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Opto-electronics based gas sensors for detecting volatile organic compounds

School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

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Dr Hamza Shakeel No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Silicon photonics is a rapidly growing industry, potentially reaching an annual value of over a billion dollars in the coming decade. In parallel, the complexity of photonic integrated circuits has increased by more than an order of magnitude. The optical response of silicon at wavelengths used for telecommunications, however, is relatively weak. Current optoelectronic technologies therefore rely on integrating other materials with the desired properties. In this context, graphene has emerged as an excellent candidate to realize silicon-compatible optoelectronic devices. Graphene is an atom-thick, two-dimensional material made from carbon. It is nearly 100 times stronger than steel, conducts heat and electricity efficiently, and has unusual optical properties. Recent experimental reports have already approached the predicted performance limits of graphene-based devices. It is not obvious how the device performance can be further enhanced while simultaneously reducing device size. Thus, new paradigms in graphene-based optoelectronic devices/sensors are required. This project will develop a new approach for realizing integrated optoelectronic devices. Nanofabrication will be used to integrate graphene into active devices and engineer the effective optical properties with nm scale resolution. These devices will be fully compatible with CMOS technology and promise dramatic reductions in device footprint and losses, while providing fast-speed with low energy consumption.

This project will develop a new approach for realizing integrated optoelectronic devices to detect trace level volatile organic compounds. The PhD studentship is part of a NSF-US/Ireland R&D Partnership with research collaborations between the Queen’s University (Belfast, UK), Tyndall National Institute (Ireland) and the University of Utah (USA). International cooperation will provide exceptional opportunities for international student exchange and research collaboration as part of this project.

To undertake research into the design, fabrication, and characterization of optical sensors. In particular, to development of high-performance optical gas sensors for detecting volatile organic compounds.

Academic Requirements:
A minimum 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in Engineering (Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Material Science, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, or Physics) or relevant degree is required.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all four elements of the test or equivalent. A strong knowledge in signal processing, digital communications and mathematics is desired.

General Information
This 3 year International PhD studentship, potentially funded by the School of EEECS, commencing as soon as possible (intended start date 1st October, 2020), covers tuition fees and a maintenance grant (approximately £15,038 per annum). Shortlisted candidates will be given a Skype interview with the supervisors. Please explain how you fit preferred criteria below in your online application.
• Fabrication of MEMS based chemical sensors
• Experience in microfabrication techniques
• Experience in optoelectronics, microwave circuits, or optical spectroscopy
• Publications in reputable conference/s or Journals

Applicants should apply electronically through the Queen’s online application portal at:

Further information available at:

Supervisor Name: Hamza Shakeel
Tel: 028 9097 4083
QUB Address: 7th Floor Ashby Building,
Queen’s University, Belfast
Email: [Email Address Removed]

Deadline for submission of applications is 31st of August, 2020

For further information on Research Area click on link below:
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