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James Burch and Alasdair Fikouras win Poster Competition

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Congratulations to James Burch and Alasdair Fikouras for taking 1st and 2nd Place respectively in the annual PhD assessment’s poster competition! James presented work on his flexible meta surface holograms, which are topologically sensitive and have applications in areas of security. Alasdair presented his work on Intracellular Photonic Nanodisks, as a way to place unique and trackable light sources within the cells themselves, providing improvements to current biological imaging methods.    

Photonic trimming of quantum emitters via direct fabrication of metallic nanofeatures

In a paper published in APL Photonics we demonstrate the control of the emission of a GaAs quantum dot (QD) embedded in a GaAs/AlGaAs nanowire (NW) by the post-fabrication of a plasmonic grating on its surface. We fabricated a sub-wavelength Pt grating directly on the NW surface, via electron beam induced deposition, to enhance the emission efficiency of QD for the polarization parallel to the NW of 45%, with a 17% reduction in the photon lifetime. These findings and EBID approach offer great opportunities for the development of nanopatterned QD emitters and new hybrid nanophotonic platforms for efficient single photon sources.

Flexible Holographic Metasurface with Surface Topology Dependent Functionality

In a paper published in ACS photonics, we present a flexible holographic metasurface with surface topology dependent functionality. We demonstrate that the phase contribution of the non-flat metasurface shape determines the symmetry properties of the far field holographic image. Here we also describe a framework to increase the sensitivity of the holographic image to the exact metasurface topology.   This work is of practical relevance for security printing technologies, as well as surface polarization and surface topology sensors.

Persistence and Lifelong Fidelity of Phase Singularities in Random Waves

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In this paper we show that Photonic Crystal chaotic resonators are a convenient platform to address the dynamic of optical phase singularities in random light landscapes. In particular, our collaborators at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience of the Delft University of Technology have measured the fidelity and persistence of couples of singularities, as the wavelength is tuned within the bandgap of the resonator. The results unveil the non trivial statistical properties of singularities respect to their faithfulness.

Research Visit to the University Sapienza, Rome

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Congratulations to Adam Fleming, who won a Short Term Visit grant from SUPA in order research Random Lasing in Silica Aerogels with Prof. Claudio Conti at the University Di Spienza, Rome! Avoiding the cold autumnal months, he will be gone for one month in October!      

Conformable Holographic Metasurfaces

In this work, published in Scientific Reports, we describe a conformable holographic metasurface operating in the visible range. We use gold nanoantennas to point-by-point tailor the Berry phase of a flexible membrane to create high fidelity images with helicity multiplexing. These membranes can then be applied to substrates which could not be nanopatterned directly. We demonstrate this experimentally with a glasses lens. The full article can be found here

Alasdair Fikouras wins Arthur Maitland Prize

As always at this time of year, PhD student assessments take place. The 2nd years must give a 15 minute talk on their research area. Adam Fleming, Alasdair Fikouras, James Burch, and Xin Li from the Synthetic Optics Group all gave very well received talks. For the 2nd year in a row, a member of the Synthetic Optics Group has won the Arthur Maitland Prize for best talk. Congratulations to Alasdair Fikouras, for his talk titled “Biolasers: Photonic Nano-Disk Resonators for Intracellular Exploration.” Congratulations to James Burch also, who came 3rd, for his talk titled “Conformable Holographic Metasurfaces”  

Synthetic Optics Away Day

The Synthetic Optic Group recently went on their annual “Away Day” to the Grandtully area in Fife. Everyone involved gave some fascinating talks on the future direction of their research, cooked mostly good food, and then got thoroughly soaked white water rafting. (Apart from myself haha!) SYNTHRAFT!

Congratulations Blair on passing your Viva

Congratulations to the venerable Blair Kirkpatrick, who passed his PhD viva in March. Blair was the second PhD student to join the Synthetic Optics group, and thankfully his special brand of humour will not be leaving us quite yet, as he will be doing a Post-Doc within the Synthetic Optics Group