Partnership Resource Projects

Nanostructured ultra-thin lenses (QuantIC Phase 2 project) – Leonardo, Gooch and Housego, UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) and University of Glasgow

Metamaterials have revolutionised the definition of compact optics. Using subwavelength periodic structures of nanoparticulate metals and nanostructured glasses, the refractive index and absorption properties of metamaterials can manipulate light to a degree not possible with conventional bulk glasses and crystals. The phase, polarization, spin (for circularly polarised light), amplitutde and wavelength of light can all be manipulated and crafted to user-specified values to mimic the action of a lens. We refer to this as an ultra-thin lens (UTL). UTLs provide a much greater choice of optical materials for photonics components and have four major advantages over traditional refractive lenses – superior resolution, lightweight, miniaturisation and cost.

In this QuantIC Phase 2 project, the University of Glasgow will design, fabricate and assess UTLs for use in compact imaging optics. The end-user requirements and applications for these lenses will be specified by Leonardo, Gooch and Housego and UK ATC. The project is aligned to work package 4 of QuantIC – developing components necessary for quantum imaging and sensing to develop a QT industry.


About Leonardo

Leonardo is a global player in the high-tech sectors and a major operator worldwide in the Aerospace, Defence and Security sectors. Leonardo is based in Italy, has more than 47,000 employees (as at 12/31/2015), of whom about 37% abroad, and in 2015 recorded revenues of EUR 13.0 billion and orders of EUR 12.4 billion. Based on the dual use of technologies, Leonardo designs and creates products, systems, services and integrated solutions both for the defence sector and for public and private customers of the civil sector, both in Italy and abroad. For more information visit


About Gooch and Housego

Gooch & Housego is a photonics technology business headquartered in Ilminster Somerset, UK with operations in the USA and Europe. A world leader in its field, the company researches, designs, engineers and manufactures advanced photonic systems, components and instrumentation for applications in the Aerospace & Defense, Industrial, Life Sciences and Scientific Research sectors. World leading design, development and manufacturing expertise is offered across a broad range of complementary technologies. For more information  please visit

UK Astronomy Technology Centre

The UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) is the national centre for astronomical technology. It is also part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council. UK ATC designs and builds instruments for many of the world’s major telescopes. They also project-manage UK and international collaborations and their scientists carry out observational and theoretical research into questions such as the origins of planets and of galaxies. Based at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh, and operated by STFC, its technology can be found in telescopes both on the ground and in space.