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.

From Munich to London to Rome: Kieran Walsh on presenting at European conferences

Third year PGR student Kieran Walsh talks about his experience of presenting at conferences in Munich (LOPEC 2019), London (MCEC 2019) and Rome (HOPV 2019):

“Over the past 3 months I have attended a number of conferences to give talks on my recent work involving graphene electrodes for energy harvesting. These conferences have taken place in Munich (LOPEC 2019), London (MCEC 2019) and Rome (HOPV 2019) and have been an invaluable learning experience, both in terms of the content of the conferences but also my skills as a presenter and scientific communicator. My talks were all slightly different, but mainly focussed on graphene electrodes for triboelectric energy harvesting and for photovoltaic energy harvesting. Depending on the conference I emphasized different results, or would contextualize the work slightly differently. the results themselves, however, remained the same.

Kieran presents at LOPEC 2019

The first of the conferences taking place was LOPEC 2019, which is the largest international meeting concerning large-scale printed organic electronics. This gave me a fantastic opportunity to see where my research sat in a much more commercial environment, with dozens of companies and hundreds of representatives from different businesses in attendance. Hearing from industry allows researchers to take a step back from the issues they face in a lab to consider what might the problems be 5-10 years down the line when commercial products are going to be made as a result of the materials/technologies we are working on. While this might not always provide the solutions to the future’s problems, it is always important for scientists to consider what the technological landscape of the future might look like so they can better direct their research. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed presenting at this conference despite it being geared more towards industry than academia.

I presented at LOPEC along with second year PGR Conor Murphy, who presented a poster on “Iron chloride intercalated few-layer graphene electrodes in flexible OLED devices”

Conor presenting his poster, “Iron chloride intercalated few-layer graphene electrodes in flexible OLED devices”


Kieran presenting at MCEC 2019

The second conference I was presenting at was the Materials for Clean Energy Conference (MCEC), taking place at the National Physical Laboratory in London.


While MCEC was a much smaller conference, it perfectly fitted with my research topic and still attracted very accomplished researchers in the field. The talks I attended were of a very high standard, and there was a great buzz of discussion between sessions. This, to me, was the most valuable aspect of the conference, as everyone seemed at ease to ask each other questions and openly discuss the challenges and rewards of their research.

This was particularly helpful to me when being asked questions after my talk, hearing interest from other researchers was very reassuring, as well as giving me a few new ideas to try when I got back in the lab!


The final conference I attended this spring was the Hybrid and Organic Photovoltaics (HOPV) conference in Rome, bringing together hundreds of experts in photovoltaics from all over the world.

Angelicum Universita Pontificia, venue for HOPV 2019


The quality of work at this conference was staggering, most of which was geared towards Perovskite photovoltaics (the poster child of the photovoltaics world over the last decade). However, there were still a number of talks that were more specific to my area of research into flexible devices. This was definitely the most inspiring conference that I have been to, with many talks emphasising how vital research into renewable energies is. It can sometimes be hard to see how what you do in a lab relates to the giant problems facing the world, but at conferences like this you can see how your small piece fits into the larger puzzle. I left Rome with fresh ideas to try out, eager to get back into the labs in Exeter.”

MCEC was organised by the CDT; to read more about our inaugural conference and the contributions of the other students who attended, please check out our recent post.

Pablo Martinez Pancorbo presents virtual reality at EduExe 2019

Exploring virtual reality

On 3rd May, third year PGR Pablo Martinez Pancorbo took part in EduExe 2019.  EduExe, the University of Exeter’s education conference, is an annual event at which the institution’s learning and teaching community can gather to celebrate and learn about good practice, innovations, and solutions to education challenges.

Thought leaders from across the sector are invited to contribute to the conference in whatever format they feel will be most insightful and exciting; previous presentations have included talks, facilitated discussions, workshops, plenaries, panels, and posters/stands.

The day is designed to include all those involved in education across the institution—including researchers, lecturers, mentors, support staff, and students—and facilitate stimulating, informative discussions and fruitful collaborations for the future.

Pablo’s stand was about virtual reality, offering a demo for participants to immerse themselves in 3D worlds.

To find out more information, including a schedule of all speakers, please check out this page.

