Professor Giles Davies


  • Pro Dean for Research and Innovation

Research interests

My early research focussed on the investigation of the optical and electronic properties of low-dimensional correlated electronic systems at millikelvin temperatures, including the use of time-resolved millikelvin magneto-photoluminescence, and single photon counting techniques, to probe the integer and fractional quantum Hall effect ground states of 2D electron and hole systems.  More recently, I have collaboratively developed two new research fields – terahertz frequency electronics and photonics and, bio-nanoelectronics – both confronting major international research challenges.  A highlight of our terahertz research includes the demonstration of the first, and long-sought, terahertz frequency quantum cascade laser (QCL) by the EC consortium ‘WANTED’, which has been highlighted by the journal Nature to be one of the top photonics breakthroughs in the last 50 years.  Working closely with international partners, our subsequent work quickly established the QCL as an intense, precisely controlled source of monochromatic terahertz radiation through: the first demonstrations of continuous-wave operation, and operation at >77 K both pulsed and continuous-wave; the investigation of a range of new active region designs and waveguiding configurations; and, recently, the demonstration of record output powers.

Our vibrant activity in bio-nanoelectronics is motivated by the desire to exploit biological processes for self-assembly of nanoscale structures, and to introduce biological functionality into electronic devices to provide new operational methodologies. Highlights include: the development of techniques to coat <50-nm-separated metal electrodes with different molecular species; the development of programmable protein-based self-assembly mechanisms; the incorporation of artificial and natural antibodies into electronic devices without loss of functionality; and, the demonstration of fast, selective and sensitive electronic detection of molecular binding to such antibody-coated surfaces.

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Microwaves and Photonics