Institute  – link

The University of Oxford is widely considered to be one of the world’s great Universities, and is routinely ranked amongst the very best Universities in the world. The University currently stands 1st amongst all UK Universities in Quality of Research Outputs (UK REF 2014). Oxford is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading science universities.

The scale of research activity at Oxford is substantial, involving the four Academic Divisions, Continuing Education, Academic Services and University Collections (ASUC), more than 70 departments, the Colleges, 1632 academic staff (teaching and research), 3507 research and research support staff, and 4,637 postgraduate research students, supported by Oxford’s research administrators.

The University has been successful in gaining the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award. The award recognises the systems and practices we have in place to support researchers’ career and professional development in line with the national Research Concordat.

The group with which the consortium will collaborate will be carrying out the research is Bhaskaran’s Lab in the Oxford Materials Department within the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division (MPLSD). The Department has an outstanding record for world class research. In the UK Government’s most recent assessment of research excellence in UK universities, the 2014 REF, Oxford Materials was one of the top-rated materials departments in the country Its vibrant research school consists of around 25 academic staff, approximately 150 research students and about 80 post-doctoral staff.

The University of Oxford is committed to equality and diversity and the Department of Materials was awarded Silver Athena SWAN status in August 2012. This is a UK initiative that recognises and celebrates good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology in higher education and research.

People – link

  • Prof. Harish Bhaskaran is presently Associate Professor of Materials at the University of Oxford, is an EPSRC Fellow in Manufacturing and leads the Advanced Nanoscale Engineering Group. Previously he was a Senior Lecturer in Engineering at the University of Exeter. Having worked in the industry (IBM Research – Zurich) and in four different countries, his network of professional collaborators and contacts has a global reach. He holds many patents, and achieved the current world-records with his design and fabrication of atomic force microscopy type probes with the highest current density as well as the lowest recorded wear. One of his inventions (PtSi Tips1) is now commercialized, and his experience in aspects of translating research to products would be of value to the proposed programme of work. He has won many invention achievement awards and an early career award as a research scientist at IBM. He serves on the EPSRC Early Career Forum in Manufacturing Research, and at Oxford supervises several doctoral students, three postdoctoral fellows and one Marie Curie Fellow. He obtained the PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park.
    The proposed project is directly based on several ideas led by him and his collaborators (both Prof Wright and Prof Pernice who are on this consortium). His original proposal of the photonic memory concept with Prof Pernice was ranked among the 20 most read articles in Applied Physics Letters in 2012, and an Editor’s 50th anniversary pick – and since then been demonstrated (Nature Photonics, 2015) collaboratively with Prof Pernice and Wright. His work on phase change displays was one of the most widely profiled articles with features in Wired, The Economist, BBC and hundreds more (Nature 2014), and has since been spun-out into a new company with a significant investment (Bodle Technologies Limited). He serves as both the Founding Director and Chief Scientific Officer of this company, while also collaborating extensively with semiconductor and display firms around the world. His work has won numerous awards, including the IDTechEx Academic R&D award (Santa Clara, USA 2014) and the EPCOS Best Presentation (2009 and 2015).
    He holds over 25 patents, of which over half have been licensed.
    Prof Bhaskaran will be assisted in Fun-COMP by Dr. Nathan Youngblood and Dr. Zengguang Cheng, along with PhD student Xuan Li.
  • Dr. Zengguang Cheng joined Bhaskaran’s group in September 2015 to work on flexible electronics based on Phase Change Materials. He obtained his PhD degree in China with researches on synthesis and fabrication of Graphene FET and its biological applications (09/2009-01/2015). From Jan. 2013 to Sep. 2014, he was a visiting scholar in Harvard University to work on syringe injectable electronics and nanowire devices. He has broad research interests from low dimensional materials, novel device fabrication to flexible and wearable electronics.
  • Dr. Nathan Youngblood is working on smart window technology and photonic devices using phase-change materials. He received a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota with research focusing on the integration of 2D materials with silicon photonics for optoelectronic applications. His research interests include integrated photonics, high-speed optoelectronics, novel computing methods, and nanoelectronics
  • Dr. Wen Zhou is working on the silicon photonic devices and systems based on the Phase Change Materials for in-memory photonic computing. He received his PhD degree in Electronic Engineering from The Chinese University of Hong Kong with research on the integrated photonics, mid-infrared silicon photonics, and hyperuniform disordered photonics. His research interests include silicon photonics, photonic computing, emerging phase-change materials, and novel computing architectures.
  • Ms. Xuan Li is PhD student who obtained a Masters Degree (topping her class in Engineering) from the prestigious National University of Defense Technology in China, whilst working on a project on phase change memories.
  • Dr Nik Farmakidis joined the Fun-COMP project as part of his DPhil research, having obtained his Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University. Nik has worked extensively in Fun-COMP on the development of plasmonically-enhanced photonic memory and arithmetic devices, including dual-mode (optical-electrical) types
  • Dr Mengyun Wang joined the Oxford group in October 2020. She received her Ph.D. degree in Electronic Engineering from Tohoku University with research on the development of light-addressable gas sensors based on metal oxides and field-effect structures. Within Fun-COMP she is working on the fabrication and characterisation of non-von Neumann photonic devices.
  • Yuhan He joined the Oxford team as a DPhil student in January 2021 and is working in Fun-COMP on integrated photonics for neuromorphic applications.