The University of Southampton

OPTO6004 Metamaterials, Nanophotonics and Plasmonics

Module Overview

The course will present a detailed introduction to the three cornerstones of future photonic technologies, namely metamaterials, plasmonics and nanophotonics, covering the latest advancements in these new rapidly expanding research fields.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of the course is to provide knowledge and basic understanding of the fundamental and applied aspects of controlling, guiding and manipulating electromagnetic radiation on the sub-wavelength level.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Gain knowledge on electromagnetism, near-field optics and plasmonics
  • Comprehend the concept of metamaterials and underlying principles of their operation
  • Learn about the existing and potential applications of metamaterials
  • Understand the basics of transformation optics
  • Understand how light can be guided and manipulated on the nanoscale
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Relate the electromagnetic properties of metamaterials to their structural motifs and complexity
  • Follow, understand and appreciate current research in metamaterials, nano-photonics and plasmonics
  • Design metamaterial and plasmonic nanostructures and identify the techniques allowing their fabrication
  • Apply knowledge gained during the course to solve problems related to engineering response of plasmonic and metamaterial structures
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Efficiently solve scientific problems
  • Think analytically
  • Study effectively


1. Introduction to the course 2. Metamaterials: theory and design 3. Negative refraction and perfect lens 4. Engineering giant optical activity 5. Theory of planar metamaterials 6. Chiral effects in planar metamaterials 7. Dispersion engineering and slow light 8. Collective effects in metamaterials 9. Cloaking and transformation optics (part 1) 10. Cloaking and transformation optics (part 2) 11. Metamaterial fabrication technologies 12. Optics of metals 13. Plasmons and their excitations 14. Plasmonic nanoparticle 15. Hybridising plasmonic resonances (part 1) 16. Hybridising plasmonic resonances (part 2) 17. Plasmonic waveguides 18. Challenges in plasmonics 19. Optical antennas 20. Extraordinary transmission 21. Purcell effect 22. Low-dimensional forms of carbon (part 1) 23. Low-dimensional forms of carbon (part 2) 24. Photonics of nanoscale phase transitions

Learning and Teaching

Completion of assessment task16.5
Follow-up work12
Preparation for scheduled sessions12
Wider reading or practice66.5
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2.5 hours) 80%
Problem Classes 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: ELEC3217 OR OPTO6012

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