Pablo Martinez Pancorbo submits his thesis!

Congratulations to PGR Pablo Martinez Pancorbo, who submitted his thesis this month and on 18th September, successfully passed his viva.

Here’s Pablo’s words on the challenges and rewards of undertaking his PhD and his time with the CDT:

My thesis is submitted just in time!

It has been four years working on this incredible research with so many complications and unknowns. But there is light at the end of the road. Neither cancer nor the coronavirus pandemic has stopped me from getting my thesis ready.

During these beautiful years, I have grown and matured beyond what I thought I could. I had memorable experiences and met wonderful people, along with obtaining exciting results and shared them in international conferences around the world. Some of my colleagues on this journey are now my closest friends. I have worked in a broad range of disciplines and regularly collaborated with physicists, chemists, engineers and biologists. I had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant in many modules which included mathematics, physics, fluids engineering and computer science, which lead me to get a teaching fellowship. Moreover, I helped to organised many events for early career scientists over the years, received serval prizes and participated in the QUEX HealthTech Hackathon. However, bad things happened too such as multiple failed experiments during my first six months, getting stuck at the airport in the Rochester (NY) during a research visit due to adverse meteorological conditions and misappropriation of the ownership of my successful grant proposal from the OSA.

I see my PhD as a time of personal growth and independent critical thinking. Thanks to the soft skills I developed in various pieces of training during this time, I managed to receive several small grants and I was awarded the JSPS postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Tokyo, which (if the coronavirus travel restrictions allow) will be my next step in my research journey. I am excited and confident about implementing all I learnt in future career stages.

We congratulate Pablo on his postdoctoral fellowship and wish him the best of luck for his future.

Pablo’s achievements include:

  • March 2019, 1st Prize in #RSCChemBio (Chemical and Biology Interface) at RSC Twitter Poster Competition by Royal Society of Chemistry
  • March 2018, 2018 IOM3 Young Persons’ Lecture Competition South West of England and South of Wales Winner Award by The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3)
  • 2018 IOM3 Young Persons’ Lecture Competition Exeter Winner by The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), February 2018.
  • 2018, STEM for Britain selected presenter representing Exeter at Houses of Parliament.

 

Pablo presented at the following conferences and workshops:

  • Poster:Organ-on-a-Chip, Current Gaps and Future Directions Conference, 2019. GSK’s Medicines Research Centre, Stevenage, United Kingdom
  • Professional Youtube video: “Nanoparticles for cancer imaging and treatment – Pablo Martinez Pancorbo”, recorded by IOM3, 20th November 2019
  • Poster: “In vitro human toxicity assessments of novel multifunctional nanoparticles for cancer theranostics”, GW4 3Rs Symposium, 2019
  • Poster: “Imaging and Treatment of Cancer Cells with smartly Designed Magnetoplasmonic Nanoparticles”,GW4 Nanomedicine Workshop, 2019
  • Poster: “Fe2O3-SiO2-Au Composite Nanoparticles for Potential Cancer Theranostics”, 14th International Conference on Materials Chemistry (MC14) 2019, Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Poster:”“Fe2O3-SiO2-Au Composite Nanoparticles for Potential Cancer Theranostics”; 6th Nano Today Conference 2019, Lisbon, Portugal
  •  Oral presentation; Speaker at Pint of Science 2019, Exeter, UK, May 2019
  •  Oral presentation: “Smartly designed composite nanoparticles for potential cancer therapy and diagnosis” as invited speaker at West of England Metals and Materials Association (WEMMA), 2018.
  • Presented talk at NanoBio Conference 2018, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, 2018
  • Youtube video: “Elevator Pitch: Pablo Martínez Pancorbo”, 11th December 2017
  • Pablo Martinez Pancorbo, Kunyapat Thummavichai, Nick Stone, Yanqiu Zhu; Poster: ‘Au-SiO2-WOx Core-Shell Nanocomposites For Biomedical Imaging Applications’, MC13 – RSC, Liverpool, UK, 25th July 2017
  • Pablo Martinez Pancorbo, Kunyapat Thummavichai, Nick Stone, Yanqiu Zhu; Poster: ‘Au-SiO2-WOx Core-Shell Nanocomposites For Biomedical Imaging Applications’, Infrared workshop, Exeter, UK, 8th July 2017
  • Pablo Martinez Pancorbo, Kunyapat Thummavichai, Nick Stone, Yanqiu Zhu; Poster: ‘Characterization of Nickel microarray in SEM’, MMC2017 – RSM, Manchester, UK, 7th July 2017
  • Pablo Martinez Pancorbo, Kunyapat Thummavichai, Nick Stone, Yanqiu Zhu; Oral presentation: ‘Magnetic-Plasmonic Core-Shell Nanocomposites for Biomedical Imaging’, Living Systems Institute Imaging Symposium, Exeter, UK, 26th May 2017
  • Pablo Martinez Pancorbo; Oral presentation: ‘Smart materials, the oncoming revolution’, IOM3 Young Persons Lecture Competition, Exeter, UK, 15th February 2017
  • Pablo Martinez Pancorbo, Nick Stone, Yanqiu Zhu; Poster: ‘Au-SiO2-WOx Core-Shell Nanocomposites For Biomedical Imaging Applications’, Postgraduate Research Showcase 2017

