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Photo of Miss Carlota  Ruiz De Galarreta

Miss Carlota Ruiz De Galarreta

PhD Project

Electronically-controllable optical wavefront shaping with phase-change metamaterials


Prof. David Wright and Dr Jacopo Bertolotti


The ability to control the detailed spatio-temporal nature of optical wavefronts using simple electronic methods would open up the route to a wide range of exciting applications [1], such as nanoscale imaging with light and nanoscale (light) lithography, imaging in complex and turbid media, enhanced sensitivity spectroscopy, even electronically reconfigurable holograms (a long-term holy grail in the display community).

Recent work in the area of low-dimensional phase-change films [2] and phase-change super-absorbers has shown that phase-change metamaterial structures should be able to offer precise electrically-activated control, on sub-wavelength scales, of both the amplitude and phase of optical wavefronts. Furthermore, such control can be achieved on the timescales of microseconds or even nanoseconds (whereas a significant limitation of many wavefront-control experiments is their slow operating speed, which limits potential applications).

In this project we will explore the potential of these phase-change metamaterial structures to selectively control the amplitude and/or phase of optical wavefronts. The limits of what might be achieved will be explored using theoretical techniques, and applications that show particular promise will be experimentally realised and tested.

[1] A Mosk et al., Nature Photonics 6, 283 (2012) 
[2] P Hosseini, C D Wright & H Bhaskaran, Nature 511, 206 (2014)