Research in Applied Physics is conducted in three main areas - Applied Optics, Biomedical Engineering and Materials Engineering.
Applied Physics aims at using physics to solve scientific or engineering problems, thereby bridging the gap between physical science and technology. At the Department of Applied Physics and Electronics advanced analytical techniques are developed and utilized to enable basic and applied research in fields such as energy technology, mechanical engineering and medicine. Experimental activities are usually supported by numerical modelling and simulations.
The Applied Optics group develops advanced optical techniques based on laser spectroscopy for accurate quantitative detection and imaging of atomic and molecular species with high time-resolution. Typical applications include (i) the measurement of gas-phase potassium compounds, water, temperature and soot in laboratory flames and pilot-scale biomass reactors, (ii) real-time detection carbon monoxide in human exhaled breath gas after exposure to wood smoke, and (iii) high-speed mid-infrared photothermal imaging in life and materials science.
The research in Biomedical Engineering is concerned with characterizing and understanding physiological systems in health and disease. In collaboration with local healthcare systems and industry, the principal aims are to study, diagnose and treat medical conditions related to e.g. blood flow and vascular health. The main analytical techniques are magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound and mechanical sensors, and a part of the research is directed towards improving the related signal processing and image analysis.
Materials Engineering addresses the design of novel materials for industrial applications. Advanced analytical methods, such as electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and synchrotron radiation, are utilized to characterize an test materials. Examples of materials comprise (i) ultra-strong steel for sustainable, light-weight machine design, (ii) tough refractory materials that can withstand the harsh, high-temperature environment in thermochemical reactors, and (iii) different types of biomass, ashes and slags.
An additional field of research is computational electromagnetics, which deals with the design and characterization of electromagnetic devices operating at regimes ranging from radio to optical frequencies. The knowledge is of importance for e.g. medical applications of electromagnetic theory.