Nicholas Davison

PhD student

Research Overview

I am a final-year PhD student at Lancaster University and my current work focusses on developing a near-infrared spectroscopy setup for optical analysis of liquid-based glucose samples. Near Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, in the 700-1800nm region, is one of the most promising technologies for biosensing due to its high penetration depths and the well-established range of simple NIR light sources and photodetectors.

The research phase began in late 2020. To date, I have investigated the sensing accuracy of a series NIR spectroscopic components, aiming to maximise the resolution of the technique. Using an InGaAs photodiode, dispersive monochromator and globar light source, a 2mmol/L sensing resolution has been achieved in aqueous solution. I have also carried out studies of absorption and scattering by glucose in 10% intralipid emulsion and am working on adapting the system for diffuse reflectance measurements to enable sensing in phantoms.My project is led by researchers from the Lancaster University Department of Physics and Lancaster Medical School, and is part of the Lancaster Materials Science Institute.I obtained my MPhys Physics degree from Lancaster in 2020 and as part of my final-year degree project I worked on the physical characterisation of Indium Arsenide (InAs) infrared nanowires, grown from gold nanoparticles by Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE). In this, I gained experience at Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), as well as learning about MBE growth.Since 2017 I have been a student ambassador for Lancaster University, leading tour groups at open days and other university applicant events.