XM2 Minerva Prize Colloquium Winner Announcement

We are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s inaugural Minerva Prize Colloquium is Louisa Brotherson, a PhD student at University of Liverpool. She will be giving a talk on “Absolute acoustic sensor calibration for quantifying lab-generated earthquake sources”, delivered via Zoom on Friday 2nd October 2020. Congratulations Louisa!

Louisa Brotherson, Minerva Prize Winner 2020

The Minerva Prize is a new initiative, created and organised by a committee of CDT PGRs. Two committee members- second year PGR Connor Sait and third year PGR Emily Glover– discuss the ethos of the prize and the experience of implementing their idea into practice.

Connor:

The time spent organising the first XM2 Minerva Prize has been very valuable to me. I would like to thank the XM2 management board for giving the Minerva Prize team of postgraduate students the freedom and support to organise the prize in a way that represents us.

We are delighted with our choice of prize winner Louisa Brotherson, whose application for the talk was incredibly strong. I am very excited for the chance to chat with Louisa and we are confident that her talk on the use of acoustic sensors for earthquake quantification will be a hit with the XM2 CDT!

Connor Sait

Being a part of the Minerva Prize organising committee has highlighted to me the important aspects of being part of an effective team. We have worked hard to build this event and shown great teamwork in the process. Our third year member Emily Glover in particular has worked very hard to bring things together and brought a positive and optimistic attitude to the group dynamic.

The Minerva Prize was suggested for the benefit of PhD researchers – whose opportunities to discuss their work are limited in comparison with later stage researchers – and particularly for our own postgraduate students at the Exeter metamaterials group to meet and hear about the work of a researcher at the same stage of academic development.

I would strongly encourage other XM2 postgraduates to bring their ideas for events and opportunities for the CDT to the management team. In this case, I brought the idea for a talk given by a PhD student to our programme manager Anja Roeding, who gave it serious consideration and took quick and effective action to put the foundations for the prize in place and get things off the ground. Our CDT administrator Kelyn Luther has also been a great help to us from the very beginning in organising this event. Thank you Anja and Kelyn!

I would like to thank everybody else who has given their support to the prize. I hope you all enjoy Louisa’s talk in October, and that the 2020 XM2 Minerva Prize Talk will be the first of many talks by PhD researchers, for PhD researchers here at Exeter XM2.

Emily Glover

Emily:

Being a part of the Minerva Prize Organising Committee has been a great experience for me. I have enjoyed some of the more creative opportunities that it has afforded me, including building a website that we used to advertise our prize. It also taught me how much work goes in behind the scenes, and how stressful waiting for people to apply can be! Receiving our first abstract was so exciting, and I can’t wait to hear the talk from our winner.

David Newman chairs session at UK Magnetics Society Student Conference

David Newman

Second year PGR David Newman reently chaired a session at UK Magnetics Society Student Conference where he chaired a session and presented a talk entitled ‘Electrical detection of a DC spin current through an epitaxial antiferromagnetic NiO layer’.

The event was virtually hosted by the UK Magnetics Society to provide a platform for PhD student conference talks that had been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and also included several talks from academics and industrialists about their experiences in magnetism.

David reports on his experience:

I was responsible for chairing the session on “Nanoscale Magnetics” which featured a broad range of topics from spintronics to materials modelling. Running the session gave me valuable experience in event organisation/management whilst also getting the opportunity to network with other PhD speakers from across the country.

