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School of Engineering - Chip Scale Optical Frequency Combs

Project Description

The School of Engineering of the University of Glasgow is seeking a highly motivated graduate to undertake an exciting 4-year PhD project entitled ‘ Chip Scale Optical Frequency Combs ’ within the Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering Division.

The James Watt School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow has three fully paid PhD scholarships (university fees, student stipend and project consumables) available for three quantum technology projects to start in 2019 or 2020. The three projects are linked to the UK Quantum Technology Hubs for Sensors and Timing and QuantiC. Successful candidates will be trained to use the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (, a 1500 m2 quasi-industrial cleanroom with over £35M of processing tools. The cleanroom has delivered technology to over 300 companies in 28 countries globally in the last 5 years, over 100 international universities including 49 in the Times Higher Education Top 100 International Universities list and is the only cleanroom delivering technology to all four UK Quantum Technology Hubs.

The projects will be supervised by Prof Marc Sorel, Professor of Optoelectronics and Prof Douglas J Paul, an EPSRC Established Quantum Technology Fellow. Glasgow has a long history in photonics with major research breakthroughs including the first 2D photonic bandgap devices in SOI, the first THz mode locked diode lasers, the first Ge on Si single photon avalanche detectors and the first entangled photonic qubits. Its spin out companies are now responsible for manufacturing over 5% of all the DFB lasers being deployed in datacentres globally. The University established in 1451 has been home to many notable scholars including James Watt, Joseph Black, Lord Kelvin, William Rankine, Rev Robert Stirling, Rev John Kerr, John Logie Baird, Frederick Soddy and Adam Smith.

Successful candidates are expected to have a first or upper second class degree from a reputable university in physics, electrical and electronic engineering or a suitably aligned degree. All the projects include the design, modelling, fabrication and characterisation of photonic devices and systems for quantum technology applications. The students will also be expected to fully engaged with the UK Quantum Technology Programme and Hubs including collaborative working and networking events with other UK universities, industry and government agencies.

Frequency combs: Chip-scale optical combs with lower size, weight and power are essential components for the development of portable atomic optical clocks for precision timing and radars for surveillance. By leveraging on recent progresses in photonic integration technologies, this project aims to develop and demonstrate chip-size visible optical combs that integrate high Q-factor silicon nitride resonators with stable DFB semiconductor lasers and control electronics. Such components will offer a radical improvement with respect to the bulky and expensive solutions that are currently available. The large collaboration network with the UK National QT Hubs, the industrial supply chain and final users will provide numerous opportunities for device validation and for maximising the project impacts.

Application for this scholarship is made by using the online system at the following link:

Candidates applying for this Scholarship will most likely have an interview/discussion with the supervisor before any decision is made.

Funding Notes

The studentship will cover home tuition fees and provide a stipend at the UKRI rate for 4 years (£15,009 for session 2019/20). UK and EU students are eligible provided they can pass some simple background checks by the funder.

How good is research at University of Glasgow in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 84.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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