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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - Conformable holographic metasurfaces for industrial imaging and sensing applications (Ceres Holographics and University of St Andrews)

   School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

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  Prof D Reid, Dr A Di Falco  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Photonic metasurfaces are nano-structured films that can be designed to exhibit tailored light scattering. The phase, amplitude, polarisation and propagation of direction of the reflected and transmitted light can be controlled virtually at will. When used to record holographic information, photonic metasurfaces present many advantages over standard computer-generated holographic devices, mostly related to their ultrathin form factor (a thousand times thinner than conventional diffraction optical elements) and subwavelength dimension of the pixels. Moreover, holographic metasurfaces can be realised in flexible and conformable substrates, which makes them the ideal platform for out of the lab implementation.

Ceres Holographics is a leading company in holographic solutions for automotive applications and in this project has partnered with the groups of Synthetic Optics and Organic Semiconductors to take the metasurface technology one step closer to industrial, real-world applications.

The aim of the project is to develop a viable and sustainable design and manufacturing pathway for flexible holographic metasurfaces for augmented vision applications. The student will learn how to design holographic metasurfaces for non-flat shapes and develop a scalable fabrication technique based on nanolithography and nanoimprinting. Additionally, the student will exploit the unique properties of metasurfaces to embed sensing capabilities, so that the holographic imaging would depend on specific environmental conditions.

This work will be complemented by an extensive experimental activity and completed exploiting the facilities available in the School of Physics and Astronomy of the University of St Andrews and at Ceres Holographics.

Ceres Holographics and the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews are located in the North Haugh scientific hub in St Andrews, at walking distance from each other. Academically, the student will be co-supervised by the Synthetic Optics group and the Organic Semiconductor group, who manage the cleanroom facilities in the School and have access to a large suite of characterisation laboratories.

The student will have daily access to, and is encouraged to make maximum use of, the holographic fabrication and characterisation facilities at Ceres Holographics.

The School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews has Juno Champion status (Institute of Physics) which reflects its commitment to family friendly policies and creating a work environment of benefit to all staff and students.

CDT Essential Criteria

A Masters level degree (MEng, MPhys, MSc) at 2.1 or equivalent

Desire to work collegiately, be involved in outreach, undertake taught and professional skills study

Project Essential Criteria

Degree in physical science

Background in Applied Optics

An interest in experimental physics

Project Desirable Criteria

Programming skills for the automation of experiment and data analysis


The CDT in Applied Photonics provides a supportive, collaborative environment which values inclusivity and is committed to creating and sustaining a positive and supportive environment for all our applicants, students, and staff. For further information, please see our ED&I statement Forming a supportive cohort is an important part of the programme and our students take part in various professional skills workshops, including Responsible Research and Innovation workshops and attend Outreach Training.

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