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III-V on Silicon Devices and Systems for Next Generation Optical Interconnects

Project Description

The fast maturing field of Silicon Photonics research is already being transferred to industry applications by some of the leading technological companies including Intel, IBM, Hewlett Packard and Cisco. Primary industrial use of this technology is in optical interconnects for datacom/telecom applications. In order to develop this technology further it will be essential to integrate active devices on the silicon platform with improved manufacturability and scalability. It is anticipated that research into the direct epitaxial of III-V materials on Si will lead to essential developments and improvements in this area. Active devices grown via epitaxy on Si normally use quantum wells, however, the crystalline defects formed during epitaxy limits performance and lifetime. Due to defect-tolerance, temperature and radiation hardness, quantum dots are the main candidate to further improve performance and lifetimes towards a better scalability and manufacturability standard.
The goal of this PhD is to invent and develop proof-of-concept quantum dot devices (modulator and/or photodetector) in order to overcome the traditional challenges of epitaxial growth of III-V over Si. The student will work within the framework of the Future Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing Hub (CS Hub,, which comprises 35 industrial partners and 4 universities, with the objective of developing compound semiconductor research from materials to systems.
Cardiff University has a long tradition of developing III-V quantum dot lasers over Si, from wafer growth to final characterization. The project will make use of the excellent resources and expertise available at the Institute for Compound Semiconductors (ICS).
The project will follow a flexible timeline: 1. Literature review, laboratory orientation, initial studies (0.5 year); 2. Simulations, developmental/preparatory experiments (0.5 year); 3. System design/development (1 year); 4. Fabrication (0.5 year); 5. Device demonstration and exploitation (0.5 year)

Funding Notes

Full UK/EU tuition fees plus stipend matching UKRI Minimum.

Full awards are open to UK Nationals and EU students who meet UK residency requirements. To be eligible for the full award, EU Nationals must have been in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of the course including for full-time education.

A small number of awards may also be made available to EU Nationals who do not meet the above residency requirement, provided they have been ordinarily resident in the EU for at least three years before the start of their proposed programme of study.


[1] N. Abadía, X. Dai, Q. Lu, W.-H Guo, D. Patel, D. Plant, and J. Donegan. 'Highly Fabrication Tolerant InP Based Polarization Beam Splitter Based on p-i-n Structure'. Optics Express (2017). DOI:10.1364/OE.25.010070
[2] N. Abadía, G. Saber, F. Bello, A. Samani, E. El-Fiky, Y. Wang, J. Donegan, D. Plant. 'CMOS Compatible Multi-band Plasmonic TE-pass Polarizer'. Optics Express (2018). DOI:10.1364/OE.26.030292
[3] N. Abadía, F. Bello, C. Zhong, P. Flanigan, D. McCloskey, C. Wolf, A. Krichevsky, D. Wolf, F. Zong, A. Samani, D. V. Plant, and J. F. Donegan. 'Optical and Thermal Analysis of the Light-Heat Conversion Process Employing an Antenna-Based Hybrid Plasmonic Waveguide for HAMR'. Optics Express (2018). DOI:10.1364/OE.26.001752

Related Subjects

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)

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