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Confined epitaxial growth of InP on silicon for advanced photonic structures

Cardiff School of Physics and Astronomy

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Dr Q Li , Dr D Wallis No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

With the widespread use of mobile devices, the level of data traffic in the world is going up very quickly. Driven by the demands for increased computing power and data rate, silicon photonic is under intense development to enable silicon chips to use pulses of light instead of electrical signals to move data rapidly over longer distances. However, traditional silicon is a poor light emitter due to its indirect bandgap properties. III-V compound semiconductors such as indium phosphide (InP) are far more efficient at releasing photons when electrically excited. To bring together the power of optics and the manufacturability and scalability of silicon, state-of-the-art technology replies on a heterogeneous approach to transfer InP-based light-emitting materials onto silicon. However, the expensive III-V substrates and bonding process, as well as the small size of III-V donor wafers, pose a major roadblock for future development.

This project will focus on epitaxial growth development using metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) to enable monolithic integration of compound semiconductors on silicon for next-generation photonic integrated circuits. Novel growth methods will be investigated to tackle the challenges associated with the material mismatch. The goal is to establish a scalable InP-on-silicon platform for advanced photonic structures. The newly established MOCVD laboratory and the Institute for Compound Semiconductors (ICS) at Cardiff University offers an excellent experimental setting for this project. The student will work within the framework of the Future Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing Hub (CS Hub, which provides great opportunities to engage with industrial collaborators and other epitaxy research groups across the UK.

This project will be funded by Cardiff University.
Applicants should apply to the Doctor of Philosophy in Physics and Astronomy with a start date of 4th January 2021

In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project. If you are applying for more than one project, please list the individual titles of the projects in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select ’I will be applying for a scholarship/grant’ and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from Cardiff University.

Applicants will need to submit the following documents with their application:
- post high school certificates and transcripts to date
- academic CV
- personal statement
- two academic references. Your references can either be uploaded with your application, or emailed by the referee to [Email Address Removed] or [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

Tuition fee support: Full UK/EU tuition fees
Maintenance stipend: Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum

You should have obtained, or be about to obtain a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree in Physics , or a related subject, Alternatively, applicants with equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK will also be considered. Applicants with a Lower Second Class degree will be considered if they also have a Master’s degree.
Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS)


1. Bei Shi, Yu Han, Qiang Li, Kei May Lau, “1.55 μm lasers epitaxially grown on silicon,” IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, 25(6), p. 1900711, 2019.
2. Yu Han, Wai Kit Ng, Ying Xue, Qiang Li, Kam Sing Wong, Kei May Lau, “Telecom InP/InGaAs nanolaser array directly grown on (001) silicon-on-insulator,” Optics Lett. 44 (4), pp. 767-770, 2019.
3. Justin Norman, MJ Kennedy, Jennifer Selvidge, Qiang Li, Yating Wan, Alan Y. Liu, Patrick G. Callahan, McLean P. Echlin, Tresa Pollock, Kei May Lau, Arthur C. Gossard, and John E. Bowers, “Electrically pumped continuous wave quantum dot lasers epitaxially grown on patterned, on-axis (001) Si,” Optics Express, 25 (4), pp. 3927-3934, 2017.
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