Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
1994 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Rich Mildren (Australian Research Council Future Fellow 2010-2014) is a Professor of Physics in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. His research is in the development of novel and versatile photonic sources, instrumentation and applications. His PhD and early postdoctoral research was in the plasma kinetics of high power metal vapour lasers. He has studied ultrafast lasers at the National Research Council in Pisa, Italy. For 3 years (2005-2008) he led R&D for a University spin-off company in wavelength-switchable medical lasers, during which time he brought several medical laser products through to the stage of medical device regulatory approval. His most recent focus, conducted in the MQ Photonics Research Centre, is in the nonlinear optical phenomena in advanced optical materials including in synthetic diamond. Latest research results and news can be found on the Diamond Laser Group website

He is a Eureka Prize winning scientist and Fellow of Optica. He has a distinguished record of research in nonlinear optics and lasers and has successfully spearheaded several large programs funded by the Australian Research Council, industry and government agencies. He leads the Diamond Laser Group in the MQ Photonics Research Centre, of which he is Deputy Director.

Research interests

  • Diamond optics, lasers and quantum phenomena
  • Brillouin and Raman lasers
  • High power lasers and applications
  • Laser-induced phenomena on diamond surfaces

Please refer to Diamond Laser Group for continuously updated information on news, projects, student and staff opportunities and publications.

Research engagement

His current focus revolves around exploring nonlinear optical phenomena in advanced optical materials with a particular emphasis on synthetic diamond. His group is globally recognized for their ground breaking work in diamond lasers and for their achievements in high power diamond lasers that operate across the electromagnetic spectrum (UV to infrared) and with ultrafast to continuous wave time signatures. Most recently, his team has made significant strides in leveraging the potential of diamond for narrow-linewidth generation, a breakthrough that holds promise for transformative applications in quantum science, sensing, metrology, and space adaptive optics.

He currently leads two prominent research programs in high-power diamond lasers for sodium guide-star adaptive optics with collaborators from industry, the US Air Force, Australian Astronomical Optics and the European Southern Observatory.

Community engagement

Rich's expertise extends to active engagement with spin-off companies, forging valuable industry partnerships to transform cutting-edge research outcomes into tangible impact in the field of optical science. He is dedicated to nurturing scientific talent, evident through his mentorship of over 30 postdoctoral researchers and Ph.D. students. His knowledge and insights have earned him regular invitations at international conferences where he shares his knowledge on topics such as lasers, laser applications, surface physics and diamond. He also seeks to communicate widely through articles written for broad-interest media outlets such as The Conversation, Optics and Photonics News and Physics World. He teaches undergraduate students in the areas of physics of life science and optics.

Impacts to date include:

  • Frequency agile lasers for medical applications: Rich led research and development for a university spin-off company over 3 years, focusing on wavelength-switchable medical lasers. His expertise and efforts resulted in several medical laser products achieving the critical milestone of medical device regulatory approval.
  • He has had advisory roles for high power laser development in Australia, including in assessments and development of kilowatt class lasers for directed energy applications and the Breakthrough Starshot program for interstellar space exploration.
  • He has licensed patents in mid-infrared diamond lasers, ultrafast diamond lasers and high-power visible diamond lasers.
  • His team has invented a novel laser processing technique for enhancement of diamond field-effect-transistor technology.


PHYS1210 - Physics for Life Sciences

HLT3140 - Radiographic Physics


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