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Low-cost Solid-state Lasers for Commercial Quantum Technology (Advert Reference: RDF20/EE/MPEE/SATHIAN)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 24, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Lasers enable many scientific, industrial and medical applications, but systems requiring high-bright visible excitation for laser action (e.g., Ti:sapphire; Alexandrite; Cr:LiSAF) are challenged by the unavailability or excessive high-cost visible pump lasers. Direct LED pumping is not bright enough, but LED-pumped fluorescent sources can provide a new opportunity as bright visible continuous wave or pulsed low-cost excitation sources, which can be used in a number applications including quantum and visible light communications. LED-pumped fluorescent sources (Ce:YAG and others) will be used to build compact, simpler and less expensive oscillators and amplifiers in Ti:sapphire femtosecond laser chains, which will benefit future commercial quantum technologies (QT) instrumentation. Alexandrite has a broad absorption band at 590 nm, well matched to the fluorescent spectrum of Ce:YAG, or even better Ce:YGdAG. LED-pumped fluorescent sources could open up new scientific opportunities for highly efficient femtosecond Alexandrite lasers for use in attosecond pulse generation. This work will develop beyond state-of-the-art highly stabilised laser sources using high-bright LED-pumped fluorescent technology whose high performance coupled with cost-effectiveness enhances access of researchers/technologists into a broad range of QT.The fabricated LED-fluorescent light gadgets will be used to pump an Alexandrite slab to obtain a high energy laser oscillator, and an amplifier for femtosecond Ti:sapphire laser. The project involves developing different LED-fluorescent modules and analysing their electrical and optical characteristics and functionalities including output power/energy, tunability, stability, beam quality, linearity, bandwidth, etc. and comparing the data with the simulated results using LightTools and LASCAD softwares. The work will progress and builds on the already groundbreaking initial work at Imperial College London and Northumbria University (Ce:YAG LED-fluorescent light technology and Alexandrite Ring Lasers). The successful candidate will join the newly developing Laser technology lab at Northumbria University and the OCRG lab of Prof. Fary Ghassemlooy, and will have the opportunity to work in the world famous Laser technology lab of Prof Michael Damzen at Imperial College London. This PhD aims to provide the opportunity for significant contributions to the scientific field, training in the subject area and broader understanding of applications.

The principal supervisor for this project is Dr Juna Sathian. The second supervisor will be Professor Fary Ghassemlooy. The external supervisor will be Professor Michael Damzen (Imperial College London).

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF20/EE/MPEE/SATHIAN) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Friday 24 January 2020

Start Date: 1 October 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Home/EU/Worldwide students where a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2019/20, this is £15,009 pa) and full fees.


1. J. Sathian, M. Oxborrow, A Light Source, WO2016063047A1, 2016.
2. J. Sathian, X. Sheng, G. Tawy, A. Minassian and M. J. Damzen, “Compact Non-Astigmatic Alexandrite Ring Laser with Unidirectional Single-Longitudinal-Mode operation”- submitted to JOSAB (2019).
3. J. Sathian, J. Breeze, B. J. Richards, N. M. Alford and M. Oxborrow, “Solid-state source of intense yellow light based on a Ce: YAG luminescent concentrator”, Optics Express, 25(12) (2017): 13714-13727.
4. J. Sathian, , A. Minassian, N. M. Alford, and M. J. Damzen. “Enhancing Performance of Ce: YAG Luminescent Concentrators for High Power Applications”, In 2019 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe & European Quantum Electronics Conference (CLEO/Europe-EQEC), pp. 1-1. IEEE, 2019.
5. X. Sheng, G. Tawy, J. Sathian, A. Minassian and M. J. Damzen. “Unidirectional single-frequency operation of a continuous-wave Alexandrite ring laser with wavelength tunability”, Opt. Express 26, (2018): 31129-31136.
6. H. Qin, D. Wu, J. Sathian, X. Xie, M. Ryan, and F. Xie., “Tuning the upconversion photoluminescence lifetimes of NaYF4:Yb3+, Er3+ through lanthanide Gd3+ doping”, Sci. Reports 8 (2018).
7. J. Breeze, E. Salvadori, J. Sathian, N. M. Alford and C. M. Kay, “Continuous-wave room-temperature diamond maser”, Nature 555.7697 (2018): 493.
8. U. Parali, X. Sheng; A. Minassian, G. Tawy, J. Sathian, G. M. Thomas and M J Damzen, “Diode-pumped Alexandrite laser with passive SESAM Q-switching and wavelength tunability”- Opt. commun. 410 (2018): 970-976.
9. E. Salvadori, J. Breeze, K.-J. Tan, J. Sathian et al., “Nanosecond time-resolved characterization of a pentacene-based room-temperature MASER”, Sci. Rep. 7 (2017).
10. Ghassemlooy, Z., Popoola, W. O., and Rajbhandari, S.: Optical wireless communications: system and channel modelling with Matlab®, 2nd Ed., CRC publisher, USA, August 2019
11. Ghassemlooy, Z.,

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