SNAP is a new microphotonics platform invented by Prof Sumetsky in 2011.  Since 2013, SNAP is being developed at Aston Insitute of Photonic Technologies, Aston University, and in May this year was awarded a four-year research grant of £916,000 by the UK’s principal agency for research funding in its area, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). SNAP project partners include IBM, Xtera Communications Limited, Arden Photonics Ltd, National Physical Laboratory UK. and U.S. Army Research Laboratory

In contrast to previously considered slow light structures based on circulation of light in coupled ring resonators and oscillations in photonic crystals, the SNAP platform employs whispering gallery modes of light in an optical fibre, which circulate near the fibre surface and slowly propagate along its axis. The speed of axial propagation of these modes is so slow that it can be fully controlled by dramatically small nanoscale variations of the fibre radius.

Our group develops the advanced SNAP technology for fabrication of ultraprecise, ultralow loss, tuneable, switchable and fully reconfigurable miniature slow light devices establishing the groundwork for their revolutionary applications in telecommunications, ultraprecise sensing, quantum computing and networks, optomechanics, optofluidics, and other fields of engineering and science.