Pablo’s presenter profile




New Publication: “Gate tunable graphene-integrated metasurface modulator for mid-infrared beam steering”

Cheng Shi

Fourth year PGR Cheng Shi has authored “Gate tunable graphene-integrated metasurface modulator for mid-infrared beam steering”, with his supervisors Isaac Luxmoore and Geoff Nash.

Modulators are a key component for communication, imaging, and so on, allowing the function of device can be controlled actively. However the research on modulators in infrared regime remain challenging as limited choice of materials. In this paper, the authors design, fabricate and test the graphene-integrated metasurface modulator whose amplitude and phase can be directly controlled by the gate voltage. The simulation results agree well with our experimental results also suggest that a 150 degree phase modulation can be achieved with an achievable high gate voltage. In addition, we also show the potential capability of constructing such modulators with different geometric parameters into a reconfigurable surface as an active, high speed beam steering lens. The reflection angle is able to alter from 0 degree to 30 degree when gate voltage is applied. The authors believe the results here could inspire the research on dynamic reflective display and holograms in mid-infrared wave band.

Cheng’s recent publications include Metamaterial-enhanced infrared attenuated total reflection spectroscopy. A full list of his publications can be found on his profile.

Training and other events: May 2019-July 2019

Please find below a table of all upcoming XM² training and other events from May 2019 until July 2019 as far as planning currently allows and subject to change. Please note that some locations and events have been updated and added since the previous month’s table.

PGRs, please highlight any XM²-training related absence times to your supervisors. In regards to annual leave or other absence time planning: All confirmed events have been sent to the PGRs via a calendar invitation, but please ensure to check the CDT in Metamaterials Outlook calendar and to liaise with your supervisors and the CDT in Metamaterials office () for approval BEFORE you make any bookings, as there might be a few more events coming up that are yet to be confirmed.

Supervisors, please be mindful of the XM² events when setting expectations on research deliverables with the PGRs.

01.05.19 CDT Groups All PGRs 14:30-15:30 Amory A239C, Queens MR1, Queens D, Harrison 171
07.05.19-09.05.19 Month 6 Presentations 1st years 08:30-11:15 Harrison 170
10.05.19 CDT Colloquium: Steve
Barnett (title TBC)
All PGRs 12:30-13:30 Newman Blue
13.05.19 IP and Business Awareness 3rd years 12:30-13:30 Harrison 209
17.05.19 Gooch and Housego Industry Visit 1st years 08:30-16:30 Torquay
21.05.19-22.05.19 Project Management Training 1st years 09:00-16:30 Physics SCR
29.05.19 CDT Groups All PGRs 14:30-15:30 Amory A239C, Queens MR1, Harrison 171, Old Library Research Seminar Room A/B
14.06.19 CDT Colloquium: Joaquin Rossier (title TBC) All PGRs 12:30-13:30 Streatham Court D
25.06.19 NPL Visit 4th years 12:30-13:30 Streatham Court D
28.06.19 Beyond a Phd: Irina Khromova and Sathya Sreetharaman All PGRs 12:30-13:30 Queens LT1
05.07.19 CDT Colloquium: Vihar Georgiev (Title TBC) All PGRs 12:30-13:30 Queens LT1
15.07.19 Summer Graduation Celebration Event All CDT and graduates 11:30-13:30 Northcott Theatre bar
19.07.19 Dyson Industry Visit 3rd years 08:30-17:00 Dyson


Innovative creations at Exeter and Queensland HealthTech Hackathon

Third year PGR Pablo Martinez Pancorbo took part in The Exeter & Queensland HealthTech Hackathon on 29th-31st March 2019. A Hackathon (Hacking Marathon) is an event where a multidisciplinary team collaborate for an intense period of time on a specific project; the goal is to create something useable and tangible.

This was three day event- sixty hours in total- where Pablo contributed his expertise to hack a health problem using technology. Collaborating with students from different disciplines such as sport science, health, physics, sociology, art, business, engineering, film studies, psychology, history, and neuroscience he worked with local patients and practitioners to hack the problem.

His group created a Photoframe that displays local events automatically updated from a database for dementia carers. They used IoT devices including a RaspberryPi and ETL processes via Node-red and IBM cloud. The final product was called Carer Connect; photo below.

The created product