PhD Studentship: Mid-infrared nonlinear photonics in group IV semiconductor waveguides

University of Southampton

Supervisor: Prof Anna Peacock

Recently there has been tremendous interest in migrating group IV (silicon and germanium) photonics beyond telecoms and into the mid-infrared. Much of the motivation for this move stems from the potential to develop devices for use in important application areas such as environmental sensing, homeland security, and medicine. However, there are a number of other compelling reasons to move to this wavelength regime where the semiconductor materials offer extended low loss transmission windows (1-6mm for silicon and 2-14mm for germanium). Specifically for nonlinear applications, silicon and germanium exhibit strong nonlinear coefficients and reduced nonlinear absorption in this region, so that the device efficiency can be greatly increased. This project will start with the nonlinear characterization of mid-infrared waveguides fabricated from various silicon and germanium platforms to establish a set of design criteria for device construction. The optimized waveguides will then be used to demonstrate nonlinear frequency conversion through Raman amplification, four-wave mixing, and supercontinuum generation for applications in spectroscopy and sensing.

This project is supported by the EPSRC project “Integrated nonlinear silicon photonics: a route to smaller, faster, greener systems” and will draw on the state-of-the-art facilities within the Southampton Nanofabrication Centre.

A fully funded PhD place on this project is available for UK applicants. Students from overseas who have secured external funding are also welcome to apply. Students with a background in physics and an interest in semiconductor materials and waveguide optics would be a good fit to this exciting project area.

Please contact Prof Anna Peacock ( ) for further details and visit our group pages: ( . 

Key facts

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

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2017 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place. Early application is recommended.

Duration: up to four years (full time) and seven years (part time)

Funding: Full scholarships are available for UK students with an enhanced stipend of £18,000 per annum for 3.5 years. International and EU students are encouraged to seek full or partial funding from other sources (e.g. national government scholarships, commonwealth scholarships, self-funding etc.).  

Assessment: annual reports and viva voce determine progression in PhD; viva voce and thesis examination for the final PhD award

Start date: typically end September

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