Research Relevance

The research and development of the team is driven by the increasing industrial needs on non-destructive measurements and characterization of subsurface features of polymer or composite parts in med-tech devices manufacturing, printed electronics manufacturing, and complex equipment manufacturing.

The research of the team is also driven by a new technology trend which pushes optics to extreme wavelength domains, namely X-ray optics. X-ray optics and plasma X-ray sources have gained rapid advancement in the past decades. This technology trend has been enabled by the new materials such as graphene, carbon nano-tube, and nano-scale fabrication technologies. This enables us to look forward to high resolution tomography of polymer structures through X-ray imaging.

The innovations from the research of the team will enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of industry by assisting them to stay ahead of the competitive market. The core competences of the team can be applied in the following industry areas:

  •  Semiconductor: wafer inspection, wafer bump inspection, wafer process inspection, photon emission nanoscopy
  • Precision Engineering: micro-scale and nano-scale dimensional metrology and topography of components, automatic inspection of surface defects
  • Photonics: alignment of optical assembly, aspherical lens surface inspection, plasmonic enhanced microstructured optical fiber sensing
  • Med-Tech Devices: contact lens inspection, surface plasmon resonance sensors and diagnosis devices, stems cell inspection, nonlinear laser scanning microscope

Research Focus

  • High resolution X-ray imaging technology by integrating new X-ray sources, imaging optics and tomography algirithem. The target application of the technology is the non-destructive measurements and characterization of subsurface features in biological samples, polymer or composite parts for med-tech devices manufacturing, printed electronics, and complex equipment manufacturing;
  • A table-top ultra-fast X-ray pulses generators by exploring femto-second mid-IR laser interaction with gases;
  • High power ultrafast mid-IR laser development by using specialty fiber and optical parametric chirped pulse amplification technologies.

Research Staff

Dr Zhang Ying
Dr Fang Zhong Ping
Dr Li Xiang Leon
Dr Li Hao
Dr Ng Boon Ping
Dr Isakov Dmitry
Dr Seck Hon Luen
Dr Liang Houkun
Dr Wong Liang Jie
Dr Derrick Yong
Dr Ding Ding
Dr Sun Biao
Dr Wang Lifeng
Mr Christopher Lee
Mr Jeremy Soh
Mr Sean Chon
Dr Yu Xia (Team Leader)


Micro-focus X-ray based phase contrast imaging system
Scanning near-field optical microscope/scanning probe microscope
High resolution microscopes
Optikos lens measurement System
Trioptics opticentric system
Specialty fiber processing machine
High power femtosecond lasers
Frequency resolved optical gating


The research and development of the theme are carried out through close collaboration with local manufacturing companies, local research organizations, and prestigious overseas universities. To achieve the high resolution sub-surface 3D imaging, the following approach is implemented through various R&D projects in the team:
New X-ray sources are under development based on high-order harmonic generation principle. Ultrafast lasers are used to interact with pressurized inert gases in a customized gas cell to generate coherent X-ray emission. Mid-IR ultrafast lasers are developed to push the X-ray emission to higher photon energy.
New imaging techniques and algorithms are developed for achieving high resolution imaging, including X-ray phase contrast imaging and coherent diffractive imaging.
Associated X-ray optics are developed including 1D and 2D gratings for X-ray diffraction in various imaging setups, such as X-ray phase contrast imaging, X-ray spectroscopic imaging. Simulation study to explore the interaction between laser and versatile new materials, such as graphene are carried out to explore even more compact X-ray generation principles



The Optics Team consists of ten research scientists and engineers with core competences in the following areas:

  • Geometry optics design
  • Fiber optics design, fabrication, and system instrumentation
  • Microstructured optical fibers and sensors
  • Near-field optics and scanning near-field optics microscopy
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Acoustic optics and systems
  • Nonlinear optics
  • Holography optics and system
  • Lasers
  • Optical detection and signal processing
  • Optics simulation and modeling
Research Showcases