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High-precision terahertz gas spectroscopy

Project Description

The terahertz (THz) band of the electromagnetic spectrum lies between infrared and microwave frequencies and offers unique capabilities for gas spectroscopy.  These include the ability to study the reactions underpinning climate-change phenomena in the upper atmosphere, or to observe the mechanisms occurring within star and planet-forming nebulae far beyond our Solar system.  In this project, the student will develop new spectroscopy instrumentation using THz quantum-cascade lasers (QCLs) – compact, yet powerful sources of THz radiation.  To date however, all THz-QCL gas spectroscopy has been based on simple, direct transmission schemes, which do not provide the sensitivity, resolution or speed needed for studying atmospheric reactions.  This project will address these challenges by translating highly sensitive laser-spectroscopy techniques from the infrared to the THz band for the first time and demonstrating their capability to resolve key atmospheric gases.  This work will underpin a new field of analytical chemistry, with potential impact in climate science, and wider fields including clean combustion, clinical breath analysis, plasma diagnostics and industrial process control.

Funding Notes

The project is funded by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council Studentship and will run for 3.5 years. A full standard studentship consists of academic fees (£4,600 in Session 2020/21), together with a maintenance grant (currently £15,009 in Session 2019/20) paid at standard Research Council rates. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.

How good is research at University of Leeds in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.80

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

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