Two Optoelectronics Research Centre professors receive part of €12m ERC research funding
The two researchers are known for toroidal light pulses, ultrashort pulse intections with matter.
ORC researchers Peter Kazansky and Nikolay Zheludev. (Images: ORC)
Peter Kazansky and Nikolay Zheludev, two professors at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), are among five researchers from the University of Southampton (Southampton, UK) to have won the European Research Council's (ERC) Advanced Grants totalling more than €12 million.
One grant went to Peter Kazansky, head of the Physical Optics group at the ORC, who has been awarded €2.5 million for his project entitled ENIGMA (ENgIneerinG MAterial properties with advanced laser direct writing). The project will examine the interaction between intense ultrashort light pulses and matter at, or below, the wavelength scale, reaching states of matter found only deep in the cores of the Earth and other planets.
"The ENIGMA project will push the frontiers of laser material processing to an unprecedented level of control and will develop a novel family of devices that will feed into the future of optics, electronics and computing," says Kazansky.
Flying toroid light pulses
Another grant went to Nikolay Zheludev, Deputy Director of the ORC and head of the Nanophotonics and Metamaterials research group, who has been awarded €2.57 million for his FLEET (FLying ElectromagnEtic Toroids) project, which will study the generation, detection, and interaction with matter of flying toroids, a type of light pulse never experimentally studied before.
"This project represents an exciting opportunity to advance optics and electromagnetism in a radically new direction since Hertz, Marconi, Popov, and Tesla developed the groundbreaking technology for generating, detecting, and communicating with transverse electromagnetic waves," notes Zheludev.
The other three professors receiving ERC Advanced Grants from the University are Lajos Hanzo, Electronics and Computer Science, for his QuantCom research project; Malcolm Levitt, School of Chemistry, for his FunMagResBeacons (Functionalised Magnetic Resonance Beacons for Enhanced Spectroscopy and Imaging) project; and Tony Brown, School of Geography and Environment, for a project entitled TerrACE, looking into the long-term creation, maintenance, and use of ancient agricultural terraces.
David Payne, director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre, notes that the grants are without predetermined priorities, meanign that the research investigator has an unprecedented amount of freedom in terms of research direction.