Research Scientist (Mitacs)

Metamaterial Technologies Inc. - Dartmouth, NS (8 months ago)

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Are you a PhD graduate looking to be part of an innovative and entrepreneurial team?

This is not your ordinary research job. You will bridge the gap between academia, industry partners and organizations! By working closely with members of Dalhousie University and MTI,you will deliver high‐quality research in an extraordinary field.

About MTI:
Metamaterial Technologies Inc. (MTI) is a smart materials and photonics company that is redefining the way we use, interact, and benefit from light.

We have embarked upon a new age of multifunctional materials—also known as metamaterials—with engineered properties that go far beyond what is found in nature. Our cutting-edge patented platform technology has been developed using a variety of smart materials that are capable of drastically altering the way light can be manipulated. These thin-films can absorb, block or enhance light, allowing us to “go beyond” what was once thought possible.

MTI specializes in metamaterial research, nanofabrication, and computational electromagnetics. Through the brilliance of our engineers, we have developed a wide array of metamaterial applications that encompass several industries, including aerospace and defense, healthcare, energy, education, and clean-tech. MTI is first in class when it comes to harnessing and mastering light. And through our innovation we have attracted international attention, because our ground-breaking technology is leaps and bounds ahead of its time.

MTI is headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia with global offices in London, England and Pleasanton, California.

We are proud to have received numerous awards including “Innovative Business of the year” award by Halifax’s Chamber of Commerce in 2016, “Employer of the year” award by Dalhousie University in 2017 and the “Red Herring” top 100 award in 2017 and many more!

About the role:
This is a joint research program between Dalhousie University and Metamaterial Technologies Inc. (MTI), funded by Mitacs Accelerate. The program runs in Halifax for 3.5 years from March 2019. This largest ever program of its kind in Atlantic Canada.

We are seeking 15 highly motivated interns (graduate students and postdocs) with interests in computational electromagnetics, metamaterials, light-matter interactions, radio-wave sensing, nanophotonics and nanofabrication. The interns will split their time between Dalhousie University and MTI.

The program aims to explore and develops innovative designs of resonant structures and novel metamaterial systems within the limits of advanced fabrication capabilities for next-generation light harvesting, optical imaging/filtering, thermal management systems, and enhanced spectroscopy tools in optical and radio-wave frequencies.

The manipulation of light has been a key driving factor in human progress since the beginning of our species. Each industrial advance in the world has successively become more and more dependent on the manipulation of light and concomitant advances in our understanding of related phenomena: advances and discoveries in electricity, electromagnetic technology, wireless communications, lasers, and computers have all been driven by new understandings regarding the nature of light and what it is possible to do with it.

Advances in lithography and fabrication techniques in the last few decades have enabled us to control the optical properties of materials at the nanoscale, resulting in the emerging field of metamaterials. As the material size is reduced to deep subwavelength scales, novel designs have been proposed and demonstrated to enhance the light-matter interaction and enable efficient integration of ultra-compact and functional components into optical and electrical systems. As a result, many novel physical phenomena in this field have been introduced with application areas ranging from medicine to telecommunication, from solid-state lighting to spectroscopy. However, these studies so far were limited to lab-scale demonstrations and required expensive nanofabrication tools. There is a clear need for inexpensive fabrication techniques that will enable large-scale implementation of metamaterial-based new technologies.

MTI has recently developed an innovative technology for producing photonic metamaterials using a low cost, roll-to-roll process. This unique lithography technique provides a distinct capability to realize cost-effective, large-scale fabrication of flexible, nanostructured ultra-thin films for various new technologies. The program will also address scientific challenges induced by the fabrication limitations and develop alternative design solutions for improved device performance.