The term “spin currents” refer to the flow of intrinsic spin angular momentum without an accompanying charge transfer (as in a traditional electrical current). In my talk (originally planned for Intermag2020), I showed how the inverse spin Hall effect can be used to transfer a spin current into an electrical current for convenient measurement and applied this to a complex multilayer stack with an antiferromagnetic NiO layer. This work is of particular relevance to magnetic data storage which has turned to spintronic concepts and antiferromagnets for denser magnetic data storage which is more energy-efficient and operates at higher speed.

The conference offers a platform to those students working in magnetics related subjects to talk about their research and work.

Summer Student Projects 2020

This summer, two of our PGRs- second year Conor Price and third year Iago Rodriguez Diez– were awarded summer student bursaries, covering a small stipend and project fees to allow them to host an undergraduate student for 10 weeks to complete a summer research project.

In a competitive process, the PGRs had to put forward project proposals, which were then reviewed by members of our Management Board and awards were granted. Once the call out had been made to undergraduates, the PGRs reviewed applications and decided who to call to interview before selecting the successful applicant.

These are the successful PGRs and undergraduate students, reflecting on their projects and what they learnt from the experience:

Is The Future 2D?: Investigating Next Generation Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting Using First Principles Methods

This project was designed by third year PGR Shane Davies. Conor Price supervised the project, working with undergraduate student Matt Evans, who has just finished his third year in BSc Physics.

The aim of this project was to investigate the suitability of various two-dimensional (2D) structures as next generation thermoelectrics from analysing their phononic band structures and lattice thermal conductivities.

Matt Evans discusses what he gained from this project:

Matt Evans

The project gave me an invaluable insight into what it would be like working as a full-time scientist part of an active research group. Various challenges were presented and as the project developed, these often became more complex. This required me to think outside-the-box and I developed new, independent researching skills that enabled me to probe these problems; in addition, I was encouraged to discuss the more challenging obstacles with the other members within the PhD group.

I also had the opportunity to explore various research papers and present summaries of these to the others within the group for further discussion gaining a fuller understanding of the underlying physics behind the project. And, I had the chance to use a Linux operating system with the BASH command language – which I was unfamiliar with before I started the project – to perform scientific computations.

These newly acquired research and programming skills that I gained from the project will be most useful when pursuing a scientific career, in the future.

Conor reflects on the challenges of leading a project:

Conor Price

Running the summer project was a completely different experience to anything I’ve done before: instead of being able to go to a supervisor or a textbook for guidance when encountering a problem in academic research, I was the one that was meant to have the solution. I had to be able to provide a concise but thorough description or explanation, quickly to ensure the project didn’t get held up, to someone that didn’t necessarily think about things the same way as me. We found that regular communication was key as it allowed us to iron out any problems as quickly as we could. I was very pleased with the work we were able to do in such a short space of time, especially considering the sharp learning curve at the start!

This experience will undoubtedly be useful in the future for any leadership and/or teaching role I may have in the future.

Photonic Crystals

This project was supervised by Iago Rodriguez Diez, working with undergraduate student Harrison Nicholls, who has just finished his second year studying MPhys Physics.

The aim of the project was to optimise the outcoupling efficiency η and quality factor Q of a H1 photonic crystal nanocavity by modifying the parameters of the nearest-neighbour holes around the defect. This was done using proprietary FDTD simulation software, which efficiently solves Maxwell’s equations.

Harrison Nicholls

Harrison reflects on what he has learnt during the process:

I have learned to work efficiently with people to outline a goal and work towards it, identifying steps that need to be taken along the way. Writing scripts in an unfamiliar programming language to set up the simulations as appropriate and subsequently analysing them gave me opportunities to work unguided. The remote nature of my work meant that I had to consciously organise my time and correspondence.

My final result fulfils what I set out to do, which is very satisfying for me, and useful to the project.

 

Iago discusses the science behind the project and the personal skills he has gained:

Photonic microcavities based on 2D Photonic crystal defects have proved to be excellent structures for

Iago Rodrigues Diez

applications such as microlasers, biosensing and quantum electrodynamics. However, the light coupling efficiency towards the out-of-plane direction remains very low, thus limiting the range of applications. The goal of this project was to design a photonic crystal defect-cavity that emits light into the direction perpendicular to the crystal. The system was optimized so that the cavity kept a high quality factor and low mode volume while achieving a high outcoupling efficiency into a low numerical aperture lens. The project involved theoretical understanding of photonic crystal cavities and how to solve numerically Maxwell’s equations with a Finite Difference Time Domain solver.

