Precision Sensing Initiative

The University of Queensland Precision Sensing Initiative (PSI) seeks to enhance real-world outcomes of next-generation sensing research at UQ.

The three-year $1.17 million initiative is a joint venture between the School of Mathematics and Physics, and the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. It's directed by Professor Warwick Bowen and is affiliated with Precision Sensing Australia.

The PSI comprises UQ- and industry-based experts spanning the fields of quantum technology, photonics and electronics, healthcare and medical diagnostics, the resources sector, and the aerospace and defence industries.

Essential role

Sensors play an essential role in modern technologies, providing capabilities in areas ranging from navigation to timing, and chemical and biological diagnostics.

Quantum effects are integral to enhancing the performance and capabilities of precision sensors, with research developments currently geared towards improving sensitivity and speed, lowering energy consumption and miniaturising devices.

The PSI focuses on the physical technologies associated with quantum and photonic sensors, and the engineering architectures required for successful field deployment.

Central to the initiative is the establishment of the Optoelectronic Integration Facility (OIF), which enables our researchers to take laboratory proof-of-principle nanotechnologies and integrate them into industry-ready prototypes.

Aims

The PSI aims to:

  • create a focal point at UQ for precision-sensing research and applications
  • grow UQ’s ties with industry and defence
  • strengthen UQ’s position as an international leader in the translation of quantum nanoscience and photonics into real-world applications.

It will do this by:

  • developing an Optoelectronic Integration Facility (OIF) capable of developing ideas into industry-ready prototypes
  • providing matching start-up funds for collaborative research with industry and defence
  • engaging with defence and State Government individuals and organisations to establish national and state-wide precision sensing initiatives.

Optoelectronic Integration Facility

All modern technology features micro- and nano-fabricated components such as electrical logic elements and memories, nanomechanical filters and sensors, lasers and photodetectors.

The Optoelectronic Integration Facility (OIF) allows us to integrate these diverse components into application-ready technologies.

It provides capabilities for flip-chip bonding, die-bonding, housing, fibre optic pigtailing, alignment of active and passive photonic components, and wire bonding.

Location and equipment

Based in the Parnell Building (Building 7), the facility comprises interconnected rooms that are dedicated to optoelectronic and mechanical integration and packaging.

Its state-of-the-art equipment includes:

  • a fibre alignment and pigtailing system to connect fabricated devices to fibre optics
  • a die bonder to enable advanced chip-level integration processes such as flip-chip bonding, 3D packaging, chip-to-glass bonding and sensor packaging
  • a HEPA-filtered workstation with cleanroom class 100 laminar air flow to protect the die bonder from particulates
  • a critical point dryer to aid in processing fragile devices.

Wider applications

The OIF is widely applicable outside of photonic and quantum sensors, and has capabilities to integrate nanoelectronic and microfluidic systems, laser and terahertz sources, and energy harvesting devices.

The facility is available to UQ researchers and industry partners, and provides an enhanced student learning environment with strong pathways to high-skilled jobs.

Contact us

For more information or to engage with us, contact Professor Warwick Bowen.