The program is divided into 5 research areas:
  • Narrowband Laser Filtering Systems. Nano-structured thin film materials for transparent, ultra thin optical filters will be developed for applications in laser protection in aviation.
  • Ultra-light-weight Photovoltaic Systems with high efficiencies. Highly efficient flexible solar panels for application in aerial vehicles, with improved overall efficiency of ultra-thin cells by collecting solar light from all angles and enhancing absorption across the most useful spectral regions.
  • Efficient Light-Emitting Diodes. Optimization of LED emission enhancers that can be mounted on existing LED sources to substantially improve their luminosity, making them super-bright, dramatically brighter to current LED sources.
  • Medical Diagnostics & Non-Invasive Sensing of Glucose Levels. Modelling and analysis of a dual-sensor glucose monitor that utilizes a wearable thin-film, which makes the skin transparent to radio waves and allows deep enough penetration to reach blood plasma.
  • Flexible Transparent Conductive Films. Optimization of metallic mesh designs which would provide highest electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding with high transparency and investigate metallic mesh distributions that would minimize haze and obscuration.
Key responsibilities:
The position will be for a Research Scientist, that is expected to work in one or more areas of the program. We are seeking for people with interests in any of the following R&D tasks:

  • Performing full-wave and numerical simulations to predict angle- and wavelength-dependent optical transmission and reflection.
  • Building optical characterization tools and developing techniques which will enable angular-resolved transmission and reflection optical measurements
  • Developing analytical models to predict angular transmission response of incident light
  • Measuring angular-resolved spectral response of filters
  • Develop new filter designs which will enable angle-independent performance
  • Developing analytical models and perform full-field electromagnetic simulations to investigate resonant absorption in vertical and lateral cavities
  • Investigating fabrication feasibility of promising designs using in-house holographic and RML techniques. Accordingly, identify promising and practical designs for fabrication.
  • Measuring angular and spectrally-resolved optical response of fabricated structures, compare with theoretical models and numerical simulations
  • Performance deficiencies will be identified, and structures modified, to optimize optical properties when matched with a variety of solar cell materials, including Si HIT, perovskite and organic thin films.
  • Optical properties of films will be experimentally measured and compared with simulations.
  • Perovskite and/or organic solar cells, fabricated at Dalhousie, will be characterized with and without the above films, as with Si HIT.
  • Explore potential metamaterial structures and materials with promise to improve light outcoupling efficiency from typical LED emitters, such as the InGaN family of materials, as well as next-generation emitters, such as OLEDs. Specific wavelengths of interest for application in white-emitting LEDs will be targeted (both blue LED+phosphor, and RGB approaches)
  • Results of the experiments will be compared with the theoretical calculations, and the process iterated to optimize metamaterial structures, and application procedures.
  • Perform laboratory validation of a non-invasive, wireless glucose monitoring method based on a dynamically tunable radio-wave sensor enhanced by metamaterial films using non-biological tissue-mimicking phantoms.
  • Explore metamaterial designs for impedance matching and integrate these with antennas.
  • Perform laboratory measurements for the reduction of the reflection coefficient of the metamaterial structures in non-biological samples (acrylic slabs and skin phantoms)
  • PhD in physics, Electrical Engineering or relevant Applied Sciences
  • Experience with FFT, FEM and FDTD Simulation tools, e.g. Lumerical, COMSOL, Sentaurus, RSOFT etc. (preferred)
  • Design and optimization of nanostructured optical systems using computational simulation tools and analytical models (preferred)
Skills required:
  • Team player who enjoys working with different disciplines.
  • High level of independence on the job Effective oral and written communications skills, self-motivated
  • Ownership and accountability
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Ability to work effectively with cross-functional working groups, skill levels and expertise in a global environment
  • Maintain the highest degree of honesty and integrity at all times.
Why work with us?

  • Training in process diagnostics, materials/composites development, and numerical calculations
  • Use of state-of-art characterization instruments
  • Advice from industry experts on the usage of real-world commercial equipment
  • Exposure to industrial processes and real-world challenges
  • Close proximity and advice to applicable systems and devices
  • Support to publish and prepare both journal papers and patent applications
  • Cross-disciplinary project allows R&D knowledge to be gained from different fields of science
  • Potential for full-time employment at MTI or relevant companies after project completion
Now its your turn! At MTI, we “go beyond” being an employer. We are a diverse family – driven by our passion for greatness and success. Aside from the fact that your work will make a difference and help us to make a mark on the world, know that we have a fantastic work culture. This is your opportunity to learn and grow with a company who cares.

If that sounds like you, then it’s time to join.

We thank all candidates for their interest. Please note that due to the large number of resumes that we expect to receive, only the most qualified candidates will be contacted.