January 15, 2019 – Halifax, Nova ScotiaDalhousie University, Metamaterial Technologies Inc. (MTI) and Mitacs have partnered on a $1.62 million collaboration to explore a new area of light manipulation.

The project, which is the largest-ever Mitacs-supported project in Atlantic Canada, will build the research partnership between Dalhousie and MTI, while attracting the best new researchers and inventors in metamaterials science. It will also provide opportunities to carry out basic research and development in this relatively new area of science.

Advances and discoveries in electricity, electromagnetic technology, wireless communication, lasers and computers have all been driven by an understanding about the nature of light and what is possible to do with it. Now, a relatively new science called metamaterials has made it possible to manipulate light in ways that have never been achievable in nature before. This project will span different areas of the application of metamaterials, including:

  • Absorption enhancement of ultra-thin solar cells using metamaterials
    MetaSOLAR, a highly efficient solar panel to be used for solar powered aerial vehicles, will collect solar light from all angles and absorb it across the most useful spectral parts. The technology will be ideal for lightweight aircraft and vehicles, where efficiency and weight are of prime importance.
  • Light emission enhancement for LEDs
    This project will investigate and optimize an LED emission enhancer that can be mounted on existing LED sources to substantially improve their brightness.
  • Development of optical filters based on metamaterials
    This project will include the development of next-generation optics for augmented reality applications. It will bring together experts from the fields of materials science, chemical engineering, nanotechnology, photonics and metamaterials.
  • Improvement of medical diagnostics using metamaterials
    The goal of this project is to develop a wearable thin-film glucose sensor, that will allow for more precise blood glucose measurements.

Support for this collaboration is made possible through Mitacs’ research internship program that helps businesses to solve innovation challenges with academic expertise and matched funding. More information can be found on the Mitacs website.

To apply for a position and to learn more about the program please visit MTI’s website.


“This is an incredible boost for the innovation ecosystem of our region and for Dalhousie. Our partnership with Mitacs and Metamaterial Technologies Inc. allows us to recruit and train a number of new PhDs in advanced materials and nanotechnology and conduct the type cutting edge research that has the potential to disrupt the way the world works today. Thank you to the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia for their continued support of Mitacs”

–  Dr. Alice Aiken, Vice President Research and Innovation, Dalhousie University

“Mitacs has been a unique partner, providing unparalleled access to talent across the country.  Materials research is complex and Mitacs researchers allow us to investigate research questions pushing the boundaries of conventional knowledge.  We believe that the partnership with Dalhousie University will lead to new breakthroughs in metamaterials, applications and nanofabrication techniques that will re-shape how we think about optics.”

–  Dr. George Palikaras, Founder and CEO Metamaterial Technologies Inc.

“Mitacs is pleased to support this important research collaboration in the field of light manipulation. Discoveries in this arena will impact a variety of sectors ranging from aviation to healthcare, improving the lives of Canadians.”

–  Dr. Alejandro Adem, CEO & Scientific Director, Mitacs

“This project is a great example of how collaboration between industry and academia can drive innovation in our communities. This year, government increased its investment in Mitacs to $1-million so Nova Scotia can continue to recruit and retain top research talent while advancing cutting-edge work.”

–  Ben Jessome, MLA, Hammonds Plains-Lucasville on behalf of Hon. Labi Kousoulis, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education

“Canada is known for its deep pool of talent and prestigious education system – this is especially true in the Maritimes where technology, innovation and aerospace come together and thrive. Airbus is a proud partner of MTI and we applaud MTI and Dalhousie on this Mitacs funding to advance Canada’s innovation ecosystem and support future pioneers.”

–  Simon Jacques, President, Airbus Defence and Space Canada