway, South Australian Minister for Trade Tourism and Investment and VC Peter Rathjen of University of Adelaide in Jinan, Shandong, China, on 17th July 2018.

CAFODI aims to fabricate novel microstructured optical fibres and develop biochemical optical sensors, speeding up their translation in the global market as well as postgraduate education. The joint laboratory is led by Prof Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem and Dr Yinlan Ruan in Adelaide and Director Zhongqing Jia and Dr Jiasheng Ni of Laser Institute, SDAS, in China. An initial commitment of AU$60K was made from the University of Adelaide in January, 2018 and the second investment from our partner is on the way and will focus on fabrication of the hollow core fibres and petrol sensors. We expect that establishment of CAFODI will largely contribute to increasing commercial opportunities for SA researchers and education institutions and demonstrate a shared commitment to solve industry problems through research and collaboration.

CAFORD leaders


IPAS Researcher win 2018 Young Tall Poppy Award

Huge congratulations to the winner of 2018 Young Tall Poppy Science Award, Dr Ben Sparkes,  IPAS DECRA Fellow in the Precision Measurement Group.

Dr Sparkes is developing a quantum memory device to boost the maximum distance of quantum cryptography, to lead to an absolutely-secure means of global communications. He is also the co-founder of  a “Laser Radio” outreach activity, where high school students construct a device which transmits audio signals over a laser beam using basic electronics components. This activity teaches students practical hands-on skills but, more importantly, it aims to communicate the fun and excitement about science, and photonics in particular. His fantastic work was presented to  Federal MPs Christopher Pyne (Defence Industry Minister), Richard Marles (Shadow Defence Minister), Tanya Plibersek (Deputy Opposition Leader) and Nick Champion (Shadow Assistant Minister for Manufacturing and Science) during visits to IPAS.

Each year the Tall Poppy Awards recognise individuals who combine world-class research with a passionate commitment to communicating science and who demonstrate great leadership potential.