Professor Barry Luther-Davies

BSc Electronics, PhD Laser Physics, University of Southampton
Emeritus Professor, Laser Physics Centre
ANU College of Science
T: +61 2 6125 4255

Areas of expertise

  • Lasers And Quantum Electronics 020502
  • Photonics, Optoelectronics And Optical Communications 020504
  • Nanophotonics 100711
  • Nonlinear Optics And Spectroscopy 020503
  • Classical And Physical Optics 020501
  • Quantum Optics 020604
  • Glass 091206
  • Nanomaterials 100708
  • Optical Physics 0205
  • Nanotechnology 1007

Research interests

Laser-materials interaction physics

Pulsed laser deposition of thin films

Lasers Physics

Optical Waveguide Physics


Nonlinear OPtics

Optical materials



Professor Luther-Davies has a distinguished record in research and research leadership spanning over 30 years. He completed his BSc and PhD degrees at the University of Southampton in the UK, specializing in nonlinear optics in the mid-infrared, before joining the ANU in 1974 as a Queen Elizabeth II Fellow. At ANU he worked on the physics of laser fusion for which was awarded the Pawsey Medal of the Australian Academy of Science in 1986. In the 1990s he turned his interests to nonlinear optics, nonlinear materials, and photonics becoming a member and key contributor to the Australian Photonics Cooperative Research Centre (APCRC). He was appointed APCRC Research Director in 1998 and was also a member of the board of APCRC’s management company, Australian Photonics Pty Ltd overseeing the research and commercialization activities of the Centre. His research for APCRC in fact led to the formation of a spin-off company, RPO Pty Ltd, that commercialized the polymer waveguide technology developed by Professor Luther-Davies’s team. In the past five years he has remained a consultant to the company contributing to 4 US patents. Since the award of a Federation Fellowship in 2003 and funding of the ARC Centre of Excellence, CUDOS, Professor Luther-Davies’s research has focused on novel photonic chip technologies for telecommunications.  His team is the international leader in the fabrication of the high performance photonic chips using chalcogenide glasses that have been a key to the success of CUDOS and led to collaborations with many leading overseas laboratories.  In addition to research into the chalcogenides, his team works on other important photonic materials including tellurite glasses, hybrid glasses; and epitaxial growth of crystalline oxides such as barium titanate. These materials when combined have to potential provide the functionality needed for the advanced photonic chips. Professor Luther-Davies achievements in research and research leadership are evidenced by over 500 publications that have received around 23000 citations as well as election to Fellowships of the Optical Society of America and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Researcher's projects

All-optical processing in highly nonlinear waveguides

Novel materials for mid-IR photonics

Nanophotonic devices for nonlinear optics

3-D hybrid waveguides for photonic integrated circuits

Rare earth doped glasses for photonics

Properties of chalcogenide glasses


Available student projects

Mid infrared supercontinuum sources


Return to top

Updated:  14 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers