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Neuromorphic Nanophotonic Systems for Artificial Intelligence

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Hurtado
    Dr Michael Strain
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Start date: March 2019
Duration: 3 yrs

Neuromorphic Photonics is an emerging discipline focusing on the development of light-enabled technologies inspired by the powerful computational capabilities of the brain for novel paradigms in information processing beyond traditional digital systems. Biological neurons process information in the brain by firing spikes when stimulated; however, they operate at reduced millisecond timescales. Photonic technologies using light signals for operation offer promise for novel artificial neuronal models operating at sub-nanosecond speeds (>7 orders of magnitude faster than biological neurons). There is therefore a growing research interest in developing novel, ultrafast and reduced energy consumption brain-inspired photonic systems with interconnected artificial optical neuronal models for new functionalities in computing, artificial intelligence and data-driven technologies.

This project seeks to develop and investigate new energy efficient and ultrafast neuromorphic (brain-inspired) photonic systems at the nanoscale for Artificial Intelligence platforms. The project will investigate spiking photonic neuronal models using nanoscale light sources and detectors as main components. This will be used to develop interconnected high-bandwidth spike encoded processing systems for their future implementation in optical neural networks.

The objectives of the project will include first the development of spiking neuronal models built with nanophotonic elements (e.g. nanoLEDs, nanoPDs) benefitting from ultrafast (GHz rates) operation and very low energy consumption. The project will also investigate interconnected synaptic links between nanophotonic spiking neuronal models. Finally, this project will also focus on the demonstration of functional spiking information processing and learning tasks with nanophotonic neuronal models for their validation for use in future optical neural networks.
This project will therefore contribute to advance our research vision in neuromorphic photonics for novel paradigms in ultrafast computing and Artificial Intelligence going beyond classical digital information processing technologies.

Institute of Photonics:
The Institute of Photonics (IoP), established in 1996, is a commercially-oriented research unit 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 offices and laboratories of the IoP are based in Strathclyde’s Glasgow city centre campus. We are part of the Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) initiative and co-located with the new Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics. 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:

How to apply:
To enter our PhD programme applicants require an upper-second or first class BSc Honours degree, or a Masters qualification of equal or higher standard, in Physics, Engineering or a related discipline. Full funding, covering fees and stipend, is available for UK and EU nationals only.

Applicants should send a CV to [Email Address Removed].

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