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Design and development of graphene-based optical fibre sensors for volatile organic compound detection (HERNAEZMU19SF)

Project Description

Applications are invited to the Engineering Division at the School of Mathematics, 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.

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.

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

Type of programme: PhD

Project start date: October 2019

Mode of study: Full time

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at View Website.

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.


[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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