This was definitely a valuable experience of how to manage a short term research project from start to end. It allowed to me develop very useful and varied skills like how to write a project proposal, participate in an interview and a selection process, make a plan for the initial direction of the project, achieve the goals within the limited time and mentor a student during their first steps in the world of research. I absolutely recommend to other PGRs and undergrads to be involved in future CDT summer student project opportunities.

Congratulations to all students involved for rising to the challenges of collaborating on remote project work.

Below are some diagrams relating to Harrison and Iago’s findings:

3D perspective view of the cavity. The blue region is the crystal with cylindrical holes etched into it. The yellow squares indicate different monitors for recording data.
Fourier transform of the electric field profile from real space to k-space. These were useful for determining how the cavity emitted radiation.
Electric field profile of dipole mode around the defect in the crystal. The circles indicate holes through the material that makes up the crystal.

 

Joaquín Faneca submits his thesis!

Joaquin Faneca

Congratulations to final year PGR Joaquín Faneca, who has just submitted his thesis: “Tunable Silicon integrated
photonics based on functional materials”.

Here is Joaquín’s experience of his time with the CDT:

When I started the PhD coming from another country, everything was difficult, you do not have your own language, your family, your friends, your culture, etc. You start from zero and even more, you are doing a PhD. The CDT in Metamaterials was helping us a lot, they were always willing to help us and support us if we need something since the beginning, they were like our family here to be honest. The cohort idea is good because at the end of the day you have different students to share different feelings and I think that is important.

Regarding research it was hard, the first year and half you realise how much you need to work just to get to the level that experts are, you start realising that everything takes a lot of effort and time. After one year a half I think is when you start to have the background in order to progress and start building your own ideas. From that point everything is a lot of work but enthusiastic because you feel that you are progressing. I will say that research is not easy but if you are passionate about it is the best! What an adventure! 4 years in another country, travelling around the world, to Russia, San Francisco, San Diego, there is people that will never visit this place and we were lucky that CDT was paying for our conferences and living costs in these cities. You are in contact with experts in your field, learning from everyone, not only research, but also, leadership, presentation skills, etc. I think this four years have been really intense but now CDT in metamaterials has made us really good professionals.

My future is in reconfigurable integrated circuits using different functional materials, I will keep working with the University of Exeter and the University of Southampton, but from Barcelona, we have different projects going on and I am quite enthusiastic about them.

Joaquin’s publications include:

April 2020– Joaquin Faneca, Liam Trimby, Ioannis Zeimpekis, Matthew Delaney, Daniel W. Hewak, Frederic Y. Gardes, C. David Wright, and Anna Baldycheva- On-chip sub-wavelength Bragg grating design based on novel low loss phase-change materials, Optics Express

March 2020- J Faneca, TD Bucio, FY Gardes, A Baldycheva-  O-band N-rich silicon nitride MZI based on GST, Applied Physics Letters

February 2020- Joaquin Faneca, Thalia Dominguez Bucio, Frederic Y. Gardes, Anna Baldycheva- ‘Reconfigurable photonic integrated circuits (RPICs) based on functional materials for integrated optical communication applications’, SPIE Photonic West

February 2020- Emanuele Gemo, Santiago García-Cuevas Carrillo, Joaquin Faneca, Carlota de Galarreta, Wright CD- ‘Sub-wavelength plasmonic-enhanced phase-change memory’, SPIE Photonic West

November 2019- J Faneca, BT Hogan, IR Diez, FY Gardes, A Baldycheva- ‘Tuning silicon-rich nitride microring resonances with graphene capacitors for high-performance computing applications’, Optics Express

September 2019- TD Bucio, C Lacava, M Clementi, J Faneca, et al.- ‘Silicon Nitride Photonics for the Near-Infrared’, EEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics 26 (2), 1-13

May 2018- Joaquin Faneca, Tatiana S. Perova, Vladimir Tolmachev  and Anna Baldycheva- ‘One-Dimensional Multi-Channel Photonic Crystal Resonators Based on Silicon-On-Insulator With High Quality Factor’, Frontiers in Physics and Frontiers in Materials

February 2018- Joaquin Faneca, Benjamin T. Hogan, E. Torres Alonso, Monica Craciun, Anna Baldycheva- ‘2D materials integrated in Si3N4 photonics platform’, SPIE Photonic West

