Our team at the Institute of Photonics is at the cutting-edge of research in photonic materials and devices for the application of light to solve challenges. Since 2002 we have been fabricating gallium-nitride (GaN) micro-size light emitting diodes, motivated by the use of these in high-density array formats. Our current research interests and expertise extends to both ‘hard’ (III-V semiconductors, glass, diamond) and ‘soft’ (organic semiconductors, colloidal quantum dots and related composites) photonic materials. We combined these through different techniques to form novel functional hybrid structures and devices (colour converters, visible LEDs, waveguides, flexible lasers etc.) for applications that range from (bio)-sensing, scientific instrumentation, medical technologies and optical communications. The proposed research will build on our expertise and further extend the technologies and their applicability. In particular, there is an identified and timely opportunity to explore the assembly of nanoscale light emitters for the implementation of innovative structures into chipscale sensor systems.
In this context, this project will develop new types of optically active microresonators based on colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) and study their integration into compact instrumentation for sensing applications. Obtaining CQD micro-resonators usually means incorporating CQDs into optical cavities that are prepared separately. For example, a dielectric microsphere or a micro-ring resonator is conformably coated (in a way ‘painted’) with a film of CQDs. On the other hand, realising resonators by direct self-assembly of CQDs has been recently demonstrated and is in principle simpler, more elegant and could lead to strong resonances, hence superior capabilities. This studentship will explore both approaches to form CQD micro-resonators and will then characterise their respective optical and sensing properties. These will act as tiny light sources that can sense their environment either directly or as building blocks in higher-level devices. Therefore, in addition, a family of precise manipulation and printing techniques will be utilised to incorporate these CQD resonators into chipscale instrumentation for biosensing. The impact of this work will have ramifications in biomedical instrumentation but also environmental monitoring and novel lighting and laser materials and devices.
Institute of Photonics: The Institute of Photonics (IoP), part of the Department of Physics, is a centre of excellence in applications-oriented research at the University of Strathclyde - the Times Higher Education UK University of the Year 2012/13 and UK Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2013/14. The Institute’s key objective is to bridge the gap between academic research and industrial applications and development in the area of photonics. The IoP is located in the £100M Technology and Innovation Centre on Strathclyde’s Glasgow city centre campus, where it is co-located with the UK’s first Fraunhofer Research Centre. Researchers at the IoP are active in a broad range of photonics fields under the areas of Photonic Devices, Advanced Lasers and Neurophotonics, please see: http://www.strath.ac.uk/science/physics/instituteofphotonics/ourresearch/.