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  3D Nanophotonics in Artificially Structured Chalcogenide Materials (Advert Reference: RDF20/EE/MPEE/HO)

   Faculty of Engineering and Environment

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  Dr D Ho  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Currently, the realization of three-dimensional (3D) confinement of photons in artificially structured electromagnetic materials or photonic crystal (PhC) has proven to be very challenging. Some approaches based on an inverse-opal PhC, a woodpile crystal, and the 2D–3D hybrid PhC systems combined with lithography are developed. To achieve high design flexibility and less fabrication difficulty, we have reported inverse rod-connected diamond (RCD) [1, 2] structured chalcogenides with 3D direct laser writing (DLW) using two-photon polymerization [3,4], followed by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) [5].

In this project, the student will study the inverse design of diamond lattice structures [1-5] (e.g. inverse RCD and inverse woodpile crystals) only based on removing or adding materials to create low-index or high-index cavities [1,2]. Similarly, the waveguide networks are formed by either a single rod or a series of sphere fragments where light is confined and guided by wave interference rather than total internal reflection; each layer is linked by oblique waveguides.

For the fabrication and characterisation of these structures, we will collaborate with partner universities in Bristol and Southampton to access their facilities including DLW, CVD, and Fourier image spectroscopy (FIS) systems. The project will develop the model (using electromagnetic simulation software, CST) which can be used to provide data to guide device design, when compared with angle-resolved light scattering characterisation using FIS and enabled an estimation of device quality at each fabrication step [3-5].
Such a high-Q cavity with ultra-small mode volume [1, 2, 6-8] could be used to demonstrate strong coupling at elevated temperatures, while coupled cavities of this type could form broad bandwidth, lossless, wavelength scale optical circuits in a fully 3D photonic microchip. The 3D microchips could allow the development of novel nanophotonic devices including ultrasensitive gas sensors, artificial nanostructured composite materials for energy harvesting and all optical artificial neural networks with 3D nanocavities and waveguide networks.

The principal supervisor for this project is Dr Daniel Ho. The second supervisor will be Dr Hoa Le Minh.

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF20/EE/MPEE/HO) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Friday 24 January 2020

Start Date: 1 October 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Home/EU/Worldwide students where a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2019/20, this is £15,009 pa) and full fees.


1. M. P. C. Taverne, Y.-L. D. Ho*, L.-F. Chen, X. Zheng, M. Lopez-Garcia, and J. G. Rarity, “Modelling of Defect Cavities Formed in Inverse Three-Dimensional Rod-Connected Diamond Photonic Crystals,” EPL (Europhys. Lett.) 116, 64007 (2017).
2. M. P. C. Taverne, Y.-L. D. Ho*, X. Zheng, L.-F. Chen, C.-H. N. Fang, and J. G. Rarity, “Strong Light Confinement in Rod-Connected Diamond Photonic Crystals,” Opt. Lett. 43, 5202- 5205 (2018).
3. L.-F. Chen, M. Lopez-Garcia, M. P. C. Taverne, X. Zheng, J.-D. Lin, Y.-L. D. Ho*, J. G. Rarity “Direct Wide-angle Measurement of Photonic Band-structure in a Three-dimensional Photonic Crystal using Infrared Fourier Imaging Spectroscopy,” Opt. Lett. 42, 1584-1587 (2017).
4. L.-F. Chen, M. P. C. Taverne, X. Zheng, J.-D. Lin, R. Oulton, M. Lopez-Garcia, Y.-L. D. Ho*, J. G. Rarity “Evidence of Near-Infrared Partial Photonic Bandgap in Polymeric Rod-connected Diamond Structure,” Opt. Express 23, 26565-26575 (2015).
5. Lifeng Chen*, Katrina Morgan, Ghada Alzaidy, Chung-Che Huang*, Y. -L. Daniel Ho*, Mike P. C. Taverne, Xu Zheng, Zhong Ren, Daniel W. Hewak, John G. Rarity, “Observation of Complete Photonic Bandgap in Low Refractive Index Contrast Inverse Rod-Connected Diamond Structured Chalcogenides,” ACS Photonics 6, 1248−1254 (2019).
6. Xu Zheng*, Mike P. C. Taverne*, Y.-L. D. Ho*, and John G. Rarity, “Cavity Design in Woodpile Based 3D Photonic Crystal,” Appl. Sci. 8, 1087 (2018).
7. M. P. C. Taverne*, Y.-L. D. Ho*, J. G. Rarity*, “Investigation of defect cavities formed in three-dimensional woodpile photonic crystals,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B. 32, 639-648 (2015).
8. Y.-L. D. Ho*, P. S. Ivanov, E. Engin, M. F. J. Nicol, M. P. C. Taverne, Chengyong Hu, M. J. Cryan, I. J. Craddock, C. J. Railton, J. G. Rarity, “FDTD Simulation of Inverse Three-Dimensional Face-Centered Cubic Photonic Crystal Cavities,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 47, 1480–1492 (2011).
9. Y. Hu, B. Miles, Y.-L. D. Ho, M. P. C. Taverne, L.-F. Chen, H. Gersen, J. G. Rarity, and C. F. J. Faul, “Towards direct laser writing of actively tunable three-dimensional photonic crystals,” Adv. Opt. Mater. 5, 1600458 (2017).
10. J.-D. Lin, Y.-L. D. Ho*, L. Chen, M. Lopez-Garcia, S.-A. Jiang, M. P. C. Taverne, C.-R. Lee*, and J. G. Rarity*, “Microstructure-Stabilized Blue Phase Liquid Crystals,” ACS Omega 3, 15435–15441 (2018).

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