Joaquin presented at the following conferences:

  • Joaquin Faneca Ruedas, Geoff Nash, Anna Baldycheva; Poster: “Photonic metamaterials for WDM optical communications applications”, ITMO Doctoral Summer School, St. Petersburg, Russia, 14th May 2017
  •  Joaquin Faneca, Tatiana Perova, Vladimir Tolmachev, Geoffrey Richard Nash and Anna Baldycheva; Poster: “Liquid Crystal WDM Filter in Si Photonic Crystal Technology”, Progress In Electromagnetics Research Symposium, St. Petersburg, Russia, 24th May 2017
  • Joaquin Faneca, Tatiana Perova, Vladimir Tolmachev, Geoffrey Richard Nash and Anna Baldycheva; Presentation: “Multichannel Si Photonic Crystal filters with Fine-Tuning capability of individual channels for WDM optical interconnects”, World of Photonics Congress, Munich, Germany, 26th June 2017
  •  Joaquin Faneca, Ben Hogan, Geoffrey Richard Nash and Anna Baldycheva; Poster: “Novel fluid materials for CMOS photonic WDM systems”, World of Photonics Congress, Munich, Germany, 26th June 2017
  •  Joaquin Faneca, Elias Alonso, Monica Cracium  and Anna Baldycheva; Poster: “2D materials using silicon micro-ring resonators for CMOS photonic WDM systems”, The Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium, Exeter, UK, 11th September 2017
  •  Joaquin Faneca, Elias Alonso, Monica Cracium  and Anna Baldycheva; Poster: “2D materials and liquid crystals integrated in silicon nitride platform for WDM optical interconnects applications”, Photonex, Coventry, UK, 11th October 2017
  •  Joaquin Faneca, Elias Alonso, Monica Cracium  and Anna Baldycheva; Presentation: “2D material-enabled reconfigurable Si photonics for optical interconnects”, SPIE, San Francisco, US, 29th January 2018
  •  Joaquin Faneca, Geoffrey Richard Nash and Anna Baldycheva; Poster: “Add-drop filters based on microring structrues with fine-tuning capability for WDM optical interconnects “, SPIE, San Francisco, US, 29th January 2018
  •  Joaquin Faneca Ruedas , Geoff Nash, Anna Baldycheva; Poster: “Novel materials and nanofabrication of WDM for optical communications interconnect applications”, GW4 Workshop, Bath, UK, 13th July 2017
  •  Joaquin Faneca Ruedas , Geoff Nash, Anna Baldycheva; Poster: “Graphene modulators for WDM applications”, RMS  Photonics and optoelectronics materials, Exeter, UK, 4th April 2018
  •  Joaquin Faneca; Poster: “Student Chapter Activities”,  SPIE OPTICS + PHOTONICS, San Diego, US, 17th August 2018
  •  Joaquin Faneca, David Wright, Frederic Gardes and Anna Baldycheva; Poster: “Reconfigurable materials for integrated optical communications applications”, Photonex – Silicon Photonics, Coventry, UK, 10th October 2018

New Publication: Coupling and confinement of current in thermoacoustic phased arrays

Credit: David Tatnell

Congratulations to third year PGR David Tatnell, whose publication ‘Coupling and confinement of current in thermoacoustic phased arrays’ has just been published in Science Advances and featured on the University’s research news webpage.

David, lead author of this study into thermoacoustic arrays, says:

This work is the first experimental demonstration of thermoacoustic sources in acoustic phased arrays.

We find that thermoacoustic arrays are capable of reproducing all of the effects of traditional speaker arrays, such as beam forming and steering, but also have additional characteristics unique to this generation mechanism.

We show that we can exploit these characteristics to radically simplify array design, allowing for thermoacoustic phased arrays to be made smaller, and more economically, than traditional speakers. This includes creating a fully controlled array from nothing more than a thin metal film attached to some metal wires. Combined with the ability to make the speakers flexible and transparent, thermoacoustic arrays have many potential applications, such as haptic feedback systems in smartphones and other wearables.

This paper represents two and a half years of hard work, sponsored by QinetiQ and EPSRC.

Check out the University’s main research news webpage, which explores these findings and their significance in further detail.

