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PhD on nonlinear optics and laser physics in passive resonators


About This PhD Project

Project Description

A fully funded PhD studentship is available starting from March 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter to work on nonlinear optics in passive resonators.

The resonant enhancement of laser light launched into an optical cavity can be leveraged to increase the strength of nonlinear light-matter interactions. A
remarkable manifestation of this phenomenon is the generation of so-called Kerr optical frequency combs, whereby a low-power laser beam launched into an ultra-high-Q microresonator spontaneously transforms into thousands of beams with different frequencies. The resulting frequency comb technology has numerous potential applications ranging from telecommunications to sensing, and has consequently attracted tremendous attention over the last decade.

The current project will leverage a synergetic combination of experiment and modelling to explore the nonlinear dynamics of passive resonators, including ultra-high-Q microresonators. The ultimate aim of the project is to improve our understanding of the underlying physics so as to facilitate the development of technological applications.

The project involves both experimental and theoretical components, but the student’s contributions can be tailored according to individual preference. Experimental work may include the fabrication of resonators and the use of optical and electrical diagnostics equipment to characterise the linear and nonlinear resonator behaviours. Theoretical work may include numerical integration of partial differential equations, bifurcation analyses of nonlinear dynamical systems, and the study of (dissipative) solitons in (nearly) integrable systems.

We encourage strongly motivated candidates interested in either experiment or theory (or both) to apply. The ideal candidate will have excellent command of written and spoken English, and some prior background in one (or more) of the following fields: laser physics, photonics, nonlinear optics, nonlinear dynamics, applied mathematics.

The project is based in the nonlinear photonics group at the Department of Physics of the University of Auckland. Our group consists of three senior academics and several post-docs/students, and we conduct world-leading experimental and theoretical research on nonlinear optics and laser physics. We offer excellent research infrastructure and a stimulating scientific environment at the heart of Auckland (New Zealand), one of the most liveable cities in the world. More information on our research can be found from http://www.laserlab.auckland.ac.nz.

All applications should include a curriculum vitae, a recent transcript of records, and the names and contact details of two references. All applications and inquiries should be sent to Dr Miro Erkintalo at .

This is a three year project, fully funded through a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship of the Royal Society of New Zealand. The student will receive a stipend of $27,000 per annum in addition to course fees.

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