David Osuna Ruiz submits his thesis!

Congratulations to David Osuna Ruiz, who has submitted the final version of his thesis, ‘Magnetisation dynamics and tuneable GHz properties of unsaturated magnetic nanostructures’ after corrections.

David looks back on his experience of studying for a PhD as part of the CDT:

Four years ago, I decided to move to the UK to pursue a big goal, professionally and personally speaking, that was to work towards the completion of a PhD in Physics. It just feels like yesterday, although four full years have passed by already since I arrived in Exeter. I am very thankful to myself for having taken such a decision back in January of 2016 and, of course, I am even more thankful to the University of Exeter, the CDT in Metamaterials and my supervisors Feodor Ogrin and Alastair Hibbins for giving me such an opportunity. During these years as a PhD student and researcher, I had so many exciting experiences in the UK, and in many other places worldwide, from Russia to the US. I met so many interesting and good people in the UK and from all over the world, some of them with whom I have been fortunate to have become friends.

After these 4 years, I can say for sure that this has been an unexpectedly enriching and life-changing period of my life. Aside of doing research, I went on industry placements, visited other colleague researchers, did outreach science, attended many courses and international conferences all over the world and many more things. However, what really makes the difference is the people you meet and those you feel by your side, especially during (the many) hard times while working on the thesis and when things seem to have no way out! In that sense, I feel so lucky of having met and worked with so many kind people during these years.
I very well know that I will hardly forget all the good moments I had during these last four years. I do believe that this whole experience has made me stronger and more prepared for future challenges so, to anyone still working on the thesis, two things: be resilient and most importantly, enjoy the journey! In the end, all of it is valuable and it is absolutely worth the effort.

David is staying on at University of Exeter, as a post-doc. We wish him all the best for his future.

David has co-authored the following publications:

In preparation

D. Osuna Ruiz, A. P. Hibbins and F. Y. Ogrin, “A reconfigurable spin wave emitter based on a teardrop shape”



David has presented at the following conferences:

  • D. Osuna Ruiz, A.P. Hibbins, F.Y. Ogrin, oral presentation:”Refractive Index Manipulation of Confined Spin Waves in Bloch Domain Walls”, Intermag Conference 2020, Montreal, Canada, May 2020 (accepted)
  • D. Osuna Ruiz, A. P. Hibbins, F.Y. Ogrin, poster presentation: “Magnetic actuated tuning of Winter’s magnons propagation in Bloch domain walls”, Magnonics 2019, Carovigno, Italy, July 2019
  • D. Osuna Ruiz, E. Burgos Parra, N. Bukin, A. Lara, F.G. Aliev, A.P. Hibbins, F.Y. Ogrin, oral presentation: “Improving Excitation and Detection of Propagating Spiral Spin Waves in Magnetic Nano-patches: Influence of Thickness and Shape”, Joint MMM-Intermag Conference 2019, Washington D.C., USA, January 2019
  • D. Osuna Ruiz, E. Burgos Parra, N. Bukin, A. Lara, F.G. Aliev, A.P. Hibbins, F.Y. Ogrin, oral presentation: “Propagating spiral spin waves in magnetic nano-patches: Influence of Thickness and Shape”, International Conference on Magnetism (ICM) 2018, San Francisco, USA, July 2018
  • D. Osuna Ruiz, E. Burgos Parra, N. Bukin, A.P. Hibbins, F.Y. Ogrin, oral presentation: “Propagating spiral spin waves in magnetic nano-patches”, IEEE International Conference in Microwave Magnetics (ICMM) 2018, organized by the University of Exeter,  Exeter, UK, July 2018
  • D. Osuna Ruiz, E. Burgos Parra, N. Bukin, A.P. Hibbins, F.Y. Ogrin, oral presentation: “Propagating spiral spin waves in magnetic nano-patches”, International Symposium on Spin Waves 2018. Organized by the Ioffe Institute, Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 2018
  • D. Osuna Ruiz, A. P. Hibbins, F.Y. Ogrin, poster presentation: “Propagating spiral spin waves in magnetic nano-patches”, IOP Magnetism 2018, April 2018
  • D. Osuna Ruiz, A. P. Hibbins, F.Y. Ogrin, poster presentation: “Propagating spiral spin waves in magnetic nano-patches”, NanoMagnonics Workshop 2018, Kaiserslautern, Germany, February 2018



