Nanophotonics & Metamaterials Group

Welcome to the Nanophotonics and Metamaterials Group, led by Professor Nikolay Zheludev. Funded by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council), the group has set up a 6-year programme on nanostructured photonic metamaterials at the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre.

Our vision is: "To develop a new generation of switchable and active nanostructured photonic media and to create in Southampton a world-leading centre of research on Nanostructured Photonic Metamaterials". 

Metamaterials are man-made media with a host of unusual and useful functionalities that can be achieved by artificial structuring smaller than the length scale of light.

This innovative and interdisciplinary research programme aims to develop a new generation of switchable and active nanostructured photonic media and to establish Southampton as a world-leading centre of research on Photonic Metamaterials.

Hosted by the Optoelectronics Research Centre, the programme involves other academic units within the University including: Electronics & Computer Science, Physics & Astronomy, and Mathematics

Over the last twenty years photonics, the science of light, has played a key role in shaping the world as we know it. It is impossible to imagine modern society without the internet and mobile telephony (made possible by the implementation of optical fibre networks), CD's and DVD's (underpinned by the development of lasers), modern display technologies, and laser-assisted manufacturing. 

We believe that the next photonic revolution will be fuelled by a dependence on radically new types of photonic materials called ‘metamaterials’. Metamaterials are artificial electromagnetic media with unusual and useful functionalities achieved by structuring on a sub-wavelength scale. Nanotechnology-enabled materials are now universally seen as a direction where the global economy will grow strongly in the 21st century. Our research programme is at the core of this global movement. We aim to develop a new generation of revolutionary switchable and active nanostructured photonic media to provide groundbreaking solutions for telecoms, energy and light generation, imaging, lithography, data storage, sensing, and security and defence applications. These goals will be achieved by advancing the physics of the control, guiding and amplification of light in nanostructures and by developing new nanofabrication techniques, hybridisation processes, and procedures for the integration of novel metamaterial structures into waveguide and fibre environments. 

The programme mobilises and focuses the resources and interdisciplinary expertise available at the University of Southampton to establish an internationally recognised centre for photonic metamaterials reserach. It brings together an investigators’ team with a formidable track record (in excess of £34M research funding and more than 460 journal publications over the last ten years) and will draw heavily on the world-leading facilities at the university’s new Mountbatten Building nanofabrication cleanroom and laboratory complex. 

Copyright University of Southampton 2006