ARC Centre of Excellence in Optical Microcombs for Breakthrough Science

The ARC Centre of Excellence in Optical Microcombs for Breakthrough Science (COMBS), led by Distinguished Professor Arnan Mitchell from RMIT University’s School of Engineering, brings together a team of multi-disciplinary researchers spanning optical physics, photonic chip technology, materials science, and sophisticated digital and microwave electronics from eight universities.

The team at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Optical Microcombs for Breakthrough Science (COMBS) is using technology – called the optical frequency comb – to drive society-wide transformations in the fields of biomedical imaging, communications, precision measurement and astronomy.

In a consortium of eight universities, The University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia are delighted to participate in the Centre of Excellence with five Chief Investigators actively contributing to groundbreaking research.

Join the COMBS team

Photo of the five Adelaide COMB Chief Investigators standing in front of the Braggs building at the University of Adelaide


Five Chief Investigators on this project are based here, in Adelaide, and are on the lookout for bright minds to join our ranks.


If you're eager to dive into cutting-edge projects and be part of groundbreaking discoveries, register your interest below.


    Dr. Andy Boes Portrait

    Dr Andy Boes

    Senior lecturer at the University of Adelaide

    Microcombs for Sensing and Precision Measurement Theme - Microcomb-based parallel LiDAR & Hyperspectral Imaging Workstream


    “The compact optical microcombs that we develop will unlock highly parallel spectral imaging, providing us with unprecedented information about our environment, including imaging of greenhouse gas emission, early detection of bush fire and distance maps for autonomous driving car.”

    See Researcher Profile

    Prof Kishan Dholakia portrait

    Prof Kishan Dholakia

    Professor at the University of Adelaide and ARC Laureate Fellow

    Node Director (UoA) and co-theme leader within Microscopy and Spectroscopy theme working on multimode ‘speckle’ based structures.


    “Light waves can interfere – creating speckle. All the “colours” in a comb can lead to speckle patterns that can be analysed for precision measurement or imaging”.

    See Researcher Profile

    Portrait of Prof David Lancaster

    Prof David Lancaster

    Professor and EOS Chair in Laser Physics at the University of South Australia

    Node Director (UniSA), Participant COMB Science & Technology Theme - Direct laser-written photonic chips


    “As a laser physics technologist, I’m fascinated by the challenge of designing and manufacturing a fully stabilized miniature frequency comb laser. This laser will have applications in astronomy, precision mapping, defence, and communications.”

    See Researcher Profile

    Portrait of Prof Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem

    Prof Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem

    Professor at the University of Adelaide, ARC Industry Laureate Fellow, World Leading expert in glass science and photonics

    Co-leader for the Microcomb Science and Technology Theme - Optical glasses for chip lasers and nonlinear optical processing


    “The Centre of Microcombs for breakthrough science will utilise and advance glass science and technology for developing practical and affordable frequency combs for solving real-world challenges and to improve our lives.”

    See Researcher Profile

    Prof Andre Luiten Portrait

    Prof Andre Luiten

    Professor at the University of Adelaide, IPAS Director, Chair of Experimental Physics

    Co-leader for Precision Measurement and Sensing theme – Optical Atomic Clocks


    “I am excited about creating new sensing and measurement technologies that make the world a healthier, wealthier or safer place. Frequency combs can deliver much more information about the world on an incredibly fast timescale. This will give us an enhanced understanding of the world around us and allow for better and faster decision-making.”

     See Researcher Profile

    As a member of COMBS you will have access to the following benefits and more

    • Annual workshops and networking events
    • A network of around 200 researchers
    • Access and mentorship from leading researchers
    • Professional development opportunities 

    Expression of Interest

    Are you interested in being a part of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Optical Microcombs for Breakthrough Science(COMBS)? Register your interest using the form below and we will get back to you when we begin recruiting.

    Join the COMBS team

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    Logos from the 8 COMBS Partner Universities