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DTA - Topological engineering of optical materials

   Department of Materials

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  Prof C Kocabas  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Over the last decade, we have witnessed a new materials classification based on topological concepts. We can group materials (i.e. topological insulators ) using integer numbers associated with the symmetry of their electronic band structure. Recently those innovative concepts have been applied for optical systems to investigate topological properties of light on tailored optical materials. However, examples in the literature are passive optical systems. Active control of topology and device applications remains a challenge. 

The aim of this project is engineer optical materials using topological concepts. The student will investigate exceptional point singularities in strongly coupled plasmonic particles. Exceptional point singularities generate topological defects in the parameter space of the system. Mowing the system parameters around the singularity generates a  quantized geometric phase (i.e. Berry phase) which produce drastic effects on the optical properties. Strong field localization around the plasmonic particles can provide very strong light matter coupling which generates exceptional point singularity.

The second part of the project include a device application. The student  will integrate electrically tunable graphene devices with the plasmonic particles to fabricate a topological device. This device will enable switchable topology and electrically controlled phases.

The project will have big impact on basic understanding of topological materials and their device applications. Successful implementation of the project would generate new plasmonic devices for next generation photonic circuits. 

At the University of Manchester, we pride ourselves on our commitment to fairness, inclusion and respect in everything we do. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and identities and encourage you to bring your whole self to work and study. We will ensure that your application is given full consideration without regard to your race, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, age, marital or pregnancy status, or socioeconomic background. All PhD places will be awarded on the basis of merit.

Funding Notes

This is a 3.5 year EPSRC DTA studentship. Funding will cover UK tuition fee and stipend only. The University of Manchester aims to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK. We are able to offer a limited number of scholarships that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants. These full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme.
Start date: September 2022
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