Developing ultra-high resolution optical meta-surface sensors


The project aims to develop methods to improve the sensitivity of optical metasurfaces for the detection of chemical and biological markers. By tailoring a high-precision optical interferometric sensing solution to the optical properties of a metasurface under-test, the project will improve the sensitivity of these devices, developing a new range of targeted ultra-precise metasurface sensors.

Research fields

Engineering in Physics;Photonics, Lasers and Nonlinear Optics

Required background

A background in optics and/or digital signal processing is required.


The use of functionalised meta-surfaces opens an avenue for flexible, targeted, and accurate sensing of chemical and biological markers. These surfaces can be engineered to respond to the presence of specific molecular or biological signatures – resulting in a change in their optical absorption and dispersion profiles. 

To improve the detection of changes in a metasurface's optical properties, we can utilize techniques and methods from precision optical interferometry. At CGA’s Applied Metrology Laboratories, we have been pioneering new techniques that allow for simple optical setups to measure extremely small changes in dispersion using Digital Interferometry - a technique that combines optical interferometry with advanced digital signal processing.  

In this project, we aim to integrate the device-level design and fabrication of metasurface materials, with precision interferometric methods to develop new metasurface sensors with unprecedented sensitivity. The project can be tailored around fabrication, optical characterisation, digital signal processing or computational modelling of this complex, multi-faceted challenge.

Updated:  15 July 2024/Responsible Officer:  Science Web/Page Contact:  Science Web