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Laser Design and Development: ultra-short-pulse 2 µm wavelength lasers (EPS2022/29)


   School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

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  Prof D Esser, Prof D P Hand  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This new PhD project will aim to develop novel 2 µm wavelength ultra-short-pulse lasers and amplifiers, to enable and pioneer ultra-short-pulse laser welding of infrared materials. The experimental research and design will create new mode-locked 2 µm wavelength fibre-based laser concepts which will be developed by this student in the laboratory. The challenge is to tailor the design and performance of the laser such that it is suitable to seed our high-energy 2 µm amplifiers, and that it can be used as research laser for materials processing. The envisaged outcome is the demonstration of commercially competitive, industry-focussed, UK-based, laser system technology.

This PhD is in the Laser Device Physics & Engineering group of Prof M J Daniel Esser and is associated with the EPSRC funded project EP/V01269X/1 “Ultra-short pulsed laser welding - an industrially-relevant manufacturing tool for bonding IR and visible optical materials.” The student will also be supervised by Prof Duncan Hand, who leads the High Power Laser Applications group which drives forward laser-based manufacturing research. The PhD student will work closely with the three post-doctoral researchers and other PhD students of this large collaborative project. Close collaboration with the six industrial partners will also be encouraged: Luxinar Ltd, Leonardo MW Ltd, The Manufacturing Technology Centre, NSG Group (UK), Glass Technology Services Ltd, and Oxford Lasers.

The Laser Device Physics & Engineering group has a suite of clean-room laboratories that support research and development of new laser sources in the Near-IR (0.9-1 μm) and mid-IR (1.9-2.1 μm) wavelength range operating in the femto, pico, nano second and CW regimes. Our research is driven by industrial requirements for new high-brightness diode laser technologies, novel solid-state laser crystals, advanced active mid-infrared fibres, and new methods applied to laser system design and construction.

Our research is part of the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPaQS), a centre of excellence in photonics consisting of 150 researchers working across photonic physics, engineering photonics and quantum sciences, with extensive laser laboratory, cleanroom and analytical facilities.

We are proud that Heriot-Watt University has very recently received the 2021 Queen’s Anniversary Prize for pioneering research in the frontier science of photonics. The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes are the highest national Honours available to the UK’s further and higher education sector. Heriot-Watt University was selected for its ground-breaking and sustained research that has helped advance photonics technology in the last five decades. This PhD project will contribute to this legacy.

How to Apply

1. Important Information before you Apply

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 Chemistry PhD, Physics PhD, Chemical Engineering PhD, Mechanical Engineering PhD, Bio-science & Bio-Engineering PhD or Electrical PhD as appropriate and select September 2022 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 potential 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.


Funding Notes

There are a number of scholarships available which offer funding from between 3 and 3.5 years at an average stipend rate of £15,000 per year.
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