Dr David Binks


Full contact details
View graph of relations


I am a Reader in physics and part of the photon physics group, which is based in the Photon Science Institute (PSI). I am the Theme leader for Photonics Materials and Devices in the PSI, which is aligned with the 'Atoms to Devices' strand of the Henry Royce Institute (HRI); my work on 2D materials is similarly aligned with that theme of the HRI.

Career history

My doctoral studies in Manchester were sponsored by Urenco plc and concerned the development of lasers suitable for laser isotope separation; a new technique for enriching nuclear fuel. After receiving my PhD, I continued my laser research in Manchester, developing an airborne ultra-violet laser system for environmental studies in the stratosphere and investigating novel frequency conversion techniques.

My next research topic was the photorefractive effect in polymer composites. Initially, I produced a series of publications that allowed the transient photorefractive behaviour of this material to be analyzed for the first time. I then began a successful collaboration with Prof Paul O'Brien of the School of Chemistry, who syntheses colloidal quantum dots - crystals comprising only a few hundred atoms. These quantum dots are a very flexible way of improving the light sensitivity of photorefractive polymers. My collaboration with Prof OBrien has also notably led to the demonstration of ultra-violet lasing from a film of chemically-grown ZnO nanocrystals.

Current research

Currently, my main area of interest is the photo-physics of quantum structured semiconductors, including colloidal quantum dots, GaN quantum wells and, most recently, 2D materials.


To date, I have published 77 journal papers and presented at numerous national and international conferences. I am the co-author of The Physics of Photorefractive Polymers and contributed a chapter the 'Handbook of Laser Technology and Applications'.


PhD in physics - 1998

BSc (Hons) in physics - 1992

External positions

QEP Chairman, Institute of Physics

1 Sep 201331 Aug 2017

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms


  • laser, nanoparticle, photophysics

Sustainable Development Goals

Related information


Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

View all (89)


Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Participating in a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etc

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

View all (12)


Impact: Economic, Technological, Attitudes and behaviours, Awareness and understanding

View all (1)