Recent advances in high-speed electromagnetic solvers and optimisation techniques is allowing for the automated discovery of new photonic structures which control the flow of light. This technique called topological optimisation or inverse design allows for the algorithmic design of the topology of dielectric structures which satisfies one or more desired functional characteristics. This approach has been successfully applied towards the design of antennas, filters, splitters and diplexers at optical wavelengths. A summary of this work can be found at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41566-018-0246-9.
This PhD project will develop topological optimisation techniques for the terahertz band (0.1 to 10 THz) and apply it towards the design of novel photonic devices for future terahertz communication and sensing systems. This will likely involve performing electromagnetic simulations on high performance computers, cleanroom fabrication and electromagnetic characterisation.
The candidate should have completed or be about to complete an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering or Physics, preferably with first class honours (or equivalent). The PhD candidate is expected to have a keen interest in electromagnetism and good programming skills. Details of the project will be agreed upon with the successful candidate to tailor the research to their interests.
The research programme will be a collaboration between the Emerging Device Technology (EDT) research group in the Department of Electrical, Electronic and System Engineering and the Metamaterials Research Group in the Department of Physics, both at the University of Birmingham.
Funding for the position will be provided through the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Topological Design hosted at the University of Birmingham. This programme consists of a one year masters plus a three year PhD. The funding is awarded on a competitive basis, is only available to UK/EU nationals and covers the tuition fees and provides a living stipend for 4 years. More information regarding the CDT can be found at https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/university/colleges/eps/study/phd/cdt/topological-design-cdt/index.aspx.