The Physics of Carrier Distributions in Low Dimensional materials and application to Nanowire Laser Sensors (physics)
Prof Peter Smowton
Dr P Buckle
Applications accepted all year round
Self-Funded PhD Students Only
Low cost, portable sensors are becoming commonplace for example in mobile phones that monitor temperature, pressure and humidity. A new generation of sensors is urgently required that can rapidly test for diseases such as bacterial infections, monitor glucose or pollutant gases. The main theme will be to bring together a number of sensing modalities within a micro-fluidic platform that will enable unprecedented levels of sensitivity to be achieved through the use of nanostructure and resonant enhancement.
As a starting point we will use nanowire material and fabricate coupled cavity structures and demonstrate that short pulse lasing, which is important for sensing, is realistic. We will be using an ensemble of nanowires as a gain material and so we will be exploring the physics of carrier distribution in low dimensional materials and using this understanding to push the boundaries of laser physics. If successful, in addition to a demonstrator, we expect a patent application as a likely output of this work. We will fabricate a fluid delivery channel for the nanowire device and investigate the variety of ways a nanowire laser can be configured to sense fluid and particulate properties with
an output demonstrating that operation is modified by the presence of analyte and demonstrating the feasibility and advantages of this approach. The work will be underpinned by a good understanding of optical and semiconductor physics and will lead to the further understanding of the physics of light-matter interactions, ultrafast laser physics and characterisation
techniques. There will be the opportunity to exploit and develop skills in experimental physics and in semiconductor device fabrication. This background and the materials and device development which forms the core of the programme also has strong relevance to a number of other highly topical areas. The project offers opportunities for interaction with and visits to colleagues in partner universities.
The project will be carried out in the Condensed Matter and Photonics Group, which is equipped with a suite of state-of-the-art laboratories including two class 1000 cleanrooms for device and test structure fabrication. The group has extensive experimental and theoretical expertise and capability including a number of world leading material, device fabrication and characterisation techniques invented in house.
This project is available to students able to self-fund. Applicants will also be considered for MPhil study if requested.
How good is research at Cardiff University in Physics?
FTE Category A staff submitted: 19.50
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