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Pollard Institute: Control of terahertz lasers using sound

   Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

About the Project

Applicants are sought for a funded PhD position investigating the acoustic control of terahertz frequency quantum cascade lasers (THz QCLs). The project is an exciting opportunity to join a large and world-renowned research group active and leading in many areas of terahertz science and technology, including in the design, growth and measurement of QCLs, which are a compact semiconductor source of terahertz radiation. The semiconductor wafers, from which these lasers are made, are grown in our laboratories in the School, and are processed into lasers in our new nanotechnology cleanroom, which is part of the University’s Bragg Centre for Materials Research.

 In this experimental PhD project, you will develop new ways to modulate terahertz sources (including THz QCLs) using acoustic waves. You will investigate and develop novel acoustic methods to manipulate the bandstructure of THz QCLs controllably and so change their light output, with the potential for extremely fast modulation (up to 100s of GHz). We have recently shown that one can use an acoustic pulse (created by an intense laser pulse hitting one side of the QCL) to perturb the light output, and we now wish to investigate this effect in detail. Future applications of the technology developed may include fast wireless communication systems and a new type of self-modulating laser, in which phonon and optical modes are both engineered for periodic sound and light modulation. The work will mainly be performed in our world-class terahertz laboratories in the School, and Bragg Centre cleanroom, in which you would make these devices using state-of-the-art equipment. There is also strong potential for you to work with our collaborators at the University of Nottingham and with our industrial project partners.

This project would suit an applicant with a good first degree in Physics, Electronic Engineering, or an aligned subject, having a good working knowledge of physical electronics, and/or photonics. Full training will be provided in the experimental techniques.

Please ensure that you quote this research project title in full on your application: Pollard Institute: Control of terahertz lasers using sound.

Funding Notes

A highly competitive EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship consisting of the award of fees with a maintenance grant (currently £17,668 for session 2022/23) for 3.5 years or School of Electronic & Electrical Engineering Studentship consisting of the award of fees at the UK fee rate of £4,596 or Non-UK fee rate of £25,500 with a maintenance grant (currently £17,668 for session 2022/23) for 3.5 years. This opportunity is open to all applicants. All candidates will be placed into both Studentship Competition and selection is based on academic merit.

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