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Development of Superconducting Detectors and Filtering Structures for the Next Generation of Sub-mm Astronomical Instruments

Project Description

The Cardiff Astronomy Instrumentation Group (AIG) is one of the world leaders in Kinetic Inductance Detector (KID) development. These superconducting detectors are the most promising technology for the next generation of millimeter – THz wave detectors. Along with ultra-high sensitivity, theses detectors can be multiplexed into large format arrays allowing as many as 10’000 detectors to be read out on a single channel making them suitable for a range of ground and space-based applications. Along with our collaborators, Cardiff has proven this technology for photometric applications on ground-based telescopes and industrial THz imaging systems.

The next natural progression of KID technology is to incorporate the detector architecture into filtering structures allowing the realization of multi-chroic pixels and on-chip spectroscopy. This development would drastically simplify the components required to create spectral imaging systems required for the next generation of ground and space-based observatories.

Working with our collaborators and as part of our on-going funded research in detector development, the objectives of this project will be to study the device physics of both the KID and planar filtering structures in order to build and test devices suitable for astronomical observation in the mm and submm wavebands.

Students can expect to learn a variety of skills including: Cryogenics, superconductivity theory and application, detector design and testing, microwave design using industry standard 2D and 3D modelling software and device fabrication.

This project will be funded by the STFC.
Applicants should apply to the Doctor of Philosophy in Physics and Astronomy with a start date of 1st October 2020.

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 the STFC.

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 or

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)

How good is research at Cardiff University in Physics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 19.50

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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