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Terahertz integrated circuit based on 3D-printed multi-material functional structures


Department of Mechanical, Aerospace & Materials Engineering

About the Project

This project is part of a 4-year Dual PhD degree programme between the National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan) and the University of Liverpool (England). As part of the NTHU-UoL Dual PhD Award students are in the unique position of being able to gain 2 PhD awards at the end of their degree from two internationally recognised world-leading Universities. As well as benefiting from a rich cultural experience, students can draw on large-scale national facilities of both countries and create a worldwide network of contacts across two continents.
The latest set of projects targeted goal #11 from the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
In the past few years, we have witnessed an enormous growth of Additive Manufacturing. Due to its versatility extrusion-based 3D printing is the most viable option to introduce new materials in complex designs, and to create high resolution multi-material 3D structures combining a wide range of functional materials. The development of this technique has great potential in multiple fields, including scaffolds for health and energy applications among others. This project aims to demonstrate the potential in the field of terahertz (THz) photonics, bridging functional materials, circuit designs and electromagnetic radiation.

Structures with controlled architecture and functionality can manipulate electromagnetic (EM) radiation behaviours in space and time through light-matter-interaction. With the interaction of artificial crystal structures, Photonic crystals (PhCs), EM radiation can be bended, re-routed, separated, concentrated and spatially/temporally/spectrally modulated. In infrared and visible EM spectrum, PhC structures have already demonstrated their great capabilities shrinking down the size of EM systems from meter scale to chip size. Well-compatible with CMOS fabrication technology, PhC transforms the bulky and expensive nature of optical systems into cost-effective, compact, multi-functional tools for a great variety of application fields. PhCs can also be made by creating structures of ceramic semiconductors (and other materials) with controlled lattice dimensions or spacing from micrometer to centimeter range. This capability enables PhCs to control, manipulate and guide the THz electromagnetic spectrum, which unlocks promising applications in high-speed wireless communication, security screening, non-invasive sensing and imaging, chemical identification, translational medicine, biology and astronomical exploration.

Aim Using additive manufacturing techniques to produce THz photonic crystals (THz PhCs) of different functional materials, which will be combined to mix and match different THz active/passive components.

The research activities will involve designing and manufacturing a polymeric THz wave guide; identifying candidate materials with photoconductive properties to manipulate functionality and studying their photoconductive properties; formulating printable pastes for direct ink writing (DIW, one of AM techniques that will be used) and creating complex structures of selected candidates; and manufacturing different structures (different THz active/passive components) to create a THz circuit.

Applicants should apply via the University of Liverpool application form, for a PhD in the subject area listed above at:
https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/how-to-apply/

For academic enquires please contact Dr Esther García-Tuñón or Prof Shang-Hua Yang
For enquires on the application process or to find out more about the Dual programme please contact School of Engineering Postgraduate Office ()


Funding Notes

This project is a part of a 4-year dual PhD programme between National Tsing Hua University (Taiwa) and the University of Liverpool (England). Students should spend equal time studying in each institution. Both the UoL and NTHU have agreed to waive the tuition fees for the duration of the project and stipend of $11,000 TWD/£280 GBP a month will be provided as a contribution to living costs. When applying please ensure you Quote the supervisor & project title you wish to apply for and note ‘NTHU-UoL Dual Scholarship’ when asked for details of how plan to finance your studies.

References

E García-Tuñón*, et al, Printing in three-dimensions with graphene, Adv Mat, (2015), 27(10) 1688–1693; E García-Tuñón*, et al, Graphene oxide: an all-in-one processing additive for 3D printing, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 9 (38), pp 32977–32989 (2017); V Garcia-Rocha, E García-Tuñón*, et al, 3D Printing a Graphene-based Supercapacitor using thermo-responsive inks, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 9 (42), 37136-37145 (2017); E Feilden, E García-Tuñón, et al, Robocasting of Structural Ceramic Parts with Hydrogel Inks, J Euro Ceram Soc (2016) 36(10), 2525-2533

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