Emanuele Galiffi is a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Professor Andrea Alù at the Advanced Science Research Center, City University of New York, where he studies fundamental aspects of wave propagation in nanostructured materials, also known as metamaterials. He obtained his Ph.D. from Imperial College London within the Centre for Doctoral Training in Theory and Simulation of Materials, under the supervision of Professor Sir John Pendry and Dr. Paloma Arroyo Huidobro. Before then, he obtained his M.S. degree at Imperial College, spending one year at the University of Heidelberg, Germany.
At the start of his Ph.D., he worked on the theory of surface plasmons on thin conductive films featuring singular points, such as cusps, and points of vanishing thickness/conductivity. He deployed the theory of conformal transformation optics to highlight their connection to the concept of compactification in higher-dimensional field theories and used this insight to explain their broadband optical response. Later, he studied electromagnetic phenomena in time-modulated materials, where his research demonstrated fundamentally novel forms of wave amplification and optical drag induced by spatiotemporal modulation of the electromagnetic parameters of a material. Toward the end of his Ph.D., he also launched the idea of temporal Wood anomalies to enable the dynamical excitation of surface waves on structureless surfaces. For his doctoral research, he was awarded the EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship (2020), the first prize at the Student Paper Competition at the Metamaterials 2020 International Congress, the 2020 TSM Materials Design Advanced Graduate Research Prize, the URSI GASS 2020 Young Scientist Award and the 2019 Carlsberg Foundation Award.
Galiffi is widely involved in outreach activities, having led the organization of the “Code for Creation” stand at the 2018 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, and in 2021, he led the organization of the first workshop series devoted to wave phenomena in time-varying systems.
In his work with Professor Alù, he studies at a fundamental level how resonances in electromagnetism, acoustics and other wave realms can be tailored and enhanced by exploiting temporal structure, as may be induced on the properties of a material by means of an external drive.