Advisory Board Chair Prof Miles Padgett awarded OBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020

Very many congratulations to the Centre for Metamaterial Research and Innovation’s Advisory Board Chair Prof Miles Padgett OBE!

Miles was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2020 Birthday Honours for “services to scientific research and outreach”.


He holds the Kelvin Chair of Natural Philosophy in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow and leads an Optics Research Group covering a wide spectrum from blue-sky research to applied commercial development, funded by a combination of government charity and industry.


Miles is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (FINSTP), was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE) in 2001, a Fellow of the Optical Society in 2011, and a Fellow of the Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) in 2012, and a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2014

Ioannis Leontis in conferences at Washington DC

Third year PGR and vice-president of EUOPS (Exeter University Optics and Photonics Society) Ioannis Leontis discusses his experience of two conferences he was recently invited to:

In September 2019, as vice-president of EUOPS (Exeter University Optics and Photonics Society), I was invited to participate in two OSA (Optical Society of America) conferences in Washington DC. The first one, Leadership Conference 2019 (SLC 2019), was mainly focused on students in optics and included were workshops for improving student skills, transitioning from student to professional and choosing a profession. Moreover, there were very interesting presentations about hot topics in photonics, such as a presentation about the new Infrared Space Telescope of NASA “James Webb”. Concerning the second one, OSA Frontiers in Optics and Laser Science conference 2019 (FiO+LS 2019), it was a very interesting technical conference in optics with multiple parallel sessions about Nanophotonics and Plasmonics, Quantum Technologies, and photonics application in biology including a plenary talk of Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics. In general, both OSA conferences were of great scientific interest and it was a great opportunity for improving my scientific networking and to expand my scientific horizon in optics.

PGR Carlota Ruiz De Galarreta chairs a session at Complex Nanophotonics Science Camp workshop

From 11th to 14th August, fourth year PGR Carlota Ruiz De Galarreta  attended the Complex Nanophotonic Science Camp, held in Cumberland Lodge (Windsor Park). The event is specifically oriented to early-career stage scientists working in different fields, such as imaging in turbid media, optical neural networks or disordered metasurfaces.CDT alumnus Ilya Starshynov contributed a talk on ‘Non-line-of-sight imaging using artificial neural networks’.

Here’s what Carlota said about her experience:

During the event, I had the opportunity to attend to various talks from a wide range of topics going from structural colour generators to biosensors, as well as to chair one of the sessions. In addition, I’ve been given the opportunity to present my work about all-dielectric phase-change metasurfaces in the poster session, which I found quite useful to get feedback from people working in different areas (hence to get new points of view and perspectives of my work!).

I would definitely come back next year!


Carlota’s publications include ‘Nonvolatile Reconfigurable Phase-Change Metadevices for Beam Steering in the Near Infrared’ in Advanced Functional Materials. Her PhD project is on ‘Electronically-controllable optical wavefront shaping with phase-change metamaterials’, supervised by Prof. C. David Wright and Dr Jacopo Bertolotti. 

She is now working with David as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at University of Exeter, where she continues working in the field of reconfigurable phase-change metasurfaces and photonics, as well as helping new CDT students with their projects. She has been recently involved in the Fun-Comp European project, which aims to develop new electronic and photonic computing building blocks and computing networks based on phase-change materials.

PGR Henry Fernandez submits his PhD thesis

Congratulations to PGR Henry Fernandez, who has recently submitted his PhD thesis titled “Optical and Electronic Study of Hybrid Light-Matter States” supervised by Prof. Bill Barnes, and Prof. Saverio Russo. This thesis extends a description of his recently published work titled “Electrically Tuneable Exciton-Polaritons through Free Electron Doping in Monolayer WS2 Microcavities” and “Electrically tuneable exciton energy exchange between spatially separated 2-dimensional semiconductors in a microcavity“.  Additionally, Henry recently presented this work as an invited speaker at the Rank Prize Funds Symposium on 2-Dimensional Semiconductors for Optoelectronics and also at Nanometa19.

Henry says of his research work

I am proud of an essential aspect of this work, which is the design and implementation of an automated optical/electronic setup from scratch, that allowed us to position our research at the frontier of the optoelectronics with light-matter particles.




During his PhD, Henry also participated in many different events. He joined in the Startup Weekend Exeter in October 2018, where his team Dot_IT was the winner of the competition. He also participated in many outreach events as part of the Exeter University Optics and Photonics Society.
He was the president of this society from February 2018 to February 2019. He was also the chair of the IONS Exeter conference, recently held from 9 to 12 of July 2019. IONS Exeter was a student-led conference that brought together esteemed keynote and invited speakers, as well as normal contributions from different countries.

After completing his PhD viva and obtaining his PhD certificate, Henry will move to Finland to work in a postdoctoral position with Prof. Zhipei Sun, at the Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering of the Aalto University.

