Hyperuniform Disordered Photonic Materials

Lead Research Organisation: University of Surrey
Department Name: ATI Physics

Abstract

In this proposal we aim to develop novel photonic materials in which disorder is exploited as a resource, to control light emission and transport, for future generations of optical devices.
The use of light to communicate and process information is widely recognised as the technology that will drive innovations in the 21st century across a wide range of areas, from information technology, energy and sensing, to healthcare. So far, control of light flow has been achieved by carefully and periodically structured materials, which can bend light, slow it down and stop if for a short time, to allow for the processing steps to take place.
Due to advances in theoretical, computational and nano-fabrication capabilities we are no longer restricted to well-defined periodic structures. Instead we can construct complex systems made of apparently random patterns, which when suitably designed, can lead to performances superior to those offered by conventional photonic systems.
The proposed project will focus on the development of hyperuniform disordered nanophotonic materials, a novel class of photonic structures in which structural correlations and disorder are accurately controlled. Discovered in 2009, these new materials have already attracted considerable attention as they combine the robust properties of periodic systems with the flexibility of disordered ones. We will explore the properties of hyperuniform media with the goal to control light flow, to enhance light emission, and to construct novel type of lasers and optical circuits.
The research proposed will enhance UK's capabilities in disordered photonic materials, laser technology and integrated photonics circuitry, will have direct impact on more efficient and cost effective photovoltaic power generation and efficient lightning; the advanced optical capabilities to be enabled by our research will support the constant exponential growth of the "internet of things".

Planned Impact

The development of advanced photonic materials and novel characterisation, design, simulation methods to characterise them are critical for enabling the next generation of future technologies for information processing and communication, advancing the infrastructure for the "internet of things", energy harvesting and energy conversion systems, healthcare and biophotonics, and quantum information processing on nanophotonics platforms. For many of these applications photon management on versatile photonic-circuit platforms, integration of light sources with on-demand spatial and spectral characteristics, and addressing the effects of structural imperfections are major challenges that need to be urgently addressed.
We strongly believe that the research we propose will produce fundamental and technological advances in the field of nanophotonics, from novel disordered photonic materials to laser technology and integrated photonics circuitry, which will be of benefit to industry and researchers alike. These advances will contribute to setting the international agenda in the field of disordered photonic materials. Immediate commercial benefit will be in the fields of network components and optical equipment where our patent applications and industrial collaborations can be directly exploited. On longer term, developers, manufacturers and integrators of optical interconnection systems will benefit from denser, faster and more energy-efficient photonic integrated circuits enabled by our research. Furthermore, the development of flexible strategies for efficient light trapping and light coupling in thin hyperuniform disordered films to be pursued in this project is expected to have an important impact on new technologies related to thin-film photovoltaic cells.
The field of disordered photonics has grown tremendously in the last years and the advances in this field are currently being exploited to challenge existing technological roadblocks and deliver photonic devices with performance far superior to current technologies. The research proposed is an integral part of a global effort to pursue new disruptive innovations such that photonic technologies (a $375 billion market in 2013) can reach their full potential. The United Nations has proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (http://www.light2015.org), recognising the importance of raising global awareness about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. The broad impact of our research on hyperuniform disordered structures will also be of benefit outside of academia and industry, to governmental and independent policy makers, funders of academic and industrial research, to the educational sector, and ultimately to the wider public and the UK.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Film on Nanophotonics and hyperuniform photonics materials 
Description Together with Dr. Marian Florescu, Surrey University, we have made a short video about nano photonics and hyperuniform photonics materials, which is almost complete 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact not complete yet 
 
