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Nonlinear optics using Epsilon-near-zero materials

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

In Epsilon-near-zero (ENZ) [1] materials, for a certain spectral region, the electric permittivity, epsilon, is below 1, i.e. smaller than that of free space/air. The small epsilon results in strange optical properties and offers great potential for linear and non-linear optical applications. For example, the low values of epsilon imply that there is no (or little) phase advancement within the material and therefore the requirement for phase matching of non-linear optical processes is removed.

This project will address the use of transition metal oxides, such as Indium Tin Oxide as ENZ materials [2]. In these materials, the ENZ spectral region can be controlled by the growth conditions and deposited films can be combined with optical elements to form tailor made metamaterials and devices [3,4] with tailored optical properties.

You will be expected to deposit and characterise ENZ material films, design composite optical elements consisting of ENZ films coupled to nanophotonic devices, for example antenna arrays or individual resonators, to create tailored optical responses. You will gain a deep understanding of one of the most exciting new fields in optics, gain expertise in optical simulation, nanofabrication and characterisation techniques and work in an international collaboration, allowing you to build your own professional network.

The project will be supervised by Dr. Sebastian Schulz, who will join the department in March 2018. For more details on this topic and for any question regarding the project, please contact Dr. Sebastian Schulz ().

[1] N. Engheta “Pursuing Near-Zero Response” Science 340, pp 286-287 (2013). http://science.sciencemag.org/content/340/6130/286

[2] M. Z. Alam, I. De Leon and R. W. Boyd “Large optical nonlinearity of indium tin oxide in its epsilon-near-zero region” Science 352, p 795 (2016). http://science.sciencemag.org/content/352/6287/795

[3] S. A. Schulz, A. A. Tahir, M. Z. Alam, J. Upham, I. De Leon and R. W. Boyd “Optical response of dipole antennas on an epsilon-near-zero substrate” Physical Review A 93, 063846 (2016). https://journals.aps.org/pra/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevA.93.063846

[4] M. Z. Alam, S. A. Schulz, J. Upham, I De Leon and R. W. Boyd manuscript accepted for publication.

References

[1] N. Engheta “Pursuing Near-Zero Response” Science 340, pp 286-287 (2013). http://science.sciencemag.org/content/340/6130/286

[2] M. Z. Alam, I. De Leon and R. W. Boyd “Large optical nonlinearity of indium tin oxide in its epsilon-near-zero region” Science 352, p 795 (2016). http://science.sciencemag.org/content/352/6287/795

[3] S. A. Schulz, A. A. Tahir, M. Z. Alam, J. Upham, I. De Leon and R. W. Boyd “Optical response of dipole antennas on an epsilon-near-zero substrate” Physical Review A 93, 063846 (2016). https://journals.aps.org/pra/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevA.93.063846

[4] M. Z. Alam, S. A. Schulz, J. Upham, I De Leon and R. W. Boyd manuscript accepted for publication.

How good is research at University of St Andrews in Physics?
(joint submission with University of Edinburgh)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 36.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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