The University of Southampton

Nanophotonics & Metamaterials

We are seeking students with a background in physics, electronic engineering, chemistry or materials science to work with us on a variety of inter-related projects under major nanophotonics research programmes funded by the EPSRC (£5.6M) and the European Research Council (€2.6M).

You will join a strong international team of students, postdoctoral and academic staff working together on aspects of cutting-edge nanophotonics research – seeking to control light and light-matter interactions at the sub-wavelengths scale. A remarkable range of new phenomena is found in this regime, with wide-ranging potential applications in, for example, telecommunications, metrology, sensing, defence, super-resolution imaging, and data storage.

Our projects present opportunity to develop advanced skills in experimental photonics, computational electromagnetic modelling, electron and optical microscopy, high-throughput materials discovery, and nanofabrication.

Group website

PhD Projects:

Photonics of Moving Nano-Objects

Supervisors: Eric Plum, Kevin MacDonald, Jun-Yu Ou

We study interaction of light with artificial nanostructures that have moving parts to develop new ways of controlling light with light and light with electrical signals.

Nanophotonics & Nano-metrology

Supervisors: Kevin MacDonald, Jun-Yu Ou

We explore how recent fundamental advances in nanophotonics can be used in radically new metrological applications pushing the limits of resolution and functionality.

Intelligent Nanophotonics

Supervisors: Nikitas Papasimakis and Kevin MacDonald

We explore new ideas on how interaction of light and electron beams with quantum nanostructures can be used for unconventional computing.

Reinventing Imaging with Standing Light Waves

Supervisors: Eric Plum and Nikolay Zheludev

Existing imaging techniques reveal THAT light interacts with matter. Here, we will develop a novel form of microscopy that will reveal HOW light interacts with matter, opening up a broad range of scientific, interdisciplinary and technological opportunities.

Fundamental Optical Physics in Metamaterials

Supervisors: Kevin MacDonald, Jun-Yu Ou, Nikolay Zheludev

We develop photonic metamaterials that allow the observation of imperceptibly weak fundamental electromagnetic phenomena that are not possible to observe in natural media.

Chirality and Nanomechanics

Supervisors: Eric Plum and Kevin MacDonald

We will develop metamaterials whose structure can be twisted and untwisted by nanomechanical actuation. This will lead to the drastic enhancement of electromagnetic phenomena that are very weak in natural media, and may result in the discovery of new effects.

Topology, Artificial Intelligence & Microscopy

Supervisors: Nikolay Zheludev & Nikitas Papasimakis

We are developing a new groundbreaking concept of deep subwavelength imaging that relies on recent developments in topology of light and artificial intelligence.

Topologically Complex Light Waves and Anapoles

Supervisors: Nikitas Papasimakis, Nikolay Zheludev

We apply nanophotonic tricks to the generation of topologically complex electromagnetic fields, which can reveal hidden (otherwise undetectable) electromagnetic excitations and energy reservoirs in matter.

Hybrid Nano-Electro-Mechanical Systems

Supervisors: Vassili Fedotov, Malgosia Kaczmarek (Physics & Astronomy)

We hybridize nano-electro-mechanical systems (NEMS) with liquid crystals to create smart, dynamically adaptable (field-programmable) optical materials and sensors.

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