Henry presenting at Nanometa 2019
Henry Fernandez

New publication: ‘A Nonvolatile Phase‐Change Metamaterial Color Display’

Congratulations to PGR Santiago Garcia-Cuevas Carrillo, who is the lead author on ‘A Nonvolatile Phase‐Change Metamaterial Color Display’, recently published in Advanced Optical Materials. Co-authors include fourth year PGR  Liam Trimby and Prof. C. David Wright.


Chalcogenide phase‐change materials, which exhibit a marked difference in their electrical and optical properties when in their amorphous and crystalline phases and can be switched between these phases quickly and repeatedly, are traditionally exploited to deliver nonvolatile data storage in the form of rewritable optical disks and electrical phase‐change memories. However, exciting new potential applications are now emerging in areas such as integrated phase‐change photonics, phase‐change optical metamaterials/metasurfaces, and optoelectronic displays. Here, ideas from these last two fields are fused together to deliver a novel concept, namely a switchable phase‐change metamaterial/metasurface resonant absorber having nonvolatile color generating capabilities. With the phase‐change layer, here GeTe, in the crystalline phase, the resonant absorber can be tuned to selectively absorb the red, green, and blue spectral bands of the visible spectrum, so generating vivid cyan, magenta, and yellow pixels. When the phase‐change layer is switched into the amorphous phase, the resonant absorption is suppressed and a flat, pseudowhite reflectance results. Thus, a route to the potential development is opened‐up of nonvolatile, phase‐change metamaterial color displays and color electronic signage.


Santiago passed his viva in May this yearpassed his viva in May this yearpassed his viva in May this year. His previous publications include ‘Reconfigurable phase-change meta-absorbers with on-demand quality factor control’ and ‘Design of practicable phase-change metadevices for near-infrared absorber and modulator applications, both published in Optics Express.

Prof. Bill Barnes wins the Thomas Young Prize and Medal 2019

Congratulations to Prof. Bill Barnes who has been awarded the Thomas Young Prize and Medal 2019 from the Institute of Physics. The award is made for distinguished contributions to optics, including work related to physics outside the visible region.

Bill was awarded this prize for his outstanding contributions to the development of nanophotonics, especially in plasmonics and nanoscale light-molecule interactions. He was the first to show that monomolecular organic layers (Langmuir-Blodgett layers) are optically biaxial- in doing so he established a new polarization conversion technique that became a powerful way to analyse liquid crystal materials and devices.

Bill’s present research includes developing a new all-molecular pathway to making nanophotonic materials and leading research to use confined light fields to radically alter the energy levels of ensembles of molecules. Ongoing research includes band-engineering the optical properties of carbon-based materials and manipulating the charge and energy transport of 2D molecular materials, including photosynthetic materials.

Thomas Young was an English polymath noted for having established the wave theory of light via his famous double-slit experiment, and for what is now known as Young’s modulus, which relates the stress in a body to its associated strain. He also made contributions to the theory of colour vision, first coming up with the hypothesis that our perception of colour depends on three kinds of receptors sensitive to different wavelengths of light, and to the understanding of surface tension.

All award winners will be celebrated at the Institute’s annual Awards Dinner, to be held this year on 19 November at the Royal Lancaster London Hotel, where they will be presented by the President with their medal, a prize of £1,000 and a certificate.

Joaquin Faneca awarded Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship by SPIE

Third year PGR Joaquin Faneca has been awarded a $3000 grant from SPIE. SPIE, an international society for optics and photonics, was founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Serving more than 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, this not-for-profit society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth.

In 2019 SPIE awarded $293,000 in education scholarships to 85 outstanding individuals, including Joaquin, for their potential long-range contribution to optics, photonics, or other related fields. Joaquin’s individual project was orientated in programmable photonic integrated circuits based on functional materials such as phase change materials or 2D materials.

He plans to use the money to purchase some books and to go to San Francisco to the Conference Photonic West in February next year, where he will be given the recognition and the diploma of the grant in a student lunch event there. He will submit a proceedings and present a poster there.

Santiago García-Cuevas Carrillo passed his viva!

We are delighted to announce that PGR Santiago García-Cuevas Carrillo, supervised by Prof. C. David Wright and Prof. Geoff Nash , passed his viva with minor corrections. Santiago’s thesis was on “Reconfigurable Phase-Change Metasurface Absorbers for Optoelectronic Device Applications”. The examiners were Ann-Katrin Michel from ETH Zurich and Dr. Jacopo Bertolotti from University of Exeter.

During his time within the CDT, Santiago participated in multiple outreach activities, presenting several experiments to the public at the Institute of Physics festival, CREATIONS event and WOMAD Festival 2017.

Santiago’s future plans involve working with Prof. C. David Wright as a postdoc for the project “Functionally scaled computing technology: From novel devices to non-von Neumann architectures and algorithms for a connected intelligent world (Fun-COMP)”. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

Below is a summary of the various publications and conferences that Santiago participated in, along with his thesis abstract.

