Design Engineering

Dalhousie University collaborates on $1.62M light manipulation project

Devin Jones   

General Energy metamaterials

The Mitacs-supported project will build a research partnership focused on metamaterials science.


Photo courtesy of Mitacs.


Dalhousie University, Metamaterial Technologies Inc. (MTI) and Mitacs recently announced a $1.62 million collaboration to explore a burgeoning area of light manipulation.

The partnership is focused on the relationship between the science of metamaterials and electricity, electromagnetic technology and wireless communication. Driven by an understanding of the nature of light and what is possible to do with it, metamaterials makes it possible to manipulate light in ways that have never been achievable in nature before. This project will span different areas of the application of metamaterials.

“Our partnership with Mitacs and Metamaterial Technologies Inc. allows us to recruit and train a number of new PhDs in advanced materials and nanotechnology and conduct the type of research that has the potential to disrupt the way the world works today,” said Dr. Alice Aiken, Vice President Research and Innovation, Dalhousie University.

One of those applications is the absorption enhancement of ultra-thin solar cells using MetaSOLAR, a solar panel built for solar-powered aerial vehicles. It will collect solar light from all angles and absorb it across the most useful spectral parts. The technology will be ideal for lightweight aircraft and vehicles, where efficiency and weight are of prime importance.


Additionally, a project called LEDsThis project will investigate light emission enhancement and an LED emission enhancer that can be mounted on existing LED sources to optimize brightness.

“We believe that the partnership with Dalhousie University will lead to new breakthroughs in metamaterials, applications and nanofabrication techniques that will reshape how we think about optics,” said Dr. George Palikaras, Founder and CEO Metamaterial Technologies Inc.

Optical filters developed around the science of metamaterials are also being discussed, including the development of next-generation optics for augmented reality applications. According to a press release “It will bring together experts from the fields of materials science, chemical engineering, nanotechnology, photonics and metamaterials.” 


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