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Soft Matter Photonics

About us

The Soft Matter Photonics Group was established in 2013 by Professors Stephen Morris and Steve Elston. Our research focuses on the design and development of new optoelectronic and photonics technologies that are based primarily upon soft-materials such as liquid crystals and polymers. In recent years, we have also been developing fabrication techniques dedicated specifically to the design and manufacture of next-generation soft optoelectronic devices. The research sits at the interface between engineering, materials science and physics and includes the development of new electro-optic effects and materials for photonics applications. Our research is largely experimental in nature, but is also underpinned by theoretical studies and device modelling led by Professor Steve Elston. At present, the focus of the research group is on technologies such as:

  • Thin Film Diffractive Optic Elements,
  • Analogue Fast-Switching Phase Modulators,
  • Laser Speckle Reducers,
  • Thin Film lasers,
  • Smart Windows,
  • Concentrators.

as well as manufacturing techniques such as:

  • Direct laser writing
  • Drop-on-demand printing¬†
  • Polymer Templating

The research group is located in the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. The laboratories include a wet lab facility for the preparation of liquid crystal and polymer materials/devices, an optical polarising microscopy suite equipped with optical polarising microscopes, fluorescence microscopes, atomic force microscope, UV-vis spectrometers and refractometers. There are three laser laboratories (equipped with a variety of laser technologies) and one printing suite equipped with a Microfab JetLab II printer as well as a range of 3D printers. We also have access to a suite of other facilities including e-beam lithography, SEM, TEM, ALD, and PECVD.

The Soft Matter Photonics Group is also member of the Oxford Photonics Network and the Oxford Space Network.