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Ultra-precision physical micro-machining of planar optical materials


About This PhD Project

Project Description

Our team specialises in the development and manufacturing of novel optoelectronic devices for applications in quantum technology, integrated optical sensors and laser optics. PhD projects include:

Ultra-precision physical micro-machining of planar optical materials

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


Our world-leading research centre is a hive of activity with over 200 staff and students working on cutting-edge research to provide innovative solutions for real life problems in manufacturing, communication technology, defence, health care, renewable energy and the environment.

We are looking for the photonics pioneers of the future to join our vibrant research team and work alongside our world-class researchers to make history. Our physics and materials science PhD programme offers a solid start to any career in optics and photonics, whether you are planning to stay in academia or work in industry.

Candidate Requirements:


Applications would be welcome from candidates holding good degrees (1st class, 2:1 honours or MSc) 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 2019 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 https://www.orc.soton.ac.uk/fees-and-funding

Start date: typically September

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