Stephen Hawking fellowship

Dr. Erika Cortese, presently senior researcher in my Southampton group at the University of Southampton, has been awarded a prestigious fellowship by UKRI, covering more than half-million euros of research expenses. The title of the project is: New generation cavity electrodynamics: a tool for sculpting quantum states.

Nanophotonics for sustainability

I was awarded the the PNRR PRIN (Progetti di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale) Mid-Infrared Nanophotonics for Sustainability to develop novel photonic materials for green-tech applications. Looking forward to start this project with my collaborators in Pisa.

2D materials for quantum technologies

I was awarded the the 2022 PRIN (Progetti di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale) Polaritons Enhanced Nonlinear Nanomaterials to investigate quantum technologies in 2D materials. Looking forward to start this project with my collaborators in Lecce and Messina.

Positronium polaritons

Our proposal to use polaritonic effects to measure the density of dense positronium gases, fruit of a collaboration with D. Cassidy at UCL, has been published in Phys. Rev. A and chosen as Editors’ Suggestion.

Metis closes deals

Metis has successfully closed its pre-seed round and signed its first commercial contract with the New York University School of Law. Congratulations to all the Metis team for these important milestones!

Dynamical sub-wavelength tuning

In a recent paper published in Optica we demonstrated how to use polaritonic effects to dynamically tune sub-wavelength electromagnetic fields.

Sensorium gets investment

Sensorium has finalised an agreement with the VC fund Quantonation for a 1M$ pre-seed investment.

News & Views

Nature Photonics published a News & Views on our recent paper. Thanks to Antonio Fernández-Domínguez for having once again wrote a great piece on our work.

Polaritonic nonlocality

Based on experiments from our amazing colleagues at ETHZ we discovered a new fundamental limit to the possibility of confining light at the nanoscale. We found that when too tightly focussed light starts exciting electronic waves which brings photonic energy away.
The research was published in Nature Photonics, and the press release is available here.


During the pandemic we organised Midinfrared Discussions, an online webinar series for the mid-infrared community. Two successful seasons brought together 14 great speakers and thousands of viewers. All the recorded videos are now available on MIDI’s youtube channel, which passed the mark of 2000 total views.

News & Views

Nature Physics published a great News & Views on our recent paper. Thanks to Meera Parish for the very nice work.

Photon-bound excitons

Last year we predicted that light could be used as a sort of subatomic ziptie, binding together electrons to create novel atom-like objects. Now, thanks to an international effort with French and Italian colleagues, we demonstrated the existence of this novel form of matter.
The research was published in Nature Physics, and the press release is available here.

2020 Research Award

Dr Erika Cortese, former student and presently postdoc in my group, has been awarded the second prize of the Doctoral College Research Award for her works on non-perturbative light-matter coupling. Congratulations Erika!

Viewpoint on Physics

Physics, the showcase journal of the Americas Physical Society, dedicated a Viewpoint to our recent paper: A. I. Fernández-Domínguez, Physics 13, 71 (2020)

Nonlocality in polar dielectrics

Our paper developing a theory of nonlocal optical response in polar dielectrics has been published in Physical Review X 10, 021027 (2020). This theory allows us to simulate the crystalline dynamics of atom-size objects without requiring cumbersome numerical approaches.

Nature Communications

A novel quasiparticle

Together with our experimental colleagues at Vanderbilt and LMU, we theoretically predicted and experimentally observed novel quasiparticles we named Longitudinal-Transverse Phonon Polaritons. The results have recently been published in Nature Communications 10, 1682 (2019). This discovery is an important milestone toward the realization of a novel generation of electrically pumped mid-infrared devices.


Ultrastrong coupling review

Our review on Ultrastrong coupling between light and matter was published, as first paper ever, by the new journal Nature Reviews Physics. To celebrate the new journal this review will remain open access for one year.

Leverhulme Trust

Philip Leverhulme Prize

I was awarded the 2018 Philip Leverhulme Prize in physics, the most important UK prize for young academics.
I’m grateful to the Leverhulme Trust for this honour.

Nature Communications

Faster than light!

My coworkers and myself investigated relativistic effects in non-perturbative cavity quantum electrodynamics: Nature Communications 9, 1924 (2018). We demonstrated that when the coupling becomes non-perturbative, the standard Rabi and Dicke models dramatically fail to describe the system dynamics, predicting unphysical phenomena as the possibility to transmit information faster than light.


Theoretical prediction verified after ten years

Our recent paper Applied Physics Letters 112, 191106 (2018) was chosen as Featured Paper. This work experimentally demonstrated phonon-mediated scattering between intersubband polaritons, an effect I had theoretically predicted almost ten years ago!

