In my PhD research I worked on extending our theoretical understanding of how light waves interact with nanoscale structures of matter. My motivation for this was primarily to increase the efficiency of photovoltaic solar cells. Towards the end of the PhD we also applied our insights to the “perfect” absorption of narrow wavelength bands of light (a specific colour).

The findings of our research are mostly captured in my PhD thesis (download here, or lookup individual papers on GoogleScholar) with a final paper published in Nature Energy (available here “A 90-nm-thick graphene metamaterial for strong and extremely broadband absorption of unpolarized light” and in free to access preprint here or from ResearchGate).

These studies were all enabled by a software package that we developed as part of our research and named EMUstack. The package builds on a unique mathematical formulation and was published as an open-source package, as described in the following:

After completing my PhD (and a short Postdoctoral Research Associate contract) at The University of Sydney I spent eighteen months at Macquarie University as an Associate Lecturer. The focus of this appointment was to create an open-source software package for the study of Stimulated Brillouin Scattering (SBS). This is an effect where two high powered light waves (typically from lasers) interact to physically distort the material they are traveling through in such a coherent way that they interact with sound waves.

This work culminated in the publication of the open-source NumBAT package and a journal paper that clarifies numerous points of confusion in the SBS literature. These are available through the links below.

While I am no longer actively engaged in photonics research, both EMUstack and NumBAT continue to be used by research groups around the world.