Soft Matter Physics Research Seminar: Professor Tim Wilkinson

Prof Tim Wilkinson, of the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, will be presenting a seminar on his research. All are welcome to attend.

Abstract: Advances in nanoscale fabrication allow for the realization of artificial materials with properties such as metamaterials. They are composed of subwavelength electromagnetic structures, placed at close proximity to each other. Due to mutual coupling (plasmonic resonance) between individual structures, they present properties to incident electromagnetic radiation that are different from those associated with the material from which the structures are comprised of.

In this talk I will discuss the use of metallic nano-rods as subwavelength holographic structures to produce interesting optical metamaterials that exhibit artificial dielectric properties, polarisation and wavelength control through band gaps within the optical regime.

Furthermore, if a liquid crystal (LC) material is added to this geometry it provides a variable refractive index pathway between the resonant elements and alters the effect of the plasmonic resonance in a complex way. This is not a simple process to model or measure as the interaction at the surface of the plasmonic element with the liquid crystal has a dominant effect in this geometry and is very difficult to observe experimentally especially in self-assembled metatmaterials such as gold gyroids.

In initial devices, the addition of the LC material has allowed us to electrically control the properties of their properties. This also asks the question of whether such nanophotonic structures could be used in future generations of display products.

For further information, please contact Professor Cliff Jones.