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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - Optimisation of interferometry-based volume holography for industrial applications (Ceres Holographics Ltd and University of St Andrews)

School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

Edinburgh United Kingdom Bioinformatics Optical Physics Engineering Physics Software Engineering

About the Project

Volume holograms based on photopolymers are one of the most promising platforms to develop commercial applications of holographic optical elements at industrial level.

Ceres Holographics’ unique approach uses a bespoke interferometric process to create volume phase holograms in a proprietary photopolymer. The process is high yield and reliable and produces state-of-the-art holograms. A key factor to enhance further the quality and potentials of the manufacturing technique is to fully address the optical response of the photopolymer and minimise the occurrence of unwanted artefacts.

The aim of the project is to develop a detailed model of the photopolymer to unveil the relevant polymerisation and diffusion processes and to understand the optimum timing/exposure requirements. The investigation will be complemented by an extensive experimental activity, exploiting the facilities available in the School of Physics and Astronomy of the University of St Andrews and at Ceres Holographic.

Candidate Information

Ceres Holographic and the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews are located in the North Haugh scientific hub in St Andrews, at walking distance from each other. Academically, the student will be co-supervised by the Organic Semiconductor group and the Synthetic Optics group, who manage the cleanroom facilities in the School and have access to a large suite of characterisation laboratories.

The student will have daily access to, and is encouraged to make maximum use of, the holographic fabrication and characterisation facilities at Ceres Holographics.

Essential Criteria

The project funds a four year PhD studentship, including fees and a stipend for eligible students. Successful applicants will be part of a small yearly cohort that will meet for networking, technical and MBA courses as well as professional skills workshops. The candidate will have, or expect to obtain, a 1st or 2:1 honours degree in physics or a related subject.


Degree in physical science

Background in Applied Optics

An interest in experimental physics

Desirable Criteria

Knowledge of photochemistry

Programming skills for the automation of experiment and data analysis

Flexible Research Working

The School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews has Juno Champion status (Institute of Physics) which reflects its commitment to family friendly policies and creating a work environment of benefit to all staff and students.


The CDT in Applied Photonics provides a supportive, collaborative environment which values inclusivity and is committed to creating and sustaining a positive and supportive environment for all our applicants, students, and staff. For further information, please see our ED&I statement Forming a supportive cohort is an important part of the programme and our students take part in various professional skills workshops, including Responsible Research and Innovation workshops and attend Outreach Training.

Funding Notes

Funding for this position may vary depending on the nationality/status of the applicant.

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