Lab Director

Principal Investigator and Lab Director, Behrad Gholipour is Assistant Professor of Photonics at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Alberta, Canada. He is an expert in chalcogenide semiconductors, multimaterial optical fibres, high throughput material discovery and all-dielectric as well as plasmonic metamaterials. In all the above cases, he is most interested in light-matter interaction with a particular focus on optoelectronic switching phenomena as well as laser, plasma and thermal based fabrication techniques for  reconfigurable nanoscale optics applications.

He has pioneered ground breaking new techniques and technologies which are being pursued by a range of researchers around the world. Most notably he is  known for the first all-optical phase change meta-switch, chalcogenide photonic synapse, lithography assisted fibre drawing and colour tunable perovskite metasurfaces.

His work has resulted in >100 peer reviewed journal and conference publications including notable publications in Science, Nature Materials, Nature Photonics, Nature Communications and Advanced Materials journals (See more >>). He is a  referee for >10 leading publications in optoelectronics, material science and physics.

His main current activities lie in the area of reconfigurable nanophotonic devices in particular planar and optical fibre-integrated chalcogenide plasmonic and all-dielectric metasurfaces, phase change materials and devices, topological insulators, plasmonic and photonic multimaterial fibers including soft glass and plasmonic metal cored fibers, combinatorial high-throughput material discovery as well as neuromorphic optics. See more >>

Selected Publications

        B. Gholipour

        Science,  issue 6462 (2019)

        D. Piccinotti, B. Gholipour, J. Yao, K. F. MacDonald, B. Hayden, N. I. Zheludev.  

        Advanced Materials,  issue 31 (2019)

B. Gholipour, G. Adamo, D. Cortecchia, H. N. S. Krishnamoorthy, M. D. Birowosuto, N. I. Zheludev, C. Soci 
Advanced Materials,  issue 9 (2017)

B. Gholipour, P. Bastock, L. Cui, C. Craig, K. Khan, D. Hewak, C. Soci 
Nature: Scientific Reports, Vol.6(35409) pp.1-8 (2016)

Q. Wang, E. Rogers, B. Gholipour, C. H. Wang, G. H. Yuan, J. H. Teng, N. I. Zheludev 
Nature Photonics, Vol.10 pp.60-65 (2016)

B. Gholipour, P. Bastock, C. Craig, K. Khan, D. Hewak, C. Soci 
Advanced Optical Materials, Vol.3(5) pp.635-641 (2015)

M. A. Hughes, Y. Fedorenko, B. Gholipour, J. Yao, T. H. Lee, R. M. Gwilliam, K. P. Homewood, S. Hinder, D. W. Hewak, S. R. Elliott, R. J. Curry 
Nature Communications, Vol.5 pp.5346 (2014)

B. Gholipour, J. Zhang, K.F. Macdonald, D.W. Hewak and N. I. Zheludev, Advanced Materials, Vol.25, pp.3050-3054 (2013)

D. W. Hewak and B. Gholipour 
Science, Vol.336, pp.1515–1516 (2012)

J. Orava, A. L. Greer, B. Gholipour, D. W. Hewak and C. E. Smith 
Nature Materials, Vol.11, pp.279–283 (2012)

Research Experience

  • Assistant Professor of Photonics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alberta, Canada (2019-Present)

  • Senior Research Fellow, ORC Centre for Photonic Metamaterials & School of Chemistry, University of Southampton (UoS), UK, working with Prof Nikolay Zheludev and Prof Brian Hayden. (2016-2018)

  • Visitor, Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton (UoS), 2015.

  • Project Leader, "Fiber drawing nanomanufacturing", Centre For Disruptive Photonic Technologies (CDPT), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, working with Prof Cesare Soci. (2013-2016)

  • Research Fellow, "Ion implantation into amorphous semiconductors", ORC, UoS, UK (2012-2013)



  • PhD in Optoelectronics, Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), University of Southampton, UK

Thesis: “Novel Chalcogenide Optoelectronic and Nanophotonic Information processing devices”  Supervisor : Prof Dan Hewak.

  • MSc in Nanoelectronics (With Distinction), Electronics and Computer Science Department, UoS

Thesis: Autonomous propulsion of multi walled carbon nanotubes using enzymatic functionalisation for directed drug delivery

  • Bachelor of Engineering (BEng with Hons), in Electronics. Electronics and Computer Science Department, UoS

Dissertation: Feasibility study and Prototyping wireless sensor networks for the purpose of specific environmental sensing of variables inside continental oil pipelines.

Centre for Photonic Metamaterials




  • ECE 210: Introduction to Digital Logic Design and ECE770: Advanced Topics in Nanoscale Optics

  • Regular courses (typically 4 times a year) on RF Sputtering growth of complex alloys

  • Regular courses (typically 2 times a year) on Atomic force microscopy  (AFM)



  • Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award 2020

  • Shortlisted for University of Southampton Vice-Chancellors award for contributions to the

       university as an early career researcher (2017).

  • Paper "Organometallic perovskite metasurfaces", chosen as back cover of Advanced Materials

       journal (2017)

  • Paper “All-dielectric phase change metasurface”, chosen as Editos Pick in Appled Physics

       Letters journal. Also widely covered in other sources including Physics World (2016).

  • Paper “Amorphous metal sulphide microfibers enable photonic synapses” selected as

       Frontispeice cover of Advanced Optical Materials and selected as “Best of 2015” in the

       journal (2015).

  • Prestigious UK Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council ICT Pioneer Award Winner, 2011.

  • Invited to present my work at the UK Times Cheltenham International Science Festival, 2011. (one

       of only 3 PhD students nationwide).

  • Winner of Second Year PhD Talks, ORC, University of Southampton, 2011.

  • Shortlisted for Set for Britain Young Scientist Award (now called STEM for Britain) in Physics and

       Engineering, 2010.

  • University of Southampton ECS Academic Excellence and Achievement Award, 2006.

Other services

  • Editorial Board Member: Institute of Physics (IOP) Journal of Optics.

  • Program Committee Member: SPIE Nanoscience - Metamaterials & Metadevices 2019.

  • Journal Referee: Advanced Materials, ACS Nano, Nature Communications, Nature Scientific reports, Optical materials express, Journal of Applied Physics D: Applied Physics, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, Optics express, IEEE Photonic Technology Letters, Applied Optics, Materials Research Express, Journal of lightwave technologies amongst others.

  • Nanofabrication and Optoelectronic related consultancy work for various companies and research institutions in the UK. 

Novel Glass Group, UK 

CDPT, Singapore, 2014

ORC, 2012

© 2019