Numerous optical phenomena and applications have been enabled by nanophotonic structures. Oneof them, beating the diffraction limit by confining light on sub-wavelength scales, has been mainly achieved with metallic nanostructures, which unavoidably suffer from large ohmic losses. An alternative use of high refractive index dielectrics relies mostly on silicon or gallium phosphide, posing restricting fabrication challenges and limiting applications.
In this project we will work on an emerging class of layered so-called van der Waals (vdW) crystals as a new viable nanophotonics platform. So far, many of these materials have been studied in their extreme two-dimensional (2D) form of few-atom-thick layers. Their properties in a form of thin films (10-200 nm thick) are largely unexplored but offer a plethora of advantages for the use in nanophotonics. The staggering diversity of the available materials of this class that includes wide and narrow bandgap semiconductors, magnets, metals, superconductors, and insulators, offers endless possibilities in design of nanophotonic structures and devices. In this project we will expand the nanophotonics ‘tool-box’ by studying unexplored materials and realising innovative approaches for a new generation of dielectric nanophotonic structures and devices. We will also investigate how these structures can control light-matter interaction in various fluorescent materials.
Our group has been developing this direction for a few years, and now have all the necessary tools and expertise for fast progress. A new PhD recruit will join a team of 3 PhD students and 6 postdocs. We operate over 3 state-of-the-art optical spectroscopy labs including ultra-fast laser spectroscopy, magneto-spectroscopy, nonlinear and time-resolved optical spectroscopy, single-photon techniques, Raman scattering and multiple microscope set-ups. We also have dedicated 2D materials fabrication facilities including a thin film transfer set-up placed in a glovebox, and additional set-ups operating in ambient conditions. Finally, we have launched a new Near-field Optical Imaging and Spectroscopy Centre (NOSC), where we have access to a range of tip-enhanced optical techniques enabling nano-spectroscopy.
You will learn how to numerically simulate advanced nano-photonic structures; will work on novel device fabrication in our own fabrication facility and in the modern clean room; will carry out various optical spectroscopy experiments. You will further collaborate with leading groups around the world on physics and technology of 2D materials and nano-photonics. We work closely with the leading groups in many related research fields, including 2D materials (National Graphene Institute, Manchester), nanophotonics and nano-fabrication (York University), and advanced optical spectroscopy (Technical University Dortmund) and many others, and visits to their experimental facilities will be possible and encouraged.
This PhD project will be supervised by Professor Alexander Tartakovskii. Feel free getting in touch with him if you have any questions. Please include at least a cv and the academic transcript(s) from your recent degrees in your email.