1987 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile


I joined Aston University as Reader in Photonics in May 2001 was promoted to Professor in June 2012 and awarded a 50th Anniversary Chair in 2016. Prior to joining Aston I had spent 10 years as a Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer in the Physics Department at the University of Kent at Canterbury. My higher education was obtained at the University of Oxford (BA in Physics at St. Catherine’s) and the University of Kent (PhD in Physics) and I have also spent time as a postdoc in the Department of Engineering Science at Oxford and in industry with GEC Research in Great Baddow, Chelmsford.

Research Interests

A member and Deputy Director of the Aston Institute of Photonics Technologies, I have 30 years’ research experience in the field of photonics, working in the areas of non-linear optics and optical fibre sensors and devices. I have published over 400 journal and conference papers on these subjects, as well as a research text book on photorefractive nonlinear optics and several other book chapters. Google Scholar

I am currently serving as Director of ASTUTE (the Aston Institute for Urban Technologies and the Environemnt).

Teaching Activity

I currrently teach the fundamentals of electronics in a practical setting to our first year students.

I am interested in teaching innovations that have the potential to encourage greater student engagement. To this end I  introduced problem based learning in the second year analogue electronics course and together with my colleague Dr. Kate Sugden have transformed the teaching of electronics in the first year to a practical and project based activity, introducing students to electronic design at an early stage.


  • 2001 – date: Reader then Professor in Photonics, Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies, School of Engineering Science, Aston University
  • 2007 – date: Director, Astasense Ltd.
  • 1991 – 2001: Lecturer then Senior Lecturer in Physics, University of Kent
  • 1988 – 1991: Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Department of Engineering Science, Oxford University
  • 1989 – 1991: College Lecturer, Pembroke College, Oxford University
  • 1983 – 1985: Research Scientist, GEC Research, Marconi Research Centre, Gt. Baddow, Chelmsford


  • BA in Physics, University of Oxford, 1982
  • PhD in Physics, University of Kent, 1988

Membership of Professional Bodies


Contact Details

Phone number: 0121 204 3541

Email: d.j.webb@aston.ac.uk 

Room Number: NW322

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Research Output

Detection of Nitrous Oxide using Infrared Optical Plasmonics coupled with Carbon Nanotubes

Allsop, T., Alaraimi, M., Neal, R., Wang, C., Ania Castanon, J. D., Webb, D., Culverhouse, P., Davey, P., Gilbert, J. & Rozhin, A. G., 16 Sep 2020, In : Nanoscale Advances.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • Open Access
  • An ultra-sensitive aptasensor on optical fibre for the direct detection of Bisphenol A

    Allsop, T. D. P., Neal, R., Wang, C., Nagel, D. A., Hine, A. V., Culverhouse, P. F., Ania-Castañón, J. D., Webb, D. J., Scarano, S. & Minunni, M., 15 Jun 2019, In : Biosensors and Bioelectronics. 135, p. 102-110 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Ground-water monitoring using polymer optical fibre Bragg gratings

    Mehravar, M., Yang, H., Zhang, W. & Webb, D. J., 28 Aug 2019, In : Proceedings of SPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering. 11199, 111991M.

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

    Open Access
  • Low-dimensional nano-patterned surface fabricated by direct-write UV-chemically induced geometric inscription technique

    Allsop, T., Neal, R., Kundrat, V., Wang, C., Mou, C., Culverhouse, P., Ania-Castanon, J. D., Kalli, K. & Webb, D. J., 2 Jan 2019, In : Optics Letters. 44, 2, p. 195-198 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Datasets

    Laser-sculpted hybrid photonic magnetometer with nanoscale magnetostrictive interaction

    Allsop, T. (Creator), Lee, G. (Creator), Wang, C. (Creator), Neal, R. (Creator), Kalli, K. (Creator), Culverhouse, P. F. (Creator) & Webb, D. (Creator), Aston Data Explorer, 12 Dec 2017


    Photonic gas sensors exploiting directly the optical properties of hybrid carbon nanotube localized surface plasmon structures

    Allsop, T. (Creator), Arif, R. (Creator), Neal, R. (Creator), Kalli, K. (Contributor), Kundrát, V. (Creator), Rozhin, A. (Contributor), Webb, D. (Contributor) & Culverhouse , P. (Creator), Aston Data Explorer, 31 Dec 2015


    Methane Detection Scheme based upon the Changing Optical Constants of a Zinc Oxide/Platinum Matrix created by a Redox Reaction and their effect upon Surface Plasmons

    Allsop, T. (Creator), Kundrát, V. (Creator), Kalli, K. (Creator), Lee, G. (Creator), Neal, R. (Creator), Bond, P. (Creator), Shi, B. (Creator), Sullivan, J. (Creator), Culverhouse, P. F. (Creator) & Webb, D. (Creator), Aston Data Explorer, 10 Aug 2017


    Real-time kinetic binding studies at attomolar concentrations in solution phase using a single-stage opto-biosensing platform based upon infrared surface plasmons

    Allsop, T. (Creator), Mou, C. (Contributor), Neal, R. (Contributor), Nagel, D. (Contributor), Poole, A. (Contributor), Kalli, K. (Contributor), Hine, A. V. (Contributor), Webb, D. (Contributor), Culverhouse, P. F. (Contributor), Minunni, M. (Contributor), Bennion, I. (Contributor), Tombelli, S. (Contributor) & Mariani, S. (Contributor), Aston Data Explorer, 28 Feb 2017