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On-chip Mid-IR ATR and Raman Spectroscopies for Rapid Bedside Biomarker Diagnostics

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Saturday, August 31, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The Optoelectronics Research Centre has a 40-year track record of pioneering contributions in photonics and is currently one of the largest and most dynamic research centres in this field world-wide. The Integrated Photonic Devices Group ( explores the fundamentals of guided wave optics at surfaces, with applications including telecommunications, biosensing and novel light sources, and is complemented by world-class photonic materials and fabrication facilities (

The Project: There is a pressing need for diagnostic tools that can produce results quickly from patients’ bedsides and in doctors’ surgeries. Rapid, accurate results will allow rapid therapeutic decisions and save lives at reduced cost. In contrast, existing technologies require transfer of samples to centrally located laboratories equipped with sophisticated instruments, and highly skilled personnel. Both Mid-IR and Raman spectroscopies have been shown independently to be powerful biodiagnostic tool for specific biomarkers, however, combining the strengths of both these techniques on a single chip will take advantage of their complementarity in identifying disease causing biomarkers much more efficiently.

The overall aim of this project is to develop the ATR/Raman chips using advanced materials and apply the chip for proof of principle demonstration for the diagnostics of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (nRDS). In specific the project will involve computational modelling and design of these chips including signal enhancement features using resonating structures. This will be followed by fabrication of the chips in our cleanrooms based on materials such as silicon and plastics. Fabricated devices will be first characterised at the ORC and then applied to clinical diagnostic applications including nRDS in collaboration with University Hospital Southampton. The candidate will work as part of the team comprising post-docs, research students and academics pursuing research on EPSRC funded project (2019-2022) entitled “Combining the Strengths of Mid-IR and Raman Spectroscopies on Single Chip for Rapid Bedside Biomarker Diagnostics”.
The PhD programme: Our world-leading research centre is a hive of activity with over 200 staff and students working on cutting-edge research to provide innovative solutions for real life problems in health-care, manufacturing, communication technology, defence, renewable energy and the environment.

We are looking for the photonics pioneers of the future to join our vibrant research team and work alongside our world-class researchers to make history. Our Photonics PhD programme offers a solid start to any career in optics and photonics, whether you are planning to stay in academia or work in industry.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr. Senthil Ganapathy, Email: , Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 7811.

Funding Notes

Funding: Full funding is available for UK applicants which includes paid tuition fees and tax-free bursary of £18,000 per annum to cover the living expenses.

EU applicants may also be considered for fully-funded scholarships. Obtaining support from other sources (or self-funding) for living expenses will increase chances of a successful application. Please note that EU students who have been working/studying in the UK for the previous 3-years can be fully-funded as equivalent UK students.

International students are encouraged to seek full/partial funding from other sources (e.g. national scholarships, commonwealth scholarships, self-funding etc).
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