Alan's work focuses on the physics and engineering of compact solid-state lasers. A particular focus is the use of diamond in solid-state laser engineering. This work has four strands: the investigation of the optical and laser properties of diamond; the use of diamond heat spreaders to cool conventional lasers; the direct use of diamond as a laser material in diamond Raman lasers; and the potential for the use of colour centres in diamond to support laser amplification.
Alan was awarded a Fraunhofer UK / Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in 2014 (2014-2019). As part of this programme, he co-supervises students based in the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics (CAP) working on industrially driven projects in laser engineering, and has worked jointly with Fraunhofer CAP on a number of industrially-led projects in laser engineering. He has also worked jointly with leading manufacturing companies including Element Six, Thales, SPI Lasers and M Squared Lasers through mechanisms such as joint studentships, grants and projects. Current and recent projects include the transfer of diamond-based laser technology for applications in LIDAR, clear plastics welding, quantum technology, and medical imaging.