Santiago is co-author of the following publications:


Carrillo SGC, Alexeev AM, Au YY, David Wright C. (2018) Reconfigurable phase-change meta-absorbers with on-demand quality factor control, Optics Express, volume 26, no. 20, pages 25567-25581, DOI:10.1364/OE.26.025567. [PDF]


Alexeev AM, Ruiz De Galarreta C, Garcia-Cuevas Carrillo S, Sinev IS, Samusev AK, Gemo E, Nagareddy VK, Au Y-Y, Wright CD. (2017) Tunable Dielectric Metadevices Enabled by Phase-Change Materials, European Phase Change and Ovonic Symposium, EPCOS 2017, Aachen, Germany, 3rd – 5th Sep 2017,


Wright CD, Ruiz de Galarreta C, Trimby L, Garcia-Cuevas Carrillo S, Bertolotti J, Hewak DW, Cryan M, Klemm M, Hosseini P, Bhaskaran H. (2016) Phase-change meta-photonics, European Phase Change and Ovonic Symposium, E\PCOS2016, Trinity College Cambridge, 4th – 6th Sep 2016, [PDF]
Garia-Ceuvas Carrillo S, Hosseini P, Bhaskaran H, Wright CD. (2016) Non-volatile Optoelectronic Phase-Change Meta-Displays, The 7th International Conference on Metamaterials, Photonic Crystals and Plasmonics, Malaga, Spain, 25th – 28th Jul 2016. [PDF]
Santiago García-Cuevas Carrillo, Geoffrey R. Nash, Hayat HH, Martin J. Cryan, Maciej Klemm, Harish Bhaskaran, Wright CD. (2016) The design of practicable phase-change metadevices for near-infrared absorber and modulator applications, Optics Express, volume 24, pages 13563-13573, DOI:10.1364/OE.24.013563. [PDF]


Wright CD, Au YY, Garcia-Cuevas Carillo S, Bhaskaran H, Hosseini P, Rios C, Pernice WHP, Stegmaier M. (2015) Exploiting Mixed-Mode Optical-Electrical Functionality in Chalcogenide Phase-Change Glasses, Glass Reflections, Cambridge, 7th – 9th Sep 2015,

Santiago presented at the following conferences


October 2017, EuroDisplay 2017, Berlin (Germany), Poster- “Towards A Phase-Change Metamaterial CMY Subtractive Display” (authors: Santiago Garcia-Cuevas-Carrillo, Liam Trimby, Peiman Hosseini, Harish Bhaskaran, C. David Wright)
September 2017, EPCOS 2017, Aachen (Germany), Poster- “Towards A Phase-Change Metamaterial CMY Subtractive Display” (authors: Santiago Garcia-Cuevas-Carrillo, Liam Trimby, Peiman Hosseini, Harish Bhaskaran, C. David Wright)


25th July, Meta 2016, Malaga (Spain), Poster- “Non-volatile optoelectronic phase-change metadisplays” (authors: Santiago Garcia-Cuevas Carrillo, C. David Wright, Peiman Hosseini, Harish Bhaskaran)


Santiago’s thesis abstract

This thesis is concerned with the design and development of dynamically reconfigurable optical metasurfaces. This reconfigurability is achieved by integrating chalcogenide phase-change materials with metal-insulator-metal metasurface absorbers. Switching the phase-change material between its amorphous and crystalline states results in dramatic changes in its optical properties, with consequent dramatic changes in the resonant behaviour of the plasmonic metasurface with which it is integrated. Moreover, such changes are non-volatile, reversible and potentially very fast, in the order of nanoseconds. The developed devices in this thesis have been designed to modulate the amplitude of the reflected light in the visible and the near-infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum with application in reflective display technology and telecommunications.

Ben Hogan is awarded SPIE IDL Micro Grant

Ben Hogan, fourth year CDT PGR, has been awarded a SPIE IDL Micro Grant for $2000- one of only two UK universities to receive it this year.

The UNESCO International Day of Light is a global initiative highlighting to the citizens of the world the importance of light and light-based technologies in their lives, for their futures, and for the development of society. SPIE IDL Micro Grants support local community events and activities that highlight the critical role that light plays in our daily lives. The grants are awarded globally on a competitive basis, with 14 awarded in 2019.

Ben will use the $2000 to run three concurrent events in April and May, to promote the critical role that light plays in our daily lives to the general public.



The events that will be run are as follows:
• A photo competition for the local community, themed around light.
• A poster competition for researchers, with the aim being to convey cutting-edge research in simple terms for non-specialists.
• Lighting up RAMM – On Saturday 18th May, PGRs will provide hands-on demonstrations, activities and displays in the RAMM museum in Exeter.
• Exeter EnLIGHTens – PGRs are inviting schoolchildren of all ages (and their teachers) to pose us their questions about light. PGRs will then answer as many of their questions as possible in the form of video demonstrations of practical experiments, which will be made freely available online.

As the events progress, information and updates can be found at or by following @ExUniOptPhotSoc on Twitter. Follow Ben’s research at