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Personal profile

Research interests

My research exploits nonlinear optics to produce light that spans the visible to mid-infrared.  My research interests include:

  • Tunable pulsed lasers for multi-photon microscopy
  • Mid-infrared single-photon generation
  • Frequency combs for astronomical spectrograph calibration

I work closely with industry, including companies such as Chromacity, Laser Quantum, Radiantis and M-Squared Lasers, and I am part of the UK consortium to supply a wavelength ruler for the upcoming Extremely Large Telescope in Chile. I have collaborated with groups in Milan, Stanford, Tokyo and South Africa, and hope to work with researchers from all walks of life.

For more details please see my research group pages: https://mccrackenlab.squarespace.com


Richard McCracken received a BSc in Physics from the University of St. Andrews (2007) before studying for an MSc in Photonics and Optoelectronic Devices (2009).  From 2010-2017 he was a member of the Ultrafast Optics Group at Heriot-Watt, working with Prof. Derryck Reid as a PhD student and then a post-doctoral researcher.  He joined IPaQS as a Research Fellow in November 2017.

Roles & Responsibilities

Seminar organiser, Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences


  • B27MW, Mechanics, Fields & Forces (Y1)
  • B28AP, Astrophysics (Y2)

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Research Output

Dither-free stabilization of a femtosecond doubly-resonant OPO using parasitic sum-frequency mixing

Cheng, Y. S., McCracken, R. A. & Reid, D. T., 1 Feb 2020, In : Optics Letters. 45, 3, p. 768-771 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 6 Downloads (Pure)

    Numerical Study of Reconfigurable Mid‐IR Single Photon Sources Based on Functional Ferroelectrics

    Kundys, D., Graffitti, F., McCracken, R. A., Fedrizzi, A. & Kundys, B., 29 Jan 2020, In : Advanced Quantum Technologies. 1900092.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 2 Downloads (Pure)

    Astrocombs: Recent Advances

    Herr, T. & McCracken, R. A., 1 Dec 2019, In : IEEE Photonics Technology Letters. 31, 23, p. 1890-1893 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 26 Downloads (Pure)

    Towards a visible to mid-infrared astrocomb for the extremely large telescope

    Cheng, Y. S., Xiao, D., McCracken, R. A. & Reid, D. T., 17 Oct 2019, 2019 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe and European Quantum Electronics Conference (CLEO/Europe-EQEC). IEEE, 8871925

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  • 10-GHz Femtosecond Degenerate Optical Parametric Oscillator

    McCracken, R. A., Cheng, Y. S. & Reid, D. T., 17 May 2018, CLEO: QELS_Fundamental Science 2018. FTh1M.1

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  • Activities

    • 1 Membership of committee

    Institute of Physics (External organisation)

    Richard Alexander McCracken (Chair)
    12 Oct 2017

    Activity: MembershipMembership of committee