Description 1. A major finding of the research funded on this grant has been the discovery of local-self uniformity a amendment concept inspired by hyperuniformity. We have found a direct relationship between the uniformity of the internal structure (at wavelength scales) and its ability to block certain wavelengths in natural materials. We have also developed a new mathematical metric to measure which photonic structures best control the propagation of light enabling the design of new materials with different functionalities dependant on need. We have also fabricated and characterised the first-ever alumina amorphous gyroid structures and demonstrated the presence of large photonic band gaps. Our finding have been recognised as an important advance not only by the scientific community (see our recent Nature Communication publication), but also by a variety of news outlets and the 3D printing industry (see press coverage from Phys.org, Optics.org, Science Daily, 3DPrint.com, 3D Printing Industry).
http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14439

2. We have discovered a new class of hyperuniform disordered materials that can block the propagation of acoustic and/or elastic waves through the presence of a phononic band gap. We have also introduced the first designs of elastic cavities and waveguides that are able to precisely confine and control the flow of elastic waves.Our discovery has important applications towards the realisation of integrated phononic circuits.
https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.95.235303
https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst7120353

3. We have introduced the first hyperuniform metasurfaces that allow the control of light scattering and fluorescence forcing a ring-like emission.
https://arxiv.org/abs/1701.06799

4. Employing methods developed for photonic systems, we have been able to explore band structure unfolding in dilute bismide alloys. Our work provide a solid fundamental basis for the development of transferable computational methods, and the exploration of disordered metrics spanning a variety of physical systems, from photonics to electronics and phononics.
http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1361-648X/aa50d7/meta

5. Introduced a hyperuniform-disordered platform for near-infrared integrated photonic circuitry for silicon photonics. The silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platform to demonstrate the advanced functionalities in a flexible, silicon-integrated circuit unconstrained by crystalline symmetries, including waveguides and resonators seamlessly integrated with conventional silicon-on-insulator strip waveguides and vertical couplers. The hyperuniform-disordered platform improved compactness and enhanced energy efficiency as well as temperature stability, compared to silicon photonic devices fabricated on rib and strip waveguides.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-56692-5
Exploitation Route Local self-uniform photonic structures enable the realisation of 3D photonic band gap materials with low filling fractions and provide a natural metric to undestand the structural colouring in the animal kingdom.

Hyperuniform phononic materials can provide a flexible platform for integrated phononic circuitry.

Metasurfaces are very important to control the light propagation and emission, especially for next generation integrated and ultra-thin optical elements.

Dilute bismide alloys are promising a strong alternative for the realisation of highly-efficient telecom lasers.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Energy

URL https://www.surrey.ac.uk/mediacentre/press/2018/researchers-discover-method-replicate-nature%E2%80%99s-ability-reflect-light-develop
 
Description The 3D printing industry has recognised the impact of our research on novel structures and their news articles ("3D printed ceramic "butterfly wings" add color to photonic research", "University of Surrey Replicates Butterfly Wing Structures Using 3D Printed Ceramics" ) have attracted the interest of a number of companies. Together with Franfouher Institute for Ceramics in Dresden we are exploring commercialisation avenues with Exxelia Group, a large company manufacturing innovative microwave devices. Kings College, our partner on the project, has hosted a glass-artist, Dr Shelley James, who has fabricated various glass artefacts based on some of our hyperuniformy desgins
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy
Impact Types Cultural,Economic

 
Title 3D printing of alumina structures for micro-structured photonic materials 
Description During our research in hyperuniform and local self-uniform disordered structures, we have collaborated with Fraunhofer institute to design and fabricated the first-ever 3D printed alumina amorphous gyroid structures. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The new method developed has been highlighted by various 3D printing new agency as an important development in the field. 
URL https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/3d-printed-ceramic-butterfly-wings-add-color-photonic-research-1...
 
