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Metamaterials for sensing & security

Materials for acoustic, biological, chemical and electromagnetic applications to protect goods and people

Our expertise in acoustic and electromagnetic metamaterials research enables us to develop new materials that can find application in protecting goods and people from external impact. This can range from civil applications (theft, noise, gas protection) to vital developments in the defence and security sector for our government.

For example, our researchers

  • advance sensor systems to improve sensitivity for detecting physical, chemical, and biological entities at the micro/nanoscale;
  • study the fundamental physics of acoustic, thermal and electrical transport within materials and across interfaces to investigate potential for active sensing
  • use chalcogenide phase-change ('active') metamaterials to deliver active optical metasurfaces that can work from the UV right out to the THz, and with applications ranging from LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) to chemical sensing;
  • develop and study structured electromagnetic metasurfaces and 3D metamaterials and composites (including magnetic composites) that exhibit novel and valuable phenomena such as
    • control of energy and data propagation;
    • enhancement of the performance of detectors and antennas (reducing size and weight, increasing efficiency)
    • control of field distribution (signature control) and beam steering;
    • radiation filtering and absorption;
    • for imaging and sensing
  • use metamaterial concepts ('meta-atoms') to produce novel Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) tags to protect retail merchandise with metal packaging from theft;
  • study acoustic metamaterials and metasurfaces to control the propagation of sound in air and underwater through absorption, filtering or channelling;
  • use structured surfaces to reduce or filter the noise associated with hydrodynamic noise.

If you have any questions or ideas to explore, don't hesitate to get in touch:

Prof Janet Anders: Quantum thermodynamics: nano-machines; data storage; computation and communication; diagnostic healthcare
Prof Euan Hendry: THz materials, imaging and spectroscopy; nonlinear optics
Prof Robert Hicken: Development of security tags for retail
Prof Alastair Hibbins: RF and microwave metamaterials and composites; antenna ground planes; acoustic metamaterials
Dr Ian Hooper: RF and microwave metamaterials
Dr David Horsell: Acoustic and thermal devices
Dr Simon Horsley: Theory of electromagnetic and acoustic materials
Prof Feodor Ogrin: Magnetic materials for microwave devices and antennas; magnetic material simulation
Dr Alex Powell: Metamaterials for sensing and security; RF and microwave metamaterials
Prof Roy Sambles: Electromagnetic and acoustic materials
Dr Tim Starkey: Acoustic and elastic metamaterials
Dr Nikita Toropov: Optical sensors
Prof Frank Vollmer: Single-molecule biosensors
Prof David Wright: Active/Reconfigurable metasurfaces; phase-change materials