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Takashi Lawson

Takashi Lawson

PhD Student in Optofluidics



I am a PhD student at Corpus Christi College, who joined the NanoDTC in 2017. Previously, I completed a master’s degree in materials science at the University of Oxford, where my final-year project involved the modelling and fabrication of optical memory and solid-state reflective displays. 

My PhD research focuses on new methods to screen photocatalysts – particularly those that can split water into hydrogen and oxygen under solar illumination. Current methods for gauging the performance of photocatalysts rely on ex-situ methods (i.e. gas chromatography) that are time-consuming and do not give much insight into the reaction itself. Using hollow-core photonic crystal fibres, we can track photochemical reactions in-operando by infiltrating the fibre with a liquid sample. We benefit from the guidance properties of, and nanolitre sample volumes within, the optical fibre, which enhances the light-matter interaction by around five orders of magnitude. This enables the detection of reaction species at extremely low concentrations, and the tiny sample volumes allow you to screen multiple reaction conditions when your photocatalysts are particularly expensive. 


Optical spectroscopy ; Raman spectroscopy ; SERS ; Renewable energy ; Microfluidics ; Energy harvesting ; NanoPhotonics ; Artificial Photosynthesis ; Nanotechnology ; Optics ; Catalysis ; Water Splitting

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Admissions for Oct 2020

Sep 03, 2019

We are continuing to accept applications for Oct 2020 entry. The deadline for the 2nd review round is 7 Jan 2020. See for more information.

Inspiring the next generation of scientists

Aug 09, 2019

Demelza Wright and Taylor Uekert, both cohort 2016 students, have featured in the Inspirational Scientist Video series put together by Cambridge University Press Education.

Call for Mini Project proposals

Jun 19, 2019

The NanoDTC invites Mini Project proposals from Cambridge Academics for its incoming c2019 cohort. Submission deadline is 11th Oct 2019.