New Publication: Calcium-stannous oxide solid solutions for solar devices

Ned Taylor

Congratulations to final year PGR Ned Taylor, who is lead author of ‘Calcium-stannous oxide solid solutions for solar devices’, published in Applied Physics Letters last week.

Ned gives a short summary of his work:

In this work, the potential of calcium-doped stannous oxide is explored for its potential as an active layer in an all-oxide solar cell design. The authors find an alloy formed of doping Sn:Ca with ratio 7:1 in SnO to exhibit favourable electronic and optical properties for a photovoltaic material. A potential design is proposed for an all-oxide solar cell based around the aforementioned solid solution being the active layer, where TiO2 and CaO are the adjacent transport layers. This study is performed using first principles density functional theory methods to explore the systems. This work was funded jointly be the CDT and Solaris Photonics, with the work being conducted by Ned Taylor and Steve Hepplestone.

Ned’s previous publications include ‘The Fundamental Mechanism Behind Colossal Permitivity in Oxides’, which he co-authored with fellow CDT PGRs Francis Davies, Shane Davies and Conor Price.

New Publication: Zahid Hussain translates “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics” into Urdu

Final year PGR Zahid Hussain in partnership with Fasi Malik, University of California has translated Carlo Rovelli’s “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics” into Urdu. Their translation has just been published by Mashal Books, Lahore. Below, Zahid discusses his motivations and the importance of the book:

I am pleased to announce that our translation of Carlo Rovelli’s book “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics” into Urdu (Pakistan’s national language) has been published by Mashal Books, Lahore. This work is a part of my outreach activities under CDT Metamaterials XM2 to promote science to inspire young students and also, the general public. The reason for translating this interesting book into Urdu is to introducing new scientific developments and concepts of physics in a simple and easy-to-understand language. Secondly, I find it very useful to promote such work to those curious readers who cannot access them in English. A short description of the book is given below:

The book provides a very brief overview of the most fascinating aspects of the great intellectual revolution that has occurred in physics in the twentieth century. In a very simple language, Carlo Rovelli explains to us that the image of the world our ancestors carried with them in prehistoric times, was challenged by the Greek philosophers. Later on, Galileo, Copernicus and Newton’s scientific contributions caused a paradigm shift in our perception of the reality. Afterwards, in the wake of the 20th century, the birth of Quantum mechanics and Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity provided us with a new understanding of the physical world we live in. Now, we know that either it’s a world of very small objects (at the atomic scale) or the world of bigger objects which we can see with our eyes, the reality is quantized. Everything, known in this material universe and even all the fundamental forces of nature interact with matter through the particles. The most fascinating aspect of this simple book is that it leaves the reader with this conclusion that science shows us how to better understand the world and also reveals to us that just how vast is the extent of what is still not known.

Zahid began his translation in 2018, with three chapters published online, so this is the culmination of years of dedication. Congratulations to Zahid for this great achievement.

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

Prof Sir Roy Sambles receives knighthood in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Congratulations to Prof Sir Roy Sambles, who has been awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to scientific research and outreach.

Roy has worked in the University’s Department of Physics since 1972, becoming a senior lecturer there in 1985, a reader in 1988 and was made Professor of Experimental Physics in 1991. He led the EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre in Metamaterials from its inception in 2014 to 2017 and now sits on the CDT Management Board.

He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society and has published over 520 scientific papers.

