About us

Oxford HighQ is a pre-spinout from the University of Oxford’s Departments of Materials and Chemistry that will produce next generation chemical and nanoparticle sensors that offer a step change in fluid-based sensing across a wide range of applications and markets. The company has been awarded £900k of InnovateUK funding* and is scheduled to incorporate in September 2017.

The full Oxford HighQ website is currently under construction. For more information, or to register your interest, please contact us using the address below:

Prof. Jason Smith, Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PH.

Email: contact@oxfordhighq.com

Telephone: +44 (0)1865 273780

*Subject to terms and conditions being met.

Our technology

Oxford HighQ sensors will offer:

  • Simultaneous measurement of nanoparticle volume, aspect ratio and refractive index – useful for particle analysis and identification and not available with existing fluid-based characterisation techniques.
  • Detection of chemicals in much smaller quantities than existing techniques, increasing the speed and sensitivity of assays.
  • Measurement using only minute liquid sample volumes, making precious samples last longer and simplifying sample collection processes.
  • Sensor elements that are micrometres in size and highly parallelisable, compatible with microfluidic systems and mobile point of care or consumer devices.

Our patent protected sensor technology provides the advantages listed above by utilising optical micro-resonators (“microcavities”) to enhance and control the interaction between light and matter. Sensing is achieved by flowing fluid through a resonator and observing changes to a transmitted laser light signal as chemicals and nanoparticles pass through. An individual nanoparticle can be trapped in the resonator using the optical tweezers effect and studied to measure its hydrodynamic radius, aspect ratio, and refractive index.

Once the required information on the nanoparticle has been obtained, the particle is released and another particle is trapped and measured. In this way a detailed picture can be built of the nanoparticle populations in a fluid sample. Chemicals entering the resonators can be detected in quantities of a few hundred molecules or less, and identified by a range of spectroscopic methods.

Our team

Jeremy Warren – CEO/COO 
Jeremy brings 15 years of experience as a CEO and Director of successful start-up companies. He also brings deep knowledge of the nanoparticle analysis industry having been CEO of Nanosight Ltd from 2004 until its sale to Malvern Instruments in 2013.

Prof. Jason Smith – Academic founder and Technical Director
Jason is a Professor in the Department of Materials at Oxford and brings 25 years of experience in photonics research. His research group have pioneered the optical resonators that are at the core of the sensor technology.

Prof. Claire Vallance – Academic founder and non-exec Director
Claire is a Professor of Physical Chemistry at Oxford with 15 years of expertise in chemical sensing and photonics. Her research group specialises in the development of novel high-sensitivity chemical detection techniques.

Dr. Aurélien Trichet – Academic founder and CTO
Aurélien is a postdoctoral physicist in Oxford’s Department of Materials who has for the past 5 years led the fabrication of the microcavity chip and the practical realisation of the sensors. 

Dr. Dean James – Academic founder and Senior Engineer
Dean is a postdoctoral chemist who has led the practical realisation of chemical sensing using the microcavity technology, and the integration of microfluidic flow systems into our devices.

Careers

We are currently forming a team to build prototype devices and our first products. We are looking for talented and experienced photonics engineers who enjoy designing and building instruments, and who share our passion for advancing precision measurement! Three posts are currently available to lead the development of key instrument subsystems:

Photonics Hardware Engineers

Embedded Systems Engineer

To find out more please email contact@oxfordhighq.com outlining your area of interest. If you wish to apply, please send a CV, a cover letter addressing the listed criteria, and contact details for two referees.