Title Composition comprising a three-dimensional amorphous trivalent network 
Description The invention provides a composition comprising a three-dimensional amorphous trivalent network which reduces the number of modes within a particular frequency range (?c±??). The invention also extends to use of the composition as a structural colouration material and a paint, dye or fabric comprising the structural colouration material. Additionally, the invention extends to use of the composition as an optical filter or as a supporting matrix configured to define at least one optical component, such as a frequency filter, light-guiding structure for a telecommunications application, an optical computer chip, an optical micro-circuit or a laser comprising the supporting matrix. 
IP Reference WO2017134424 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2017
Licensed No
Impact PCT/GB2017/050240
 
Title Hyperuniform disordered material with perforated resonant structure 
Description An optical structure includes a Hyperuniform Disordered Solid ("HUDS") structure, a photonic crystal waveguide, and a perforated resonant structure. The HUDS structure is formed by walled cells organized in a lattice. The photonic crystal waveguide is configured to guide an optical signal and includes an unperforated central strip extended lengthwise and three rows of circular perforations disposed on each side of the unperforated central strip. The perforated resonant structure is formed along a boundary of the photonic crystal waveguide. The perforated resonant structure is configured to be resonant at a frequency band that is a subset of a bandwidth of the optical signal. The perforated resonant structure includes an outer segment, a middle segment, and an inner segment of the circular perforations that are offset away from the unperforated central strip at a first, second, and third offset distance. 
IP Reference US9519104 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2016
Licensed Yes
Impact Etaphase Inc. has licensed this patent and is currently employing it in the design of high-efficiency optical transducers.
 
Title Optical Structures and Hyperuniform Disordered Material 
Description An optical structure and a system includes a Hyperuniform Disordered Solid ("HUDS") structure and a waveguide. The HUDS structure is formed by walled cells organized in a lattice. 
IP Reference US20170315292 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2017
Licensed Yes
Impact PAtent assigned to Etaphase Inc., a startup company pursuing photonic integrated circuits.
 
Description Digital Design Weekend in the V&A museum 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact exhibition at the V&A Digital Design weekend, with UG and PG students describing their activities, and explaining the current research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.vam.ac.uk/shop/whatson/index/view/id/2662/event/Digital-Design-Weekend-2016/dt/2016-09-2...
 
Description FAST-TRACKING RESEARCH EXPLOITATION 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The event was organised by the University of Surrey Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) team with the goal of expediting the process of research exploitation and enabling relationships that will significantly enhance the reach and impact of EPSRC funded research. The event has showcased a number of current projects and developments resulting from research funded by EPSRC and the PI, Dr Marian Florescu has presented two projects: "Hyperuniform Disordered Materials: A flexible Platform for Integrated Photonic Circuits" and "Mimicking Natural Structural Colour: Amorphous Photonic Networks".

The event included discussion between academics and the business representatives on various mechanisms for business engagement and collaboration with the University, together with a showcase of current projects and developments resulting from research and has provide valuable networking for local businesses, industry partners and researchers and to explore future opportunities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.surrey.ac.uk/feps/news/events/faculty/accessing_innovation.htm
 
Description FESTIVAL OF RESEARCH: 'FROM THEORY INTO PRACTICE' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Over 100 University of Surrey staff, undergraduate and PRG students attended the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences' first 'Festival of Research'. The Festival has provided a platform to showcase the scientific research and has involved a number of presentations, panel discussions and exhibitions across all departments as well as a Three Minute Research competition.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.surrey.ac.uk/feps/news/events/faculty/festival_of_research_programme.htm
 
Description Press Release from Phys.org 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Our publication "Local self-uniformity in photonic networks" has attracted great interest from both the scientific community and the industry community.
Phys.org has published a press release about our work titled "Researchers discover method to replicate nature's ability to reflect light to develop innovative materials". Phys.org is a science, research and technology news website known for updates of scientific breakthroughs and press releases from major research labs and universities across the world.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://phys.org/news/2017-02-method-replicate-nature-ability-materials.html;
 
Description Press release from 3D Printing Industry 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Our publication "Local self-uniformity in photonic networks" has attracted great interest from both the scientific community and the industry community.
3D Printing Industry has published a press release about our work titled "3D printed ceramic "butterfly wings" add color to photonic research".

