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Improved methods for computing and interpreting the nonlinear optical properties of materials (ANDREWSU16SF)

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  • Full or part time
    Prof D L Andrews
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

This PhD project concerns advancing the theory of optical materials. It has recently been established that standard methods for calculating nonlinear optical properties, long regarded as the best available, and widely applied to conventional inorganic materials, prove woefully inadequate in application to all but the smallest molecular systems. First proven by UEA theorists, this problem has been identified and its origin verified in computational work on several molecular types - not only studies at UEA, but also in major research groups in the USA and in Belgium. The reason, in a nutshell, is that the standard formulae fail to converge to a definite value when using the techniques that one would usually adopt to improve accuracy. It is the aim of this project to do better; now that the origin of these failings is understood, it is possible to begin reformulating theory to generate new calculational algorithms, aiming to secure quantitative results that are robust and accurate. It is anticipated that this work will underpin new technical advances in the rapidly advancing field of molecular photonics, assisting the development of devices for optical switching, computing, and also information storage and retrieval.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.


i) D.L. Andrews, D.S. Bradshaw and M.M. Coles, Perturbation theory and the two-level approximation: A corollary and critique, Chem. Phys. Lett. 503: 153-156 (2011).

ii) D.L. Andrews, D.S. Bradshaw and M.M. Coles, Limitations and improvements upon the two-level approximation for molecular nonlinear optics, Proc. SPIE 7917, 7917K (2011).

iii) M.M. Coles, J.N. Peck, V.S. Oganesyan and D.L. Andrews, Assessing limitations to the two-level approximation in nonlinear optics for organic chromophores by ab initio methods, Proc. SPIE 8113, 81130K (2011).

iv) J.Perez-Moreno, K. Clays and M.G. Kuzyk, Why do we need three levels to understand the molecular optical response? Proc. SPIE 8113, 81130L (2011).

v) D.L. Andrews, Photon-based and classical descriptions in nanophotonics: a review, J. Nanophotonics 8, 081599 (2014).

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