Otto Muskens is Professor of Physics and leader of the Integrated Nanophotonics group. His research interests range from nanophotonics and metamaterials to silicon integrated photonics and bionanophotonics. Research in his team combines numerical and AI-enabled design, development of advanced materials, nanofabrication, and cutting-edge optical experiments. He has led as a PI a grant portfolio of >£4 million and co-I grants of >£15 million. His funding includes grants from EPSRC, BBSRC, The Leverhulme Trust, Royal Society and Dstl/DASA. From 2012-2017 he held a prestigious EPSRC Early Career fellowship. He was co-investigator on two EPSRC Program Grants on photonic metamaterials, metadevices and metasystems, and PI on two EU projects on the development of metasurfaces for radiative cooling in space.
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- Programmable photonic circuits using ultralow loss phase change materials.
- Infrared metasurfaces for radiative cooling and defence applications.
- Deep learning and AI enabled nanophotonic design.
- Ultrafast spectroscopy of nanophotonic devices.
- Development of a wafer scale probe station for silicon photonics testing
A main line of research is the development of new programmable photonic devices using materials showing a structural or electronic phase change. We have developed new types of phase change materials that can be optically or electrically activated and which enable new directions in neuromorphic photonics, field-programmable photonic chips and metasurfaces for controlling light on demand. Our activities in advanced materials is complemented by state-of-the-art nanofabrication capabilities in the University of Southampton cleanrooms to achieve devices on various platforms such as silicon photonics, plasmonic metasurfaces for infrared and visible range applications. We have recently demonstrated a variety of new applications exploiting infrared metasurfaces based on transparent conducting oxides, with applications in aerospace (radiative cooling of spacecraft and satellites) and defence.
Capabilities in materials and nanotechnology are complemented by a number of unique optical experimental techniques, including broadband spectroscopy of individual nano-objects at <1 micrometer resolution and ultrafast pump-probe spectroscopy. We use optical techniques to study how light interacts with nanosystems and how nanostructure photonic media can be used to control light. In a recent EPSRC grant we are developing our laboratory expertise in the ultrafast spectroscopy of photonic integrated systems toward a full-wafer probe station for optical testing.
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Module leader of first year undergraduate laboratories Physics Skills 1&2, PHYS1017 and PHYS1019.
Programme leader for MPhys with Nanotechnology.
MPhys project supervisor, PHYS6006
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Otto Muskens received his PhD in 2004 at the University of Utrecht and subsequently worked as a postdoctoral researcher at CNRS in Bordeaux, Philips Research Eindhoven and the AMOLF institute in Amsterdam. Since 2009 he leads the Integrated Nanophotonics Group in Southampton. He was promoted to a personal chair in 2014. In 2016 he held the Debye visiting chair at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. Since 2020 he is head of group of Quantum, Light and Matter in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
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