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The University of Southampton

Research project: Computational electromagnetic modelling of 3D photonic structures

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Nano-structured materials can provide very specific and often very special optical effects which can be exploited for a large range of optical applications including wavelength filters, LEDs, micro-lasers, HDTV, sloar-cell coatings, optical high-Q fibres, diffraction gratings, polarisation devices, optical switches etc.  This research aims to address the need for an accurate and fast three-dimensional modelling, simulartion and analysis process in the photonics industry.

A FEM/FDTD software suite is being developed to simulate Maxwell's field equations and thin-flim quantum effects (plasmons) in the visible and near-infrared EM frequency spectrum.  The results obtained from running the software on suitable compute clusters will then be compared to the analysis results of experimentally manufactured materials.  We will investigate structures occurring in nature, such as iridescent butterfly wings, white/black reflecting beetle shells etc, and aim to optimise artificially designed structures with periodic, quasi-periodic and random configurations.

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