Dr. Michael Mazilu

Senior Lecturer
Research Theme:
Condensed Matter and Photonics
Research Group:
St. Andrews
Email address:
Telephone number:
+44 (0)1334 463210
School of Physics & Astronomy, Physical Science Building, North Haugh, St Andrews, KY16 9SS, United Kingdom

Research interests

Dr Mazilu has pioneered a novel way to describe general light-matter interactions.  This approach is best understood as a natural decomposition of the light field into independent non-interfering partial fields, which I term Optical Eigenmodes (OEi). The aim of his research is to create new theoretical tools and to deliver a profound and insightful understanding of the photonic modes within the general context of modern applied optics. The plan is to develop the OEi approach into an advanced photonic tool applicable to a range of problems in the fields of optics, imaging, optical manipulation, plasmonics, cavity opto-mechanics, quantum optics, ultra-fast photonics, and non-linear optics.

The optical eigenmode method offers a new approach to numerical computation of photonic interactions. In effect, this approach allows the description of the light field as a superposition of orthogonal solutions specifically calculated for each device and for each interaction, eg. momentum transfer, coupling or absorption. This description greatly simplifies the way we understand any given interaction. Numerically, these eigenmodes can be calculated directly, enabling a quick and insightful visualisation of all fundamental interaction between any photonic object and the electromagnetic field, without having to consider specific illumination or boundary conditions. In effect, every possible interaction is defined by its eigenmodes. The strength of the interaction is determined by the overlap with the emission eigenmodes. For example, consider the momentum eigenmodes of a prism shaped microparticle. Here, using the OEi method, we can numerically determine the beam profile delivering the best tractor beam (a beam that pulls the microparticle towards the source). The vision is to expand this approach to a larger number of cases and ultimately develop a generic numerical toolbox that can be used for photonic interaction modeling, medical spectroscopy and photonic micro-fabrication design.

Research outputs

  1. Nonlinear Optical Eigenmodes; perturbative approach
    Graeme Docherty-Walthew, Michael Mazilu and Kyle Ballantine, : Proceedings of SPIE (2019)
  2. Breaking the symmetry of momentum conservation using evanescent acoustic fields DOI
    Michael Mazilu, Andriejus Demčenko, Rab Wilson, Julien Reboud and Jonathan Cooper, Physical Review Letters, 121, 24 (2018)
  3. Wide-field multiphoton imaging through scattering media without correction DOI
    Adrià Escobet-Montalbán, Roman Spesyvtsev, Mingzhou Chen, Wardiya Afshar Saber, Melissa Andrews, C. Simon Herrington, Michael Mazilu and Kishan Dholakia, Science Advances, 4, 10 (2018)
  4. Ultrasonic waves in uniaxially stressed multilayered and 1-D phononic structures DOI
    Andriejus Demčenko, Rab Wilson, Jonathan Cooper, Michael Mazilu and Arno Volker, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 144, 1 , p. 81-91 (2018)
  5. Hyperelastic tuning of one dimensional phononic band-gaps using directional stress DOI
    Andriejus Demčenko, Michael Mazilu, Rab Wilson, Arno W.F. Volker and Jonathan M. Cooper, IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, 65, 6 , p. 1056-1061 (2018)
  6. Light-sheet microscopy with attenuation-compensated propagation-invariant beams DOI
    Jonathan Nylk, Kaley Allyn McCluskey, Miguel Preciado, Michael Mazilu, Zhengyi Yang, Francis James Gunn-Moore, Sanya Aggarwal, Javier Ananda Tello, David Ellard Keith Ferrier and Kishan Dholakia, Science Advances, 4, 4 (2018)
  7. Modal beam splitter DOI
    Michael Mazilu, Tom Vettenburg, Martin Ploschner, Ewan Malcolm Wright and Kishan Dholakia, Scientific Reports, 7 (2017)
  8. Making the most of interference
    Graham David Bruce, Nikolaus Metzger, Roman Spesyvtsev, Bill Miller, Gareth T. Maker, Graeme Malcolm, Michael Mazilu and Kishan Dholakia, speckle metrology and its application to cold atoms (2017)
  9. Harnessing speckle for a sub-femtometre resolved broadband wavemeter and laser stabilization DOI
    Nikolaus Klaus Metzger, Roman Spesyvtsev, Graham D. Bruce, Bill Miller, Gareth T. Maker, Graeme Malcolm, Michael Mazilu and Kishan Dholakia, Nature Communications, 8 (2017)
  10. Dynamics of optically levitated microparticles in vacuum placed in 2D and 3D optical potentials possessing orbital angular momentum DOI
    Yoshihiko Arita, Michael Mazilu, Mingzhou Chen, Tom Vettenburg, Juan M. Aunõn, Ewan M. Wright, Kishan Dholakia, Takashige Omatsu (Editor) and Ryuji Morita (Editor), : Proceedings of SPIE (2017)
Last updated: 06 Mar 2019 at 10:14