Nature Communications

Dissipation in extreme coupling conditions

I recently published this paper Nature Communications 8, 1465 (2017), which demonstrates how virtual photons in the ground state of an ultrastrongly coupling light-matter system are stable against dissipation. This means ultrastrong coupling phenomenology can be observed also in lossy systems which are not even in the usual strong coupling regime!

Quantum Short

Quantum Short film festival

Approaching reality has been shortlisted, between hundreds of participants, as finalist for the Quantum Shorts film festival, a film festival for quantum-mechanics inspired films organised by NUS, Scientific American, and Nature.


Six months at BBC

I was selected for a Royal Society secondment at BBC. I’m going to work for the next six months in the BBC Horizon team.

Chicheley Hall

Workshop on the ultrastrong coupling regime

With the support of the Royal Society I organised the first workshop on the physics of ultrastrong light-matter coupling. More details are available on the workshop page.

Leverhulme Trust

Trailer of Approaching Reality

Here is it possible to find the first part of Approaching Reality, a composition created during  Martin Fogel residency at the University of Southampton.

Pint of Science

Pint of Science

Together with Martin Fogel and Matt Himsworth we animated a session of the Pint of Science festival at the Avondale’s pub in Southampton.

Leverhulme Trust

Artist in Residence

Together with the musician Martin Fogel we have been awarded a one year Artist in Residence grant from the Leverhulme trust to investigate relations between music and quantum physics.


Early Career Award

I have been awarded a Dean’s Award for Early Career Researchers. I am honoured that the faculty chose me between so many outstanding colleagues.

Inter Mollow

New paper on THz emission

My student Nathan Shammah published his first paper in Physical Review B. A description of the work can be found in the university press relase.


Criteo acquires AdQuantic

NASDAQ company Criteo acquired the 100% of my startup AdQuantic. Due to my academic engagements I will not follow the rest of the AdQuantic team in this new adventure. A coverage of the transaction is available on TechCrunch.

Royal Society University Research Fellow

I have been named University Research Fellow by the Royal Society.


EPSRC First Grant

I was recently awarded the EPSRC First Grant for my project: Solid State Cavity QED with Artificial Atoms: Toward Next Generation Integrated THz Emitters.

Cavity Decoupling

Two new papers on cavity quantum electrodynamics

Two of my papers, investigating various aspects of the extreme physics of non-perturbative light-matter interaction have been published in Physical Review Letters (Physical Review Letters 112, 016401) and Physical Review A (Physical Review A 89, 017801).

Two Fingers

Two new papers on intersubband polaritons

Two of my papers, investigating the scattering properties of intersubband polaritons, have been published in a recent issue of Physical Review B (Phys. Rev. B 87, 241304 and Phys. Rev. B 87, 235322).

Equipe AdQuantic

AdQuantic begins co-development with Bouygues Telecom

Bouygues Telecom Initiatives, the startup development branch of the French telecom provider Bouygues Telecom, started a co-development project with AdQuantic.
This is a big news for our company and a proof of the great work of all the team. Details can be found on Bouygues Telecom’s blog here.

IL Cover

Five easy pieces on quantum information

Together with my student Nathan we published a short vulgarization article about quantum information on the Italian newspaper IL, Idee e Lifestyle. The text can be also found on the online version of the Sole 24 ORE here.

Money Entangled

PhySoc Nobel Lecture 2012/13

Together with Matt Himsworth and Tim Freegarde, I gave an introductory public lecture on quantum mechanics. Slides can be found here.


Annual Adventures in Research grant

My project Cooling a macroscopic semiconductor mechanical oscillator into its quantum ground state using light-induced piezoelectric interaction, has been awarded an Annual Adventures in Research grant.

Visit Fioraso

An institutional visit

AdQuantic received a visit from the French Research Minister, Geneviève Fioraso. In the photo I am explaining the wonders of our scientific approach to Ms. Fioraso.

Quantum Phases

A smooth crossover

In my recent paper published in Physical Review Letters 110, 133603 (2013) I show how in Solid State Cavity Quantum Electrodynamics it is possible to have a smooth crossover between a regime well-described by the Dicke model and a regime described by the Quantum Rabi model. As the Dicke model presents a superradiant quantum phase transition but the Quantum Rabi model doesn’t, my result implies that experiments trying to observe such a phase transition need to be a bit more careful than previously thought.

Digital Marketing

AdQuantic Wins the 2012 E-Commerce Award

AdQuantic was one of the three winners of the 2012 E-Commerce Award for the most innovative digital marketing company.