Funded Research Projects in Natural Photonics and Disordered Systems

Current Projects

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Metamaterials (XM2)

A new £12 million centre for doctoral training, funded by EPSRC, the University of Exeter and industry.  We will explore fundamental physics through to material engineering, feeding industry and academia with graduates to exploit this exciting field, and each year the XM2 will recruit up to 18 fully-funded 4 year studentships.  Our students will benefit from a holistic, cohort-based training model, and the support possibilities offered as a result of being part of a broad peer group.  The director is Prof Roy Sambles, with co-directors Prof Bill Barnes, Prof Alastair Hibbins and Prof David Wright (in engineering).  The XM2 website is

dstl National UK PhD Programme

The project, "Novel aperiodic and irregular metamaterial surfaces for control of electromagnetic radiation", explores the behaviour of aperiodic metal-dielectric structures such as Penrose tiling and Fibonacci lattices, through microwave experimental and modelling techniques, and is being undertaken by Ben Tremain.

Novel Wave Phenomena in Magnetic Nanostructures (NoWaPhen), EU FP7 PIRSES-GA-2009-247556 (V. V. Kruglyak, F. Y. Ogrin)

The creation of artificial super-structure in magnetic materials represents an excellent opportunity to modify their spectra of excitations and hence to design novel meta-materials with unforeseen properties, functionalities, and applications. Photonic, plasmonic, and phononic crystals and semiconductor superlattices are typical examples of exploitation of this concept for controlling light, acoustic wave and electron propagation and scattering in electronic and opto-electronic devices. However, the use of magnetic materials with periodically modulated properties offers obvious additional benefits. Firstly, they facilitate creation of magnetic field controlled non-volatile electromagnetic devices. Secondly, they facilitate exploitation of the intrinsic excitations of magnetic materials – spin waves (magnons). Hence, significant international research efforts are now devoted to the areas of magneto-photonics and magnonics, respectively. This academic exchange projects aims to establish and support multilateral transfer of knowledge and expertise among several European and international research teams striving to advance the aforementioned research fields.

Previous Projects

The Arkiris joint venture

Arkiris is the given name to The University of Exeter’s £3.2m Knowledge Transfer Account (KTA) funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), awarded in March 2009. The KTA is a unique collaboration with the international technology company QinetiQ to exploit latent intellectual property capital in the area of Functional Materials. This will provide Tailored Electromagnetic Solutions to industrial and domestic problems. Innovations are being developed in the markets of anti-counterfeit technology, radio-frequency identification technology, Wi-Fi efficiency and security.