Ian Galbraith


+44 (0)131 451 3066
Room 2.09
David Brewster Building
Heriot-Watt University
Roles and responsibilities


The primary research interests in my group are in exciton physics, nonlinear optics, intersubband scattering and lasing in wide gap and organic semiconductors. Our aim is to understand the fundamental optical and electronic processes and interactions which influence the behaviour of semiconductor materials. We hope thereby to improve the prospects for existing and future optoelectronic devices and uncover some cool physics on the way. This ambition leads us to collaborate closely with our experimental colleagues, both locally here in the Department, within SUPA and internationally.

More details of current work and project can be found on my group website http://semiconductortheory.eps.hw.ac.uk/

Selected publications

Quantitative description of interactions between linear organic chromophores
Jean-Christophe Denis, Stefan Schumacher, and Ian Galbraith  Accepted for Publication Journal of Chemical Physics (2012)

Tuning biexciton binding and antibinding in core/shell quantum dots
Peter G. McDonald, Edward J. Tyrrell, John Shumway, Jason M. Smith, and Ian Galbraith, Phys. Rev. B 86, 125310 (2012)

Dynamics of fluorescence depolarisation in star-shaped oligofluorene-truxene molecules
Neil A. Montgomery,  Gordon J. Hedley,  Arvydas Ruseckas ,  Jean-Christophe Denis,  Stefan Schumacher,  Alexander L. Kanibolotsky,  Peter J. Skabara,  Ian Galbraith,  Graham A. Turnbull and Ifor D. W. Samuel, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 14, 9176-9184 (2012)

Optical Excitations in Star-Shaped Fluorene Molecules
Neil A. Montgomery, Jean-Christophe Denis, Stefan Schumacher, Arvydas Ruseckas, Peter J. Skabara , Alexander Kanibolotsky , Martin J. Paterson , Ian Galbraith, Graham A. Turnbull, and Ifor D. W. Samuel, J. Phys. Chem. A, 115 (14), pp 2913–2919 (2011)

Lateral spatial switching of excitons using vertical electric fields in semiconductor quantum rings
PG McDonald, J Shumway, I Galbraith Applied Physics Letters,97 , 173101  (2010).

Dynamics of photoexcitation and stimulated optical emission in conjugated polymers: A multiscale quantum-chemistry and Maxwell-Bloch-equations approach
S. Schumacher, I. Galbraith, A. Ruseckas, G. A. Turnbull, I. D. W. Samuel,
Physical Review B, 81, 245407 (2010).

Effect of exciton self-trapping and molecular conformation on photophysical properties of oligofluorenes
S. Schumacher, A. Ruseckas, N. A. Montgomery, P. J. Skabara, A. L. Kanibolotsky, M. J. Paterson, I. Galbraith, G. A. Turnbull, I. D. W. Samuel,
Journal of Chemical Physics, 131, (2009).


Ian obtained his PhD from Heriot-Watt in 1986 working on light propagation effects in optical bistability. He then spent over  two years as a postdoc at the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Frankfurt, Germany exploring nonlinear dynamics in optical systems before performing some of the first studies of excitons and biexcitons in quantum wires. He left Germany to joined Phillips Research Labs, Redhill, UK, where he  continued to work on the optical physics of semiconductor heterostructures. He returned to Heriot-Watt in 1991 as a Royal Society University  Research Fellow, and joined the efforts which ultimately produced Europe’s first blue laser based on the wide bandgap semiconductor ZnSe. Upon completion of the Fellowship he became a Reader and latterly a Professor in the Physics Department.

His research group currently spans both organic and inorganic semiconductors with a focus on correlation effects and nonlinear optics relevant to photonic devices.

He has served as both Head of Department and Director of Research for the School and heads the Heriot Watt wing of the Doctoral Training Centre in Condensed Matter Physics.