Postgraduate research project

PhD Studentship in Nanophotonics and Metamaterials: Development of Switchable and Programmable Metasurfaces using Novel Materials

Competition funded View fees and funding
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree
View full entry requirements
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Closing date

About the project

Metaoptics, the application of metasurface concepts in optical systems, is a rapidly growing field that has the potential to revolutionise a wide range of applications, such as sensing, imaging, and telecommunications. The design and fabrication of high precision, large-area metaoptic components requires achieving high precision and accuracy over a large diameter. Next to making metamaterial devices that are very good at one particular function, there is a strong interest to develop multifunctional metasurfaces with properties that can be controlled or programmed after the initial fabrication. By combining metaoptics with novel materials that can change their state depending on electrical or optical control signals, new types of applications can be enabled.

The scope of this PhD research is to advance the design and fabrication of active and programmable metaoptics in the near- and mid-infrared range, making use of our state of the art capabilities in design of metasurfaces and the availability of novel materials for active switching and programming at the nanoscale. The project will explore the design of metasurfaces through both commercial and custom-built (e.g. deep learning) software. Experimentally, we will fabricate metasurface optics using advanced full-wafer fabrication tools such as Southampton’s DUV lithography (the only such system available in the UK’s academic research community) and our new 200 kV electron beam lithography system (the only such system currently installed in UK and Europe). During the PhD research the student will receive training and will develop strong expertise in fabrication of devices using one of the leading research cleanroom facilities in the UK.

Applications are invited for a postgraduate researcher to join this new activity taking place in the Quantum, Light and Matter group at the University of Southampton. We are looking for highly motivated applicants with interest in the topic of metasurfaces and an affinity for experimental optics research, involving numerical design, nanofabrication using the University’s cleanroom facilities, and optical studies. A substantial personal research budget for cleanroom use, travel and consumables is associated with this project. A fully funded PhD studentship covering stipend and fees is available for the successful applicant (UK or EU nationals).