PhD position in Frequency Modulated Optical Phased Array for Fast CO2 Sensing - DTU Electro

   DTU Electro

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  Prof Christian Pedersen  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is a 1-3D sensing technology that can be used for remote sensing of e.g. distance, velocity or chemical composition of a gas or solid. Typically, LiDAR designs comprise a multitude of moving parts (e.g., an assembly of lasers, optics, electronics, and detectors) on a mechanically rotating stage. The need to assemble and align all these parts leads to high costs and relatively low manufacturing volumes, while the wear and tear on the mechanical components limits long-term reliability. To solve these problems, the trend is to go for higher levels of integration enabled by semiconductor technologies and move away from discrete and mechanical components. Hereby, also fast spatial scanning of the laser beam is enabled as detailed below.

DTU Electro at the Technical University of Denmark is seeking a candidate for a PhD position to research a fast 2D beam steering LiDAR based on integrated 1D optical phased array (OPA), implemented for environmental CO2 gas sensing. The PhD student will participate in an international team in an EU-funded Doctoral Network project called NiteLiDAR. The project consists of 10 Ph.D. students at 3 universities, an international R&D organization, and a company. The project has partners from four different EU countries. All 10 Ph.d. projects are within the overall theme of photonic and electronic integrated circuits for next-generation LiDAR technologies. 

This Ph.D. project will take place at DTU Electro, Risø Campus. Apart from the time at DTU there will be secondments at the Technical University Eindhoven and at Thales, France. There will also be common meetings with the other 9 Ph.D. students in the doctoral network, including 3 training schools. 

As a participant of the project, the PhD student will become part of a team at DTU with expertise in optical sensor technology including wind and environmental gas sensing LiDARs. The team has in-depth knowledge of design, characterization, and application of optical sensors. The activities within the project will benefit from synergies with other projects in the group as well as with other activities at the department. The main supervisor will be Professor Christian Pedersen, DTU Electro.

Responsibilities and tasks 

An OPA is a (periodic) arrangement of optical antennas that all emit light in phase to project a collimated beam. The emission angle and shape of this beam can be tuned by adjusting the relative phases and amplitudes that feed into the individual emitters or antennas. Based on theoretical modeling and experimental investigations, this project aims at developing fast CO2 gas LiDAR with large field of view, intended for short range applications, such as 2D surveillance of emission sources found in the petrochemical industry or from waste water treatment plants. The PhD student working on this project will closely collaborate with the other researchers in the field of environmental gas sensing. The project will among others consist of the following tasks:

  • Modelling a frequency modulated OPA based LIDAR for CO2 gas sensing.
  • Design and integrate a >20 mW frequency modulated CW laser with a gas LIDAR system including the receiver.
  • Field test the LiDAR system for fence line monitoring or drone implementation. 


Candidates must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree in photonics, electro, applied physics or similar.

Further obligations: The doctoral candidate (DC) is expected to travel to network partners under two secondments for a typical total duration of 3-5 months. Additionally, the DC is expected to participate in outreach activities including, but not limited to, YouTube videos, social media updates, participation in public events and campaigns, as well as dissemination to popular press. Furthermore, due to the mobility rules of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie program, the applicant must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before their recruitment date.

Approval and Enrolment 

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU's rules for the PhD education

We offer

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations and the living, mobility and family allowances specified in the Horizon Europe Marie Curie project will be incorporated into the total salary. All allowances included in the salary package, are considered as salary by Danish tax authorities, and will be taxed as income. The final salary will be calculated and agreed upon with the relevant union. 

The period of employment is 3 years. Desirable start for the PhD position: 1 March 2024.

The workplace is DTU Electro at the DTU Lyngby campus.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information

Further information may be obtained from Professor Christian Pedersen ([Email Address Removed]).

You can read more about DTU Electro at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Physics (29)

 About the Project