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PhD Studentship Opportunity in Active Photonic Thermometry (iCASE project)

Project Description

This iCASE (industrial Cooperative Awards in Science and Technology) project aims to revolutionise how we measure temperature. Temperature sensors are ubiquitous and have been developed to meet almost every niche requirement. However, the working standard for thermometers has barely changed in the last century and their manufacture is still relatively expensive. The aim of this project to exploit the exceptional capabilities and volume production potential of modern photonics and to develop devices which could challenge the role of conventional temperature measurement. Over the most widely used temperature range (around 0-100°C) such a device could have a large impact on thermal metrology and other applications. This project takes an entirely new approach to temperature measurement using resonant optical structures in active semiconductors such as GaAs and InP. Thermally-induced shifts in refractive index lead to a precise change in wavelength of the resonant optical structures providing an effective means of measuring temperature. Owing to the scalability and small size of photonic components, this approach has the potential for numerous scientific and commercial applications. The project will explore several new approaches for active photonic based thermometry systems. It will be design-led with fabrication of prototype devices. Using a combination of semiconductor and photonic structure modelling, the project will deliver novel designs for resonant photonic structures with embedded optical gain media.

The project will primarily be based within the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) ( and Department of Physics ( at the University of Surrey and will make use of the strong photonics design and fabrication expertise in the ATI. The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) ( is a partner on the project and will provide world-leading expertise in metrology and temperature measurement while the Compound Semiconductor Centre in Cardiff will provide source material and expertise in commercialisation.

This project will commence in October 2019 and will finish in October 2023.

Entry requirements:
This project is suitable for students with an interest in semiconductor technology, photonics and metrology. A First Class (or a high 2:1) in all previous degrees (Bachelors and, if applicable, Masters) in a relevant discipline such as Physics or Electronic Engineering.

Non-native speakers of English will be required to have IELTS 6.5 or above (or equivalent).

How to apply
Applications can be made through the University of Surrey’s Physics PhD course page
Please specify the studentship title and the supervisor on your application.

Funding Notes

The studentship is fully-funded for UK applicants through an EPSRC iCASE award, covering the University fees and attracts a student stipend of approximately £18,000 per annum for eligible students. For EU applicants, the award covers the University fees only. Detailed eligibility information is available here: View Website

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