Prof Frank Vollmer

University of Exeter, Living Systems Institute

Exeter EX4 4QD, United Kingdom

  • White Twitter Icon
Research Themes

Single-Molecule Sensing

  • Single-ion sensing

  • Surface reactions from low to high affinity 

  • Nanosecond time-resolution for whispering gallery mode resonators

  • Identifying a novel biomarker for apoptosis and cell death

  • Thermal characterization of biopolymers

  • Stand-off biodetection with asymmetric microsphere cavities

  • Photonic crystals: photo-luminescence enhancement 

  • Photonic crystals: free-space coupling with polarization tailored beam


UKRI Molecular Mechanics Initiative

  • Nanosensing and optical manipulation

  • Enzymology and structural characterization of proteins and their dynamics

  • Surface characterization and enzyme conjugation methods

  • Theoretical analysis of sensor signals using stochastic thermodynamics

  • Testing of enzyme-linked nanosensors for clinical diagnostics of fungal infections



  • Measuring protein structures in-situ, in solution, at surfaces, and within cells and membranes 

  • Coupling to high performance liquid chromatography for chiral identification of components in complex mixtures

  • Analysis of chirality in bodily fluids as a diagnostic tool in medicine, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics

  • Measuring the chirality of single molecules by adapting chiral cavity-based polarimetry to microresonators 

  • Real-time chiral monitoring of terpene emissions from individual trees and forests, as a probe for forest ecology


Quantum Optical Biosciences

  • The Living Systems Institute in Exeter has the only dedicated quantum optical biosciences initiative in the world!