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Ultra-precision physical micro-machining of planar optical materials

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  • Full or part time
    Prof P Smith
    Dr C Gawith
    Dr J Gates
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

In conjunction with Loxham Precision Ltd, this project will make use of a suite of state-of-the-art ultra-precision physical micro-machining tools for applications in Quantum technologies, lasers, sensors, MOEMS and telecoms. Offering sub 3nm surface roughnesses this novel project will aim to create a new paradigm in the manufacture of optical integrated components. For example, by forming high finesse cavities in nonlinear optical materials and lasers, the project will create new optical microsystems for optical frequency combs in the infrared.

With a background in physics, electronics, material science or mechanical engineering successful candidates will be enthusiastic to work in a multi-disciplinary team with top quality collaborators across the UK and worldwide. This project will particularly appeal to candidates that enjoy hands-on engineering and real-world practical challenges. The work will involve cleanroom fabrication, optical design, testing, modelling and theoretical work.

The PhD programme


The Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) PhD provides a solid education for a research career. The structured first year combines our training programme with carrying out your research project. To provide a smooth transition from your degree course towards the more flexible research that takes place in the following years under the guidance of your project supervisors. We expect our students to present their work at international conferences and to write papers in leading academic journals as their research progresses. Students will emerge from the PhD with skills at the forefront of future fibre laser research and will benefit from the many opportunities to interact with the wider community of PhD students across the Southampton Campus.

Candidate Requirements:


Applications would be welcome from candidates holding good degrees (1st class or 2:1 honours) in physics, materials science, mechanical or electronic engineering. Experimental skills are essential. In addition to the standard EPSRC PhD studentship, this position includes an annual allowance to enable attendance at international conferences. This post is open to UK and EU citizens only, due to standard EPSRC eligibility requirements.

How to apply:


To apply for this studentship please submit an application for a PhD in the Optoelectronics Research Centre to the University of Southampton including the fact that you wish to do a PhD within Prof. Peter Smith’s group. Please see the following address for more details: http://www.orc.soton.ac.uk

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 30th April 2018 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Duration: typically three and a half years (full-time)

Funding: full tuition plus, for UK students, an enhanced stipend of up to £18,000 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. www.orc.southampton.ac.uk/phd_funding.html

Assessment: eight-and 16-month reports and viva voce determine progression to PhD; progression reports, viva voce and thesis examination.

Start date: typically September


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