The University of Southampton

Airguide Photonics, hosted at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), is a £6m EPSRC-funded research programme aiming to revolutionise fibre optics.

COVID-19 Statement

We are delighted that in accordance with Government guidance encouraging laboratory-based research to be resumed in a safe manner, the Zepler Institute cleanrooms and laser laboratories have now been re-opened for priority research and development work.

This has been carried out following risk assessments and significant changes to operating procedures to ensure safety is maintained on site at all times.

We are operating with reduced occupancy and added hygiene so that the rules on social distancing and good practice are met. The safety and wellbeing of our staff and students is our utmost priority, and Government advice continues to be that those who can work from home should continue to do so.

This is good news for the Airguide Photonics project which has been impacted by the campus shutdown and means that our staff and PhD students can continue their research and studies.

We are enormously grateful to our sponsors and staff for bearing with us in these difficult times. Your generous support ensures our community continues to thrive.

Thank you.

Professor David Richardson.

Optical fibres lie at the heart of our increasingly technological society. For example, they support the internet and mobile communications that we all now take for granted, they save lives through medical diagnosis and interventions using fibre-optic endoscopes, and they enable the mass production of a huge array of commercial products through fibre laser based materials processing.

Within our Airguide Photonics research programme we aim to translate Hollow Core Fibre (HCF) technology from the research lab to a deployable fibre technology, unleashing innovative applications across a broad range of science and engineering fields.

The ORC has been pioneering the development of fibre optics and advancing communications technology for many years and has an impressive record of using research funding to collaborate with academic and industry partners. The AirGuide Photonics programme promises to push at the boundaries once more. We are confident that the research will uncover more discoveries and lead to world-leading innovations.

Professor Tom Rodden - Deputy Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • 30 September 2020

    Southampton spin-out boosts regional economy...

    Fibre optic cable solutions spin-out, Lumenisity® Limited, has closed a major funding round from a consortium of investors to further commercialise world-leading research and build a new manufacturing and testing facility. The Romsey UK based business, which was established from Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) in 2017, has secured a £5 million investment from BGF, the UK and Ireland's most active investor, and £2.5 million from Parkwalk, the most active investor in UK university spinouts alongside significant further funding from the company's existing industrial strategic investors.

    Read More
  • 12 June 2020

    The cleanrooms are preparing to re-open

    The Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics is home to the £120m cleanrooms complex that houses the most advanced set of fabrication capabilities in the UK.

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  • 12 May 2020

    Exceptional hollow-core fibre polarisation...

    Hollow-core fibre technology developed in the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics exhibits up to 1,000 times better polarisation purity than state-of-the-art solid core fibres.

    Read More
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