PhD Studentship - Holographic Sensors

University of Birmingham - School of Chemical Engineering

Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Application Deadline: Applications accepted all year round

Supervisor: A.K. Yetisen

Project Description

Holographic sensors are analytical devices that systematically diffract narrow-band light in the ultraviolet to near-infrared range for application in the detection and quantification of analytes and/or physical parameters. They can be functionalised with analyte-responsive materials to construct highly-sensitive optical sensors for use in testing, where a visual readout, fast turnaround time, and reversibility are needed. Holography allows fabrication of disposable sensors that are lightweight for miniaturization and multiplexing purposes. Holographic sensors offer three capabilities on a single analytical device: (i) label-free analyte-responsive polymer, (ii) real-time, reversible quantification of the external stimuli, and (iii) three-dimensional visual image display. Their potential applications range from in vitro diagnostics to optical security devices.

The aim of this project is to develop a nanofabrication method to produce holographic nanostructures in hydrogel films by combining laser interference lithography and silver halide chemistry in a cost-effective and rapid process. The Bragg stacks will consist of silver bromide nanocrystal multilayers. Upon broadband light illumination, the Bragg stacks diffract a narrow-band peak. To demonstrate the utility of this method, the Bragg stacks will be functionalised with analyte-sensitive molecules. The developed Bragg stacks may have application in portable, wearable, and implantable real-time medical diagnostics at point-of-care settings.

The successful student will form part of a multidisciplinary team and will be supervised by Dr. Ali K. Yetisen based in the Institute of Translational Medicine ( and the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham.

Funding Notes

Students must have an undergraduate degree or master’s degree in engineering, chemistry, physics, materials science or a closely related subject.

University of Birmingham scholarships are available for exceptional UK/EU students. Self-funded international students are welcome to apply this post. Potential candidates should contact Dr. Ali K. Yetisen ( and include a CV. Applications will be evaluated on an on-going basis until the position is filled.


Holographic Sensors: Three-Dimensional Analyte-Sensitive Nanostructures and their Applications. Chemical Reviews. 114 (20), 10654-10696 (2014)

Light-Directed Writing of Chemically Tunable Narrow-Band Holographic Sensors. Advanced Optical Materials, 2 (3), 250-254 (2014)

Mechanism of multiple grating formation in high-energy recording of holographic sensors. Applied Physics Letters. 105, 261106 (2014)0

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