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Doctor of Engineering (EngD): Electro-Optic Control of Ultra-Stable Single-Frequency Lasers for Quantum Technologies (UnikLasers Ltd)

  • Full or part time
    Prof D Reid
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, February 28, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Selection and recruitment to this project will be conducted in parallel with our other projects being advertised with UnikLasers. Only two of the three projects will be available for starting in 2018.

Project not available to non UK/EU applicants.

The EngD is an alternative to a traditional PhD aimed at students wanting a career in industry. Students spend about 75% of their time working directly with a company in addition to receiving advanced-level training from a broad portfolio of technical and business courses. On completion students are awarded the PhD-equivalent EngD.

Project Description:
Single-frequency lasers are critical enabling technologies in applications as diverse as laser cooling and atomic clocks, gravimeters, LIDAR for remote wind measurement, and semiconductor wafer inspection. To ensure single-frequency operation, the length of the laser resonators in such systems must be stabilised to a fraction of the wavelength of operation. For many applications, the laser must also be locked with extremely high precision to an external reference such as an ultra-stable optical resonator or an atomic spectral line. This 4-year EngD programme will focus on the design, development and commercialisation of next-generation laser stabilisation and locking technologies, with a focus on modulation-free techniques. The project will include mathematical modelling, as well as building and testing of hardware demonstrators. The ultimate aim is to introduce these technologies into UniKLasers products, with the goals of maximising stability, system miniaturisation and cost reduction. The research and engineering will cover a variety of areas including laser system design, actuator technology, electronic hardware design, firmware and software programming of controllers, and building and testing of laser systems.

Information for applicants

Essential Criteria

· A self-motivated individual, capable of working independently

· The enthusiasm to learn and to extend into new areas as part of this multi-disciplinary project

· The capability to multi-task and to adapt to the fast-changing world within a growing technology company

Desirable Criteria

· Experience of programming of hardware controllers

· Experience of analogue and digital electronic design

· Knowledge of control theory

· Knowledge of laser physics

Funding Notes

This 4-year (including CDT taught-courses) project is funded jointly by UnikLasers and by the CDT in Applied Photonics, run by Heriot-Watt University. The annual stipend is £21,053, which includes an enhancement from UnikLasers. A substantial consumables and equipment budget is provided by a concurrent EPSRC grant. Travel funding for conference presentations is also available.

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