3D Printing Industry (3DPI) is a global media company providing a dedicated resource for anyone interested in 3D printing and 3D scanning.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/3d-printed-ceramic-butterfly-wings-add-color-photonic-research-1...
 
Description Press release from 3DPrint.com 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Our publication "Local self-uniformity in photonic networks" has attracted great interest from both the scientific community and the industry community.
3DPrint.com has published a press release about our work titled "University of Surrey Replicates Butterfly Wing Structures Using 3D Printed Ceramics". The press release included a brief interview with Dr Marian Florescu.
3DPrint.com is a news organisation that provides coverage of the latest news from the 3D printing industry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.3dprint.com/166231/surrey-butterfly-wing-3d-print/
 
Description Press release from Optics.org 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Our publication "Local self-uniformity in photonic networks" has attracted great interest from both the scientific community and the industry community.
Optics.org has also published a press release on our work titled "Replicating nature's ability to reflect light promises new photonics materials".
Optics.org is news website that provides coverage of the optics & photonics industry
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://optics.org/news/8/2/30
 
Description Scientific Society Lecture, Royal Grammar School Guildford 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Marian Florescu has given an invited Scientific Society Lecture at Royal Grammar School in Guildford on 7.03.2018. The lecture was very well attended and receivedby 6th form students and academics staff.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Speaker at Make:Shift conference, Manchester 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Panel member at Make:Shift to discuss the role of artists in residency in a research lab, and the reciprocal knowledge and practice exchange.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/makeshift
 
Description Three talks from our group at UTOPIA festival in Somerset house 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We gave three talks to present to the public our scientific activities, one by me, one by Soraya Caixeiro (DTG student) and one by Francisco Fernandez (visiting professor).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.somersethouse.org.uk/whats-on/utopia-2016
 
Description Welcome Week Talk: "Soft disordered lasers, when nano photonics meets biomaterials" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact As part of the Welcome Week for the new undergraduate students at Surrey, we have organised an invited talk by Dr Riccardo Sapienza, titled "Soft disordered lasers, when nano photonics meets biomaterials". Dr Riccardo Sapienza is our collaborator on the "Hyperuniform Disordered Photonic Materials". The talk has been heavily attended by both undergraduate and PGR students and has resulted in an increased interest in the subject area. For example, the PI, Dr Marian Florescu has received a large number of enquires from the students about the possible projects in this area and is currently supervising three final year projects on related topics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Workshop "Correlated Disorder, Hyperuniformity and Local Self-Uniformity: From Biomimetics to Photonic Integrated Circuits", 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop "Correlated Disorder, Hyperuniformity and Local Self-Uniformity: From Biomimetics to Photonic Integrated Circuits", University of Surrey, June 2018.

Brief description: a two-day workshop held at the University of Surrey from 25th -26th June 2018. The event was organized by Dr Marian Florescu (University of Surrey), Dr Riccardo Sapienza (Imperial College) and Prof Stephen Sweeny (University of Surrey). The workshop brought together 35 international experts to explore the consequences of hyperuniformity and local self-uniformity across diverse research fields and to unravel the fundamental impact of correlated disorder concepts on biomimetic and nanophotonic applications. The topics covered by the workshop ranged from fundamental aspects of localization in hyperuniform structures to fabrication challenges and applications including photonic circuits, solar cell absorbers and integrated spectrometers. The workshop attracted presenters from seven countries and all the key groups in the field were represented. In addition to the various groups working in this area in the UK (Surrey, Imperial, Southampton and Cambridge), there were representatives from four groups in Germany, three groups in Spain, three groups in Switzerland, three groups in the US, two groups in France and two groups in the Netherlands. The workshop included 20 talks and 10 poster presentations. The poster session included presentations from PhD students, undergraduate students and industry participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.surrey.ac.uk/events/20180625-workshop-correlated-disorder-hyperuniformity-and-local-self...