 

Applications Open: Minerva Prize PGR Colloquium

This Autumn, we will host the first student-led colloquium as part of our regular colloquia series. The idea for this first came from second year PGR Connor Sait, whilst networking at a conference. When he brought the idea back to the CDT, it evolved into giving a PhD student from outside of the CDT the opportunity to give an hour talk on their research, in the style of a normal colloquium.

Five students volunteered to be part of the organising committee (third year Emily Glover, second years Connor Sait and Katie Lewis, and first years Leanne Stanfield and James Laurenson). They have undertaken all of the planning, learning a lot about how colloquia are run in the process. Naming it the Minerva Prize, after the Roman goddess of wisdom, it was decided that any PhD student would be able to submit an abstract for an hour-long talk on their research, to be held on October 2nd at 12:30pm (BST). The winning student would also win a £250 prize.

While the original plans were to hold this special colloquium occurrence in person, it has been decided to move towards a virtual event. While this decision was made due to the current climate, we hope that this will allow more PhD students to apply regardless of geography.

How to apply:

Email a short abstract for your talk (maximum 1 page of A4) to minerva-xm2@exeter.ac.uk, as well as your institution, a contact e-mail address and where you are in your PhD. To apply, you must be a PhD student who is yet to graduate and be able to align your research to research carried out in Exeter. Students who are part of the CDT are not eligible. The submission deadline is the 28th August. We aim to announce the winner on the 4th September.

For queries, please contact minerva-xm2@exeter.ac.uk, or check out the Minerva Prize website.

 

Pablo Martinez Pancorbo featured in 20 in 2020 blog post series

Congratulations to fourth year PGR Pablo Martinez Pancorbo, whose research has been featured on the Researcher and Innovation blog as part of the 20 in 2020 series of blog posts. This is comprised of 20 PhD students across multiple disciplines in the University; Pablo’s post, on ‘Nano-medicine in cancer diagnosis’ can be found here. Pablo is researching the use of nanoparticles in  biomedical imaging for improved cancer detection.

 

Emanuele Gemo presenting his recent research at EPCOS

PGR Emanuele Gemo

Fourth year PGR Emanuele Gemo discusses his experience of presenting at this year’s E\PCOS conference.

The E\PCOS (European symposium on Phase-Change and Ovonic Science) started in 2001 as a workshop on the emerging field of phase-change material science and applications. Since then, it has been hold each year in various locations in Europe, and evolved in a conference style collecting contributions from both academic and industry research.

This year I presented my latest research work: the proposal of a novel all-photonic memory architecture, which by use of a bespoke plasmonic nanoantenna is capable to reduce both speed and energy requirements by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude with respect to the conventional configuration:

“A plasmonic route towards the energy scaling of on-chip integrated all-photonic phase-change memories

Emanuele Gemo¹, Santiago García-Cuevas Carrillo¹, Carlota Ruiz De Galarreta¹, Joaquin Faneca¹, Nathan Youngblood², Wolfram H.P. Pernice³, Harish Bhaskaran², C. David Wright¹

1-Department of Engineering, University of Exeter, North Road, Exeter EX4 4QF, UK
2-Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PH, UK
3-Institute of Physics, University of Muenster, Heisenbergstrasse 11, 48149 Muenster, Germany

ABSTRACT

Phase-change photonic memory devices, conventionally implemented as a thin layer of phase-change material deposited on the top of an integrated Si or SiN waveguide, have the flexibility to be applied in a widely diverse context, as a pure memory device, a logic gate, an arithmetic processing unit and for biologically inspired computing. In all such applications increasing the speed, and reducing the power consumption, of the phase-switching process is most desirable. In this work, therefore, we investigate, via simulation, a novel integrated photonic device architecture that exploits plasmonic effects to enhance the light-matter interaction. Our device comprises a dimer nanoantenna fabricated on top of a SiN waveguide and with a phase-change material deposited into the gap between the two nanoantenna halves. We observed very considerably increased device speeds and reduced energy requirements, of up to two orders of magnitude, when compared to the conventional structure.”

The conference has been extremely interesting, as it spanned within various field: material science, optical and photonics applications, electronic devices and new applications such as neuromorphic computing. The time spent there has been undeniably valuable, and many presentations provided with lots of new ideas to be explored.
I also had the chance to meet in person with different academics and industry researchers. Among these, I have opened a channel of communication with a representative from Advanced Materials, with the view to further develop a modelling framework I contributed to build in the past.