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PH5025   Nanophotonics

Academic year(s): 2019-2020

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 15

ECTS credits : 7

Level : SCQF level 11

Semester: 1

Availability restrictions: Available only to students in a photonics taught postgraduate programme or the final year of an MPhys Honours Programme

Planned timetable: 12 noon Mon, Wed, Fri

Nanophotonics deals with structured materials on the nanoscale for the manipulation of light. Photonic crystals and plasmonic metamaterials are hot topics in contemporary photonics, and form part of the School's research programme. The properties of these materials can be designed to a significant extent via their structure. Many of the properties of these nanostructured materials can be understood from their dispersion diagram or optical band-structure, which is a core tool that will be explored in the module. Familiar concepts such as optical waveguides and cavities, multilayer mirrors and interference effects will be used to explain more complex features such as slow light propagation and high Q cavities in photonic crystal waveguides and supercontinuum generation in photonic crystal fibres. Propagating and localized plasmons will be explained and will include the novel effects of super-lensing and advanced phase control in metamaterials.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Postgraduates: students should be familiar with Maxwell's Equations of Electromagnetism in differential form.. Undergraduates: before taking this module you must take PH3061 and ( take PH3081 or take PH3082 ) and ( take PH4027 or take PH4034 or take PH4035 )

Anti-requisite(s): You cannot take this module if you take PH5183

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 3 lectures/tutorials (x 10 weeks)

Scheduled learning hours: 30

Guided independent study hours: 120

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 2-hour Written Examination = 80%, Coursework = 20%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 80%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 20%

Re-assessment: Oral Re-assessment, capped at grade 7


Module coordinator: Professor A Di Falco
Module teaching staff: Dr A Di Falco, Dr L O'Faolain

Additional information from school

Learning Outcomes


Students will be able to:


  • Understand and design basic integrated optics devices, including waveguides and cavities
  • Use coupled mode theory in time domain to model the interaction of light in integrated devices
  • Understand the physics and application of photonic crystals, plasmonic nanostructures and metamaterials




Topics covered include:


  • Light propagation in optical waveguides and cavities
  • Coupled mode theory
  • Photonic crystals
  • Applications of photonic crystal technology
  • Optics of metals
  • Surface plasmon polaritons
  • Localised plasmons
  • Applications of nanoplasmonics
  • Metamaterials and applications



Additional information on continuous assessment etc.


The continuous assessment will be based on 3 assessed tutorials. The solutions will be discussed in class.


Recommended Books


John D. Joannopoulos, Photonic Crystals: Molding the flow of light, Princeton University Press, Princeton (2008).

Stefan Meier, Plasmonics: Fundamentals and applications, Springer, New York (2007).


General information


Please also read the general information in the School's honours handbook that is available via