Roy has made significant contributions to our understanding of the melting process, spin waves in metals, resistivity of thin metal films, molecular rectification, liquid crystal optics, plasmonics and microwave and acoustic metamaterials. His early work concerned unravelling, using electron microscopy, the fundamentals of melting and evaporation of metal particles. He then went on to explore Conduction Electron Spin Resonance and provided definitive studies at low temperatures of spin waves in alkali metals. Later in his career, he also opened up research into natural photonics where his pioneering studies of the photonic structures in butterfly wings paved the way for new research in this area.

He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 2002 and received the IOP’s Thomas Young Medal in 2003 and its Faraday Medal in 2012. He also received the George Gray Medal of the British Liquid Crystal Society in 1998.

He was a Council member of the EPSRC from 2008 to 2014 and he served on the Defence Science Advisory Committee from 2005 to 2011, sitting on the Board of the Counter-terrorism centre from 2006 to 2013. In 2018 he was made an honorary fellow of the Institute of Physics, having been its president from 2013-2017. He is currently chair of the Royal Society Research Grants Board.



New Publication: ‘Surface functionalized N-C-TiO2/C nanocomposites derived from metal-organic framework in water vapour for enhanced photocatalytic H2 generation’

Congratulations to PGR Zahid Hussain, who is lead author of the paper  ‘Surface functionalized N-C-TiO2/C nanocomposites derived from metal-organic framework in water vapour for enhanced photocatalytic H2 generation’, published in the Journal of Energy Chemistry.

Zahid’s previous publications include ‘MOF Derived Porous ZnO/C Nanocomposites for Efficient Dye Photodegradation’
published in ACS Applied Energy Materials, and ‘Structural, optical, electronic and magnetic properties of multiphase ZnO/Zn(OH)2/ZnO2 nanocomposites and hexagonal prism shaped ZnO nanoparticles synthesized by pulse laser ablation in Heptanes’  published in Elsevier Materials Chemistry and Physics.


In this work, we have successfully demonstrated that nitrogen/carbon co-doped (anatase and rutile) TiO2 phase junction nanoparticles, homogeneously distributed in N and carboxyl group functionalized porous carbon matrix can be synthesized via simple one-step pyrolysis of titanium-based metal-organic framework (Ti-MOFs), NH2-MIL-125(Ti). Introducing water vapour at high temperature during the pyrolysis of NH2-MIL-125(Ti) results in the functionalization of the carbon matrix with carboxyl groups as well as the creation of additional localized oxygen-rich N like interstitial/intraband states above the valence band of polymorphic TiO2 nanoparticles that further narrowed the energy bandgap. The derived N-C-TiO2/C phase junction composites retain the disc-like tetragonal morphologies and textural properties inherited from the NH2-MIL-125(Ti) precursor. Without loading any noble metal co-catalyst such as Pt, Au, Pd, the sample N–C-TiO2/CArW exhibits very promising photocatalytic H2 generation from water splitting.

David Newman and Kostas Chatzimpaloglou present at the Institute of Physics Current Research in Magnetism 2020: High Frequency Spintronics

Last month, 2nd year PGRs David Newman  and Kostas Chatzimpaloglou both gave contributed talks for the Institute of Physics Current Research in Magnetism 2020: High Frequency Spintronics, which was held virtually.

David Newman

David’s presentation was on “Spin current propagation through an epitaxial antiferromagnetic NiO layer”. In this talk, he demonstrated the use of the inverse spin Hall effect (ISHE) and X-ray Ferromagnetic Resonance (XFMR) measurements to observe a DC and AC spin current respectively propagating through an antiferromagnetic layer in a multilayer sample. This is intended to inform future studies on spin current propagation which is a vital step in the development of spintronic devices.

David says of his talk:

I found it a great experience to present my work as part of a programme filled with the big names in the research field and make more contacts within the community.


Kostas’ talk was titled “Time resolved magneto-optical study of spin-orbit torques (SOTs) in ellipsoidal CoFeB/Pt

Kostas Chatzimpalouglou

elements” and focused on results gathered from the development of a magneto-optical Spin Transfer Torque Ferromagnetic Resonance (STT-FMR) technique to explore the magnetization dynamics that arise in these devices in response to DC current excitation.

