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Ultra-stable fibre optics using new-generation optical fibres


About This PhD Project

Project Description

We are looking for a candidate with an interest in fibre optics and a degree or masters’ degree in physics or electronics to join us in researching the applications of brand new hollow core optical fibres developed at the University of Southampton (see ‘Further information’ below).

The successful candidate will have significant interaction with the fibre design and manufacturing teams, as well as with potential ‘end user’ groups, including the National Physical Laboratory in London and several companies in the fields of fibre optic sensing and optical communications, for example.

Here in the Optoelectronics Research Centre, at the University of Southampton, radically different, new-generation optical fibres are being designed and manufactured. The unique properties of these ‘hollow core’ optical fibres means they are predicted to surpass the ‘solid core’ fibres used today, in every aspect.

The project is supported with substantial funding associated with the £6m EPSRC-funded AirGuide Photonics programme grant, hosted at the world-renowned Optoelectronics Research Centre. http://www.airguide.soton.ac.uk | http://www.orc.soton.ac.uk

Please contact Dr Radan Slavik () for informal inquiries.

Further information


A signal propagating through an optical fibre is generally considered to be immune to the external environment and associated disturbances. However, this is only true in terms of the signal intensity (power) – the time signal needs to propagate through the fibre depends on environmental changes like temperature variations. This sensitivity is critical for many fibre systems such as:

• Interferometry (widely used in any field of optics, including quantum technologies),
• Ultra-precise time/frequency transfer, for instance, to support improvement of the already most-precisely defined units like second and meter,
• Next-generation data networks, such as 5G

The PhD programme


The Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) PhD comprises a solid education for a research career. The structured first year involves attending our training programme running in parallel with carrying out your research project. This provides a smooth transition from your degree course towards the more open-ended research that takes place in the following years under the guidance of your project supervisors. We expect the vast majority of 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 photonics research and will benefit from the many opportunities to interact with the wider community of PhD students across the Southampton Campus through academic, sporting and cultural events.

The ORC is one of the world’s leading photonics research institutes. A PhD here has enabled our past graduates to make successful careers in academia, in national laboratories, and as scientists or business leaders in industry.

Key facts


Entry requirements: first or upper second-class degree or equivalent

Closing date: Applications are considered all year round

Duration: typically three years (full-time)

Funding: For UK students, full tuition plus an enhanced stipend of £18,000 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. http://www.orc.southampton.ac.uk/phd_funding.html . Overseas students who have secured external funding are welcome to apply

Assessment: nine-and 18-month reports and viva voce determine progression to PhD; progression reports, viva voce and thesis examination

Start date: typically October

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