Using tiny particles to realise big ideas: Prof Nikolay Zheludev

A pioneer in the interlinked fields of functional metamaterials and photonics, Prof Nikolay Zheludev relishes his life in research.

“Research is an extremely competitive profession where claiming new results that are recognised by the global research community is very satisfying,” says the founding Director of NTU’s Centre for Disruptive Photonic Technologies and founding Co-Director of The Photonics Institute at NTU.

His outstanding work has been recognised by Singapore’s funding agencies with a succession of large research grants—the latest being funding of up to S$15.6 million (~US$11.3 million) over five years that follows from a five-year S$17.3 million (~US$12.5 million) research programme on disruptive photonic technologies awarded in 2012. Bringing together seven scientific teams from across NTU under a project titled “Quantum and topological nanophotonics”, the research on fundamentally new states of light and matter paves the way for functional materials as well as novel photonic circuitry and optical components.

In honour of his pioneering role in the closely interlinked fields of metamaterials and nanophotonics, Prof Zheludev, who is also Deputy Director of Southampton University’s Optoelectronics Research Centre and Director of its Centre for Photonic Metamaterials, received the prestigious 2015 Thomas Young Medal and Prize from the renowned Institute of Physics in London.

More recently in 2018, Prof Zheludev was elected a Fellow of the UK’s distinguished Royal Society, joining the ranks of eminent scientists like Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking.

Apart from nanophotonics and metamaterials, Prof Zheludev also studies the electrodynamics of complex electromagnetic fields, optical superoscillations and new polarisation phenomena.

The article appeared first in NTU’s research & innovation magazine Pushing Frontiers (issue #14, December 2018).

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