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EPSRC - Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Photonic Integration & Advanced Data Storage

4-year Doctoral Programme
4-year Doctoral Programme

Fully Funded PhD Places Still Available September 2016 Entry

A small number of places remain for 2016 entry. We are able to offer this limited number of fully-funded studentships to well qualified UK and EU nationals


The convergence of photonics, electronics and advanced materials facilitated by nanofabrication is an exciting research environment. Our objective is the science and engineering to provide highly manufacturable photonic integration technologies relevant to a wide spectrum of end-users – from data storage, to telecommunications, to biophotonics.


To increase the capacity of hard disk drives for 'cloud' computing, new technology is required. Heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), which uses electromagnetic energy to locally heat the disk to ease the process of writing data on to it, is favourite. HAMR requires integration of photonic components such as lasers, waveguides and plasmonic antennas into the recording head. This will drive low-cost photonic integration and plasmonic technology into other industries and applications.

Industry partners include Seagate Technology; IQE plc; Oclaro Ltd; CST Global; JEOL; FEI Company; Cirdan Imaging; Kelvin Nanotechnology; AHS Ltd; Xytartex; Renishaw; and the Knowledge Transfer Network - many of whom will be actively supporting projects or offering internships during your research.

Research & Training

4-year programme leading to a unique jointly awarded PhD between the University of Glasgow & Queen’s University Belfast in an environment that cuts across physics, materials and electrical and optical engineering through to applications as diverse as data storage and biosciences.

Semesters 1 & 2 of Year 1 provide taught courses in photonics, imaging, microscopy, nanofabrication and advanced materials backed up by in-lab and in-fab practical hands-on experience to allow you to explore activities that interest you the most across the huge range of facilities the CDT has access to.

Semester 1 is based in Glasgow and Semester 2 in Belfast. The CDT funds & arranges temporary accommodation for students who have to relocate from their city of normal residence for the 1st year semester swaps.

We will provide a tailored set of management, entrepreneurial and leadership courses to allow you to be the most effective researcher you can be. These courses cover group work with industry, through to undertaking short residential courses at the highly regarded Innovation Academy in Dublin, fostering interdisciplinary innovation and entrepreneurship skills among PhD researchers and awards a Postgraduate Certificate.

A course in Teamwork & Collaboration Skills in a Virtual Cross-Geographic Environment provided by Seagate Technology addresses a key skill sought by all employers and is a feature of our CDT enabling and training researchers in distributed working.

Summer of Year 1 has a mini research project before choosing your doctoral project and where you ultimately base yourself. You will be able to undertake projects exploiting state-of-the-art experimental and computational facilities across Physics at Belfast and Glasgow and in Engineering at Glasgow, including the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre. Examples of projects that would be offered include:

  • Semiconductor laser with optimised power output at 100°C
  • Silicon waveguide coupling to nano-antennas
  • Fast switching of high power laser bars
  • Flexible electronic devices using compound semiconductor
  • High fidelity simulation of optoelectronic integrated circuits
  • High power single mode lasers
  • Atomic compositional mapping of plasmonic materials across microelectronic diffusion
  • Integrated source for quantum cryptography
  • Integrated technology for diagnostic capsule devices
  • Metamaterials and nanophotonics for imaging technology
  • Nanophotonic sensors
  • Plasmonically enhanced visible Light Emitting Diodes
  • High temperature/harsh environment evaluation of plasmonic transducer elements
  • Self-assembled plasmonic nanowire arrays
  • Wafer scale fabrication of 3D plasmonic structures
  • Plasmonics of coupled nanosystems
  • Semiconductor micro-ring lasers for optical vortex emission
  • Stabilised mode-locked lasers for THz generation
  • Spintronics for information processing and storage in magnetic nanowires
  • Nanoscale physics and electrochemistry of functional materials
  • Development of time resolved transmission electron microscopy techniques
  • In situ studies of functional materials by electron microscopy
  • Mapping plasmonic excitations on the nanoscale with transmission electron microscopy
  • Direct measure of r.f. field distributions on nanometre scales using TEM
  • Magnetic permeability in thin films and device architectures in the GHz regime

Funding, Eligibility & Application

Each studentship covers fees and a maintenance stipend at current EPSRC rate. In addition, all studentships have significant funding, for travel and mobility between the institutions as well as to conferences and for your research project expenses to allow you to fulfil your potential. Placements & close collaboration with industry partners is also available. CDT student cohorts have a budget for their own self-directed training and development.

Eligibility: UK and EU nationals.

Entry Requirements: 2:1 (or equivalent) in a cognate physical sciences or engineering discipline.

Applications: You will find it useful to visit our website for further information on making an application. Please contact Brenda Morris by telephone on +44 (0)28 90 976015 or by email [email protected].

4-year Doctoral Programme
4-year Doctoral Programme

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