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ORC researcher awarded €1.5M to explore a new way of manipulating light

Date Announced: 12 Sep 2018

ORC, Southampton -- Dr Massimiliano Guasoni, a Marie-Curie Fellow at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), has been awarded a €1.5M European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant to develop a project exploring a new way to manipulate light.

These highly competitive ERC Starting grants have been designed by the ERC to support outstanding researchers of any nationality, and are among the most prestigious and sought-after European grants.

The five-year grant will enable Massimiliano to build a research team who will explore a new way to manipulate light through the project: “Multimode Light Shaping: from optical fibres to nanodevices” (MODES).

Circular shape

Massimiliano explains: “When we think of a light beam, such as that generated by a common laser pointer, we can see it has a circular shape when the beam is projected onto a wall. Surprisingly, however, this is not the only way in which light photons can dispose into space.

There are an infinite number of different beams characterised by a specific, different disposition into space. These different beams may interact with each other, giving rise to a plethora of unknown phenomena. These interactions are extremely complex and, as yet, unclear.” 

The research team will aim to find out how to control these interactions and exploit them to generate a novel disruptive technology for use in a range of innovative devices such as the ultrafast internet and efficient eco-friendly light sources. 

Professor Sir David Payne, Director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre, said: “It is wonderful to see early career researchers at the ORC achieving such highly-competitive awards. Massimiliano is well-placed to recruit an exceptional team in order to explore this area of research and its implications for use in new devices.”

The project will be undertaken at the ORC in collaboration with several groups: Optical Fibre Communications, Professors David Richardson and Periklis Petropoulos; Computational Nonlinear Photonics, Dr Peter Horak; Silica Fibre Fabrication, Professor Jayanta Sahu; and Silicon Photonics, Professor Graham Reed.

'An honour'

Dr Massimiliano Guasoni said: “It is a real honour to be awarded such a sought-after grant from the ERC, which will bring together expertise from some of the most well-known research groups in photonics. It is testimony to the support from the ORC and University that early career researchers like myself are successful in our applications. I am looking forward to working with colleagues to explore the potential of developing new disruptive technologies.” The project will be recruiting both PhD students and Postdoctoral researchers.


Optoelectronics Research Centre,
Building 46, University of Southampton,
Highfield Campus,
Hampshire, SO17 1BJ.
Phone: +44 (0)23 8059 4521

E-mail: light@orc.soton.ac.uk

Web Site: www.orc.soton.ac.uk

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