By comparing with a macrospin model simulation with experimental data, this proves that when DC current is large enough, the DC SOT is observed to act on the magnetization. However, the strong DC Oersted field produces similar features in the resonance to the effect of SOT. Thus, it is required careful fitting to determine the value of SOT.

Training and other events: September 2020 to December 2020

Please find below a table of all upcoming XM² training and other events from September 2020 to December 2020. Please note due to the current lockdown situation, dates and location are subject to change. All Beyond a PhD and Colloquia will take place online.

Induction is scheduled to take place in week beginning 21st September and will take place online. Students will be sent the full schedule once it has been set.


21.09.20-25.09.20 Induction Week 1st years All day via Zoom
28.09.20 Induction: Meet Your Pastoral Tutor 1st years 09:00-10:00 via Zoom
29.09.20 CDT Group Meetings (Chair Handover) 2nd years 13:30-14:30 via Zoom
30.09.20 Introduction to COMSOL 1st years 09:00-12:00 via Zoom
30.09.20 Induction: Meet The Technical Team 1st years 14:00-15:00 via Zoom
01.10.20 Introduction to Statistics 1st years 16:30-17:30 via Microsoft Teams
02.10.20 Metamaterials Colloquium- Minerva Prize Colloquium: Louisa Brotherson, University of Liverpool, ‘Absolute acoustic sensor calibration for quantifying lab-generated earthquake sources’ All PGRs 12:30-13:30 via Zoom
06.10.20 Introduction to Outreach with Exeter Science Centre All 11:00-11:30 via Zoom
08.10.20;15.10.20;22.10.20;29.10.20 Statistics All 1st years via Microsoft Teams
23.10.20 Beyond a PhD: Dr. Laura Stoica, Piezoelectric Materials Research Manager at Thales All PGRs 12:30-13:30 via Zoom
05.11.20 and 12.11.20 Statistics 1st years 16:30-17:30 via Microsoft Teams
13.11.20 Metamaterials Colloquia: Prof. Mario G. Silveirinha (University of Lisbon), “Nonreciprocal and Topological Electromagnetics” All PGRs 12:30-13:30 via Zoom
19.11.20 CBC: Mandatory Session 1st years 09:30-11:00 or 11:30-1pm (sign up via Doodle poll) via Microsoft Teams
04.12.20 Metamaterials Colloquia: Prof. Isabelle Staude (University of Jena),(title TBC) All PGRs 12:30-13:30 via Zoom

Welcome to our new cohort for 2020!

We have seven new students this year, who have just finished the first week of their projects! Having attended a busy virtual induction week, they were pleased to meet the rest of the CDT face-to-face in a socially-distanced outdoor treasure hunt across the city.

Our new students are:

2020 XM² cohort Theme Project Supervisor 1 Supervisor 2
Kyle Arnold  Radiofrequency and microwave Artificial Magnetic Conductor Surfaces for Conformal Antenna Design Alastair Hibbins  Roy Sambles
George Braid  Visible, Infra-red and Terahertz Laser implosion fusion for clean energy generation David Wright Jacopo Bertolotti
David Bruce  Acoustics and Phononics New metasurfaces for acoustic control (Leaky Waves) Alastair Hibbins  Roy Sambles
Jenner Gudge-Brooke  Radiofrequency and microwave Miniaturised helical antennas for superdirectivity Alastair Hibbins  Roy Sambles
Dan Moore  Acoustics and Phononics Making the world sound better – acoustic metamaterials for manipulating sound in air and underwater Alastair Hibbins Roy Sambles
Tom Moynihan  Radiofrequency and microwave Effect of Material Conductivity and Architecture on Electromagnetic Surface Wave Propagation Alastair Hibbins  Roy Sambles
Lee Worgan  Acoustics and Phononics RF and mm-wave imaging using optical modulation Euan Hendry  Nick Stone

Tom is based in Cambridge working with TWI and David is based in Dorset, undertaking his PhD part-time whilst working at Qinetiq.