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Design and development of graphene-based optical fibre sensors for volatile organic compound detection (HERNAEZM_U21SCIEC)

School of Engineering

Norwich United Kingdom Communications Engineering Electrical Engineering Electronic Engineering Nanotechnology

About the Project

Applications are invited to the School of Engineering, University of East Anglia, for a PhD in the field of optical fibre sensors based on nanostructured coatings. 

Optical fibre sensing has attracted great attention in the last years due to the benefits that it offers compared to traditional electronic sensors, such as small size, biocompatibility and immunity to electromagnetic fields [1]. Graphene-based nanostructures have a tremendous potential for developing various types of sensors [2]. Due to the fact that each atom of graphene is a surface atom, graphene is extremely sensitive to the external environment [3]. Its exciting potential is combined in this proposal with the development of nanostructured coatings in order to develop a new generation of sensors with defined chemical specificity. 

This project aims to design and manufacture low-cost, highly sensitive and selective optical fibre sensors incorporating graphene materials, which enhance the accuracy and response time of existing volatile organic compounds detection systems. The methodology and results obtained from this multidisciplinary project will allow the future development of a range of new optical fibre sensors for the detection of other substances of interest. 

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here

This is a PhD programme. The start date is 1st October 2021. The mode of study is full time. The studentship length is 3 years.

Entry Requirements:

Applicants should hold or be completing an undergraduate honours degree with a 1st or a 2.1 classification.  

Degrees in Material Science, Engineering and other related disciplines will be considered. 

Funding Notes

This PhD project is in a competition for a 3 year UEA funded studentship covering stipend (£15,285 pa, 2020-21), tuition fees (Home only) and research costs. International applicants (EU/non-EU) are eligible for UEA funded studentships but they are required to fund the difference between Home and International tuition fees (which for 2021-22 are detailed on the University’s fees pages at View Website)


[1] Culshaw, B. et al. (2008). J. Lightwave Technol. 26, 1064-1078.
[2] Geim, A.K. (2009). Science 324, 1530-1534.
[3] Geim, A.K., Novoselov, K.S. (2007). Nat Mater 6, 183-191.

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