Personal profile

Research interests

Research group website:

Prof Valev' research focuses on the interaction between powerful laser light and nanostructured materials. In January 2019, the team "made history" by demonstrating a new physical effect, that had eluded scientists for 40 years. The effect had been referred to as the impossible theory.

Valev's main expertise is in building laser experiments for studying novel materials, such as plasmonic nanostructures, metamaterials, 2D materials and quantum optical materials. He aims to discover new properties and to test theoretical predictions. His focus is on the physics of photons, electrons and magnetism confined to tiny volumes of space – nanoparticles or 2D sheets. He seeks out new and useful intersections between classical electromagnetism and quantum mechanics. His investigations are both fundamental and applied, with potential benefits for the pharmaceutical, food, perfume, and agrochemical industries.

Teaching interests

In both research and teaching projects, Prof Valev's work often takes a distinct science fiction aspect, as his team builds laser-powered nano-photonic steam engines (Steampunk Science) or program humanoid robots to teach physics.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


  • Chirality
  • Chiral nanostructures
  • Chiral metamaterials
  • Nanophotonics
  • Plasmonics
  • Metamaterials
  • Second Harmonic Generation
  • Chiroptical effects
  • Nonlinear chiroptical effects
  • Nano Metalworking
  • Nanowelding
  • Magnetism
  • Multiphoton microscopy


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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