Photon Factory

About the Photon Factory

The Photon Factory opened in 2010 as an advanced, multi-user pulsed laser facility in the Faculty of Science at The University of Auckland and part of the

The high-tech, ultrafast laser pulses we generate are used for everything from discovering fundamental knowledge to manufacturing on a microscopic scale.

The centerpiece of our laser facility is the ultrafast laser system. This Coherent Legend Elite laser is used to perform laser spectroscopy and to micromachine and microfabricate devices.

The extremely short pulses (100 femtoseconds = 100 x 10-15s) give us a very precise “flash bulb” for time resolved spectroscopy measurements. Because the pulses are so short, they also provide extremely high intensities for cutting and shaping many, many materials, from glass to plastic to metals. At any point in time, we have more than a dozen active projects in the Photon Factory.

Read about our current research projects

Contact us

Our team

The Photon Factory team
Members of the Photon Factory in summer 2012. Shortly after this photo was taken, seven additional summer students and a postdoctoral researcher joined the group.


Our people are an important resource – one that is increasingly tapped for wide-ranging scientific and technological expertise.

The Photon Factory is directed by Dr Cather Simpson, an expert in this field. She and Peter Hosking, the Photon Factory Head Engineer, oversee a group of about 25 researchers at all levels of education and training.

We take advantage of the synergy that comes from putting New Zealand’s bright young chemists, physicists and engineers together to creatively solve our research challenges – and have a lot of fun as well!

Find photos and information about our team members