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PhD Engineering: Development of integrated photonic circuits for non-linear applications

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Marc Sorel
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Applications are sought for a 42 month fully funded PhD studentship working with Prof. Marc Sorel in the School of Engineering, Glasgow University and Loyd McKnight at the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics (FCAP) at Glasgow. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to work in the FCAP laboratories and gain first-hand experience in industrially relevant research and development projects. This collaborative research studentship is part of the EPSRC-funded grant “Compact visible frequency combs – the missing link in a vision of pervasive quantum timekeeping” – EP/P005446/1.

Start Date: As soon as possible after successful interview

Project: The UK’s recent investments in Quantum Technology envision disruptive new time standards based on an ultrastable optical frequency locked to a clock transition in trapped ions / atoms. Optical standards offer superior fractional stability (Δf/f) to radio-frequency (RF) clocks, and embedding them into servers, navigation systems and networks would revolutionise the telecommunications, finance, defence, geodesy and energy sectors. However, realizing this vision needs a means of transferring such timing stability from optical (PHz) frequencies to the RF/microwave (GHz) domain—a function requiring a laser frequency comb.

This project targets the timely development of an integrable miniature comb platform leveraging recent progress in GHz femtosecond lasers at Heriot Watt University and integrated nonlinear photonics at Glasgow University. Specifically, the concept we propose unites a 10-GHz Kerr-lens modelocked laser with an ultra-high nonlinearity silicon nitride or AlGaAs supercontinuum chip with an on-board interferometer to enable offset frequency stabilization via self-referencing. The final device will integrate on the same chip signal filtering and delay functions with micro-ring resonators, couplers, tuning elements and electronic control.

The project will be developed in close association with QuantIC - the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging - as well as several academic and industrial partners who will contribute resources, expertise and routes for exploitation.

The learning experience: The Optoelectronics Research Group in the School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow has pioneered theoretical and experimental research on photonic integrated circuits for over 40 years. This activity is supported by the James-Watt Nanofabrication Centre (JWNC), one of the finest nanofabrication facilities in Europe with over £32M of nanofabrication tools in a 1350 m2 clean room. QuantIC is the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging located at the University of Glasgow and is part of the UK National Quantum Technology Programme, setup to exploit the potential of quantum science into new emerging technologies. The Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics provides professional research and development services for industry and is part of the larger Fraunhofer network that is Europe’s largest application orientated research organisation. The student will have access to state-of-the-art optical laboratories and will enjoy unique opportunities to develop industry contacts in an expanding research environment with responsibility at an early stage.

The project is highly multidisciplinary and will present an excellent opportunity for a motivated candidate to learn techniques spanning traditional discipline boundaries and to engage with academic and industrial partners.

Personal Specification: We are looking for a motivated and talented student graduating with at least a 2.1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in an engineering or physical science field. A master degree is preferable but not essential and previous research experience is greatly valued.

Prospective applicants should contact Prof. Marc Sorel ([Email Address Removed]) to discuss their interest in the position. Applications for this studentship must be made via the University website.

Funding Notes

Funding is available to cover 42-month year stipend and tuition fees, travel allowance and research consumables for UK/EU/International applicants.

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