THz and mm-wave detection through silicon luminescence

   College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

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  Prof E Hendry, Dr Ian Hooper  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project


Department of Physics, Streatham Campus, Exeter


The University of Exeter’s Centre for Metamaterials Research and Innovation (CMRI) with industry partners QinetiQ, is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship. For eligible students, the studentship will cover home tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £18,622 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study. The student would be based in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the Streatham Campus in Exeter.

Project Description:

Unlike X-rays, radiation in the mm-wave THz bands is intrinsically safe, non-ionising and non-destructive. These frequencies also correspond to a “sweet spot” in the electromagnetic spectrum, where radiation can pass unimpeded through typical clothing materials, making them ideally suited for security imaging applications. However, THz and mm-wave radiation has also proven difficult to detect using standard approaches,, and this part of the electromagnetic spectrum is often referred to as the “terahertz gap”, where it is currently difficult to develop applications due to a lack of detector technology.

In this project we will develop a new technology for detecting THz and mm-waves, exploiting a very recent discovery by the Exeter THz group: by measuring heating induced changes to luminescence, one can make a very sensitive detector for these frequencies. This discovery, once fully developed, could have wide ranging applications, effectively turning any silicon based camera, such as a modern smartphone, into a sensitive THz detector.

Applicants must have a working knowledge of optics, and have taken modules in optics and/or electromagnetism during their undergraduate degree. Proficiency in programming using Python, Matlab or Labview would also be helpful.

The Award:

This award provides annual funding to cover Home tuition fees and a tax-free stipend. For students from the UK who pay Home tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least £17,668 per year tax-free stipend (increasing each year as per UKRI standard PhD stipend). The conditions for eligibility of home fees status are complex and you will need to seek advice if you have moved to or from the UK (or Republic of Ireland) within the past 3 years or have applied for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 3.5 years of full-time study. The collaboration with industry partners QinetiQ is subject to contract.

For further information on the project, please contact Professor Euan Hendry, e-mail [Email Address Removed], or telephone (01392 725654).

For further information and to apply please use this link: Award details | Funding and scholarships for students | University of Exeter

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