PhD Studentship: Study of Techniques for Efficient Nonlinear Frequency Conversion of High Power Fibre Lasers to the Visible Wavelength Band

University of Southampton - Optoelectronics Research Centre

Supervisor: Prof. Andy Clarkson.

Scaling laser power in the visible band remains as one of the most significant challenges facing laser scientists, motivated by the needs of a growing number of applications in areas such laser processing of materials, medicine, sensing, and defence. Traditional methods for accessing this wavelength regime are not compatible with operation at high power levels and so a different approach is needed. This project will investigate a new strategy for generating kilowatt-class laser power in the visible band by combining the power-scaling advantages of cladding-pumped fibre lasers in the near-infrared band with novel nonlinear frequency conversion schemes. The approach offers the prospect of unprecedented wavelength coverage across the entire visible wavelength band at very high power levels and with high overall efficiency. The project will involve a detailed study into the physics of frequency-converted fibre lasers operated at very high power levels to establish a power scaling strategy and to determine the fundamental limits. The overall ambition of the project will be a new generation of visible lasers boasting levels of performance well beyond the current state-of-the-art for use in industrial laser processing.

A fully funded PhD place on this project is available for UK applicants supported by an EPSRC CASE Studentship. The project will involve close collaboration with one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high power fibre lasers for industrial manufacturing (SPI Lasers based in the UK). The studentship comes with an enhanced stipend (including an additional industrial bursary) of up to £21,000 (tax-free) and with fees paid. A visit to meet us is recommended and phone/Skype interviews are also possible if necessary. Please contact Prof. Andy Clarkson (email: for further details.

The PhD programme

The Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) PhD programme comprises a solid education for a research career. The 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 laser and nonlinear optics research.

The ORC is one of the world’s leading research institutes in laser science and photonics. Its researchers have made pioneering advances in the high power fibre lasers and solid-state lasers that currently have widespread industrial applications. 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 should be received no later than 15 September 2017 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Duration: Typically 3.5 years (full-time).

Funding: Full tuition plus, for UK students, an enhanced stipend of up to £21,000 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

Start date: Typically September/October 2017.

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