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Physics and Astronomy

Photo of Dr Philip Thomas

Dr Philip Thomas

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


I am a postdoctoral research fellow working with Bill Barnes to manipulate light on the nanoscale using organic materials in a variety of weird and wonderful ways. I am currently employed on the international SCOLED project, which aims to improve the efficiency of organic light-emitting diodes. From September 2017 until August 2023 I was employed on the ERC-funded PHOTMAT project. 

I mainly study strong light-matter coupling, a phenomenon that potentially allows one to modify the properties of molecules using light. I do this using a fun experimental technique called ellipsometry. This has yielded some surprising results, including cavity-free ultrastrong coupling and singular optics in organic thin films.

I am responsible for the running of the University of Exeter's ellipsometry lab. If you're interested in using ellipsometry in your work, please get in touch.

Prior to my appointment at Exeter I completed a PhD as part of the NOWNANO Centre for Doctoral Training in Nanoscience at the University of Manchester. During my PhD I studied propagating and collective plasmon resonances in metallic nanostructures, considering their potential applications in areas such as sensing and optoelectronics, particularly in combination with 2D materials such as graphene. My PhD thesis was published as part of the Springer Thesis Series.

My publications in peer-reviewed journals are listed on my Google Scholar profile.

Education and Employment

  • 2017 -             Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Exeter
  • 2013 - 2017   PhD in Physics, University of Manchester
  • 2009 - 2013  MPhys(Hons) in Physics, University of Manchester

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Copyright Notice: Any articles made available for download are for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the copyright holder.

| 2024 | 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 |


  • Thomas P, Barnes W. (2024) Strong coupling-induced frequency shifts of highly detuned photonic modes in multimode cavities (dataset).
  • Thomas PA, Barnes WL. (2024) Selection Bias in Strong Coupling Experiments, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, volume 15, no. 6, pages 1708-1710, DOI:10.1021/acs.jpclett.3c03546. [PDF]



  • Menghrajani KS, Vasista AB, Tan WJ, Thomas PA, Herrera F, Barnes WL. (2022) Molecular Strong Coupling and Cavity Finesse. [PDF]
  • Thomas PA, Menghrajani KS, Barnes WL. (2022) All-optical control of phase singularities using strong light-matter coupling, Nature Communications, volume 13, no. 1, DOI:10.1038/s41467-022-29399-x.
  • Thomas P. (2022) All-optical control of phase singularities using strong light-matter coupling.









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