So far nano-photonics has dealt with dielectric devices relying on confining light in diffraction-limited volumes. Beating the diffraction limit by confining light on sub-wavelength scales has been only possible with plasmonic structures made of nano-structured metal, which unavoidably suffer from large optical losses. Recently, it has been shown that high-refractive-index dielectric nano-antennas can provide confined optical modes with sub-wavelength mode volumes. In contrast to plasmonic devices, such structures show negligible non-radiative losses. Our research group has shown that by coupling such antennas to atomically thin 2D semiconductors – transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), strong fluorescence enhancements in the latter can be observed (see https://arxiv.org/abs/1906.08560, paper to appear in Nature Communications.) In this project we will explore unexplored materials systems and innovative approaches for a new generation of dielectric nano-antennas, and investigate their coupling to fluorescent materials including atomically thin 2D materials, dye molecules and perovskites.
You will join an energetic team of 4 PhD students and 3 postdocs. You will learn how to numerically simulate advanced nano-photonic structures, will work on novel device fabrication in the modern clean room, and will carry out a large number of optical experiments in the state-of-the-art laboratories of the Sheffield group. You will further collaborate with leading groups around the world on physics and technology of 2D materials and nano-photonics. We work closely with the leading groups in many related research fields, including 2D materials (National Graphene Institute, Manchester), nano-photonics and materials (Imperial College London), and optical spectroscopy (Technical University Dortmund) and many others, and visits to their experimental facilities will be possible and encouraged. See further details at http://ldsd.group.shef.ac.uk/research/2d-materials/
Science Graduate School: As a PhD student in one of the science departments at the University of Sheffield, you’ll be part of the Science Graduate School – a community of postgraduate researchers working across biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and psychology. You’ll get access to training opportunities designed to support your career development by helping you gain professional skills that are essential in all areas of science. You’ll be able to learn how to recognise good research and research behaviour, improve your communication abilities and experience technologies that are used in academia, industry and many related careers. Visit http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/sgs to learn more.