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Soft Matter Photonics

About us

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 are also developing fabrication techniques dedicated specifically to the design and manufacture of next-generation soft optoelectronic devices and platforms. 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 Phase Modulators,
  • Laser Speckle Reducers,
  • Thin Film lasers,
  • Smart Windows.

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 fluorescence microscopes, atomic force microscope, UV-vis spectrometers and refractometers. There are three laser laboratories and one printing suite equipped with a Microfab printer and 3D printers. We also have access to a suite of other facilities including e-beam lithography, SEM, TEM, etc.

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