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Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes
Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes

James Watt PhD Studentship in Ultrathin Optical Devices for Polarimetric Imaging

School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

Applications accepted all year round Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Polarization of light contains valuable information that is usually absent in colour and intensity. Polarization information can reveal the information about the shape and texture of reflecting surfaces, the orientation of light emitters, or the optical activity of various materials, but current cameras used to detect it are very bulky. Planar nanostructures can control light’s amplitude, phase and polarization at the subwavelength scale, providing new opportunity for real-time polarimetric imaging with unprecedented compactness, which can be used in many research fields such as facial recognition, remote sensing and machine vision. This project will concentrate on the design, fabrication, image processing and experimental demonstration for polarimetric imaging, but the selected candidate will also collaborate with other researchers in system integration for enhanced vision through obscurants (e.g., smoke and fog).

The research will be carried out in the Experimental Nanophotonics Group and Single-Photon Group. Links: and

Supervisors: Dr Xianzhong Chen, Prof. Gerald Buller


We are looking for highly motivated candidates with a strong background in the following related areas: photonics, nanophotonics, metasurfaces or closely related areas. Skills in using cleanroom and nanofabrication facility are desirable. Experience in CST microwave studio, COMSOL Multiphysics and math tools such as Matlab will be an advantage, but not considered essential. Selection will be based on academic excellence and research potential, and all short-listed applicants will be interviewed (in person or by Skype).

How to Apply

Apply Online -

When applying through the Heriot-Watt on-line system please ensure you provide the following information:
(a) in ‘Study Option’
You will need to select ‘Edinburgh’ and ‘Postgraduate Research’. ‘Programme’ presents you with a drop-down menu. Choose Physics PhD and select September 2020 for study option (this can be updated at a later date if required)
(b) in ‘Research Project Information’

You will be provided with a free text box for details of your research project. Enter Title and Reference number of the project for which you are applying and also enter the supervisor’s name.

This information will greatly assist us in tracking your application.

Please note that once you have submitted your application, it will not be considered until you have uploaded your CV and transcripts.

Please send your enquiries to Dr Chen via .

Funding Notes

The annual stipend will be approx. £15k and full fees will be paid for a period of 3 years minimum duration.

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