About Us

Welcome to the Ultrafast and Microspectroscopy Laboratories (UML)

Members of the UML participate in a number of collaborative research initiatives, including:


UML is a key player in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science (ACEx).  We are seeking potential PhD, MSc and BSc(Hons) students as part of this initiative.

ACAP activities:

We hosted a symposium at which several eminent US and British colleagues, and a few locals, spoke.


  • Trevor Smith, Kyra Schwarz and David Jones visited Prof. Greg Scholes’ lab in Princeton (September 2016) as part of our ACAP activities.
  • Trevor Smith visited Garry Rumbles’ lab at NREL (August 2016) as part of our ACAP activities.

IRRTF activities:

We established the IRRTF Asian Research Network for Characterising Semi-Conducting Materials – A collaboration between the University of Melbourne and key institutions in China and India. Please see the webpage.  Ken Ghiggino, Trevor Smith, Jonathan White, Dave Dunstan, John Sader and Ashokkumar visited several laboratories and presented at several workshops during September.

We have also established the International Research Network for Development of Antibiotic Peptides (IRNDAP). See the webpage. We recently held a workshop attended by several of our colleagues from India, Prof. Amit Chattopadhyay from CCMB, Prof. Sudipta Maiti from TIFR, Mumbai, and A/Prof. Samrat Mukhopadhyay from IISER Mohali.

UA_DAAD activities:

In addition, we have been granted funding through the Australia-Germany Joint Research Cooperation Scheme (UA-DAAD) for a collaboration between the UML and the group of Klaus Boldt at the University of Konstanz, Germany.  Klaus Boldt recently visited UML and Trevor Smith visited Konstanz in July.

Peng Zeng, Kyra Schwarz and Trevor Smith visited Konstanz as part of our UA-DAAD scheme activities in 2016.

News and events:

  • Yuki Fujita from Tohoku University, Japan visited UML 12/6/18-11/09/18 as part of his Masters course research.
  • Ken Ghiggino, Trevor Smith and Siobhan Bradley visited the Scholes group at Princeton Aug. 2018.
  • Ken Ghiggino and Trevor Smith visited Kashgar, China for the Thin Films Workshop on Interdisciplinary Technologies (TFIW2018) from 1/6/18-4/6/18.
  • Simli Dey from TIFR, Mumbai visiting UML
  • Pengqing Bi from Shandong University, China visited UML 15/4-15/5/18
  • Shunya Ito from Tohoku University visited in February
  • Siobhan Bradley, Chris Hall and Carolina Rendon Barraza have joined as Exciton Science Post-docs.
  • Annabel Romijn from Eindhoven University of Technology completed her MSc internship with us setting up and applying the technique of Phosphorescence Lifetime Imaging (PLIM)
  • Peng Zeng is visiting Konstanz University again as part of the UA-DAAD grant activities
  • Matthew Burton completed his PhD and began a post-doc position at the Laboratory of Biophotonics and Pharmacology, Strasburg.
  • Daniel Kelly and Mohammed Jameel completed their M.Sc. projects in 2016
  • Amit Chattopadhyay from CCMB visited UML Nov. 2016 as part of the IRRTF activities.
  • Klaus Boldt and Florian Enders from Konstanz University recently visited UML as part of the UA-DAAD grant activities.
  • Ken Ghiggino and Trevor Smith joined Paul Mulvaney, Wallace Wong and Ashok (Chemistry), Dave Dunstan (Engineering) and Ann Roberts (Physics) and our IRRTF collaborators at the “Photonics and Organic Electronics Interdisciplinary Workshop” in the School of Physics at Shandong University, organised by Xiaotao Hao.
  • Trevor Smith, Kyra Schwarz and David Jones visited Prof. Greg Scholes’ lab in Princeton (September 2016) as part of our ACAP activities.
  • Trevor Smith visited Garry Rumbles’ lab at NREL (August 2016) as part of our ACAP activities.
  • Peng Zeng visited Shandong University again (August 2016) to perform some fluorescence up conversion measurements under the IRRTF activities
  • Sreetama Pal from the CCMB, Hyderabad visited UML using our Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging and Evanescent Wave-Induced Fluorescence spectroscopy techniques in August, 2016 under our IRRTF activities
  • Peng Zeng recently visited Konstanz to prepare new alloyed semiconductor nanoparticles.
  • Parijat Sarkar from the CCMB, Hyderabad visited UML using our Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging and Evanescent Wave-Induced Fluorescencespectroscopy techniques


  • Peng Zeng won the Dalton Transactions sponsored poster prize at the XXVIth IUPAC Symposium on Photochemistry in Osaka, Japan for his poster “Shell Effects on Hole-Coupled Electron Transfer Dynamics in Quasi-Type II CdSe/CdS Quantum Dot-Methyl Vionlogen Complexes”.
  • PhD positions. We are involved in developing super-resolution optical imaging methods, ultrafast laser spectroscopy and time-resolved microscopy. We apply these techniques to study a range of materials from organic photovoltaic materials, semiconductor nanocrystals and some of biological and botanical interest.  Potential students have to apply and qualify through the University’s normal admissions process (see the Graduate School of Science), and are expected to be eligible for, and awarded an appropriate scholarship, which are highly competitive.
  • B.Sc. (Hons) and M.Sc. projects available for 2017

Other Links:

Members of UML also play roles in the following:

Asian and Oceanian Photochemistry Association:

Please see the APA website



UML plays a role in the IUPAC Sub-Committee on Photochemistry, which offers information relating to all aspects of photochemistry (e.g. the Gold Book).

Support for
projects contributing to the advancement of areas of photochemistry is available. See here for a flyer: Poster-IUPAC-Photochemistry-Sub-Committee.


Methods and Applications in Fluorescence:            ATT00001

Trevor Smith is on the editorial board of the IOP journal Methods and Applications in Fluorescence. Published quarterly, Methods and Applications in Fluorescence (MAF) is a new journal with a focus on new developments in (lifetime) spectroscopy, imaging (including microscopy), and probe design, as well as in nano materials (including beads and thin films), optoelectronic components, in data acquisition and processing. (see here for details).  MAF has recently received its first impact factor – it is 2.429.

Advanced Microscopy Facility:

The University of Melbourne’s Advanced Microscopy Facility maintains a state-of-the-art electron and optical microscope facility with the main nodes located at the Bio21 Institute, the School of Botany, the Department of Anatomy and cell Biology and associated specialised light microscopy facilities located at the departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and the Florey Neuroscience Institute.

These facilities are under the Biological Optical Microscopy Platform (BOMP). The Delta Vision OMX blaze v4 and the Leica SP5 live cells are now both up and running.


Images courtesy of Dr Paul McMillan