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Modelling the optical response of disordered nano-structures

Project Description

This PhD project focuses on modelling analytically and numerically the electromagnetic response of small ensembles of scatterers, e.g. nanoparticles dispersed on a surface, which can contain photoactive, organic films.

This project will embed the PhD student in a team of experimental physicists and pure mathematicians to create high performance novel nano-systems. It will provide an exciting opportunity to operate in a truly interdisciplinary environment, while learning some key mathematical modelling skills that will be applicable in a wide variety of contexts. The core of the PhD research project will be to model the electromagnetic response of the structured surfaces, either coming from the experiments or from theoretical templates. A student on this project will be trained in theoretical and numerical modelling techniques for nanoscale optics, from finite element methods and finite difference time domain algorithms, to new numerical simulation techniques based on Green’s function algorithms.

The project has also two subsidiary components: the first is to compare the response of the modelled structures with the data measured in the laboratory in order to ensure that the models are realistic. The second is to learn and apply new mathematical methodologies to analyse the electromagnetic field scattering by clusters of nanoparticles.

The ideal candidate will have a good undergraduate or Master’s degree in Physics, Mathematics or Engineering. It is essential to have a good knowledge of electromagnetic theory and its mathematical modelling. The project will require you to write code, but we do not require proven experience in coding. It is also important for the candidate to engage with research questions on the boundary of experimental physics and mathematics, and in particular to have an affinity for experimental measurements and procedures. The candidate will be expected to take an active part in applying advanced data analytic techniques to the results of experiments carried out by other members of the team.

Funding Notes

Funding and duration/arrangements
• Funding is for three and half years and covers fees, stipend (approximately £15,000 per year) and travel money to conferences (approximately £750 per year).
• The PhD student will be formally registered in Mathematical Sciences and based there, but will receive training from both Mathematical Sciences and Physics and Astronomy and will have plenty of opportunities to interact with students from both communities.
• The position is available with starting date 1st September 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter.

How good is research at University of Southampton in Mathematical Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 54.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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