Postgraduate Research Opportunity: Terahertz Frequency Microscopy

University of Leeds

Funded PhD project: Worldwide (International, UK and EU)
Value: UK and EU applicants will be eligible for funding which covers the cost of fees and provides a maintenance grant paid at standard Research Council rates (£14,553 in session 2017/18). Funding duration is 3 years.

International applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees and £12,000 maintenance, and the opportunity to do paid tuition work of up to £3,000 per year.

Number of awards: 1
Deadline: 31/01/2018
Supervisors: Contact Professor Giles DaviesProfessor Edmund LinfieldDr Paul DeanDr Joshua FreemanDr Lianhe Li or Professor John Cunningham to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

The terahertz frequency range does not currently compare well with other regions of the spectrum in the availability of microscopy instrumentation. Without the ability to perform terahertz imaging and spectroscopy with a spatial resolution well below the diffraction limit, measurements of nanoparticles, nanocrystals, and mesoscopic systems, for example, are intrinsically restricted to ensemble sampling of their physical properties. This is unfortunate as the characteristic energy scale associated with such structures often corresponds to the terahertz frequency range and so terahertz microscopy ought reveal much important information about such materials and devices.

This PhD project will address this shortfall by combining two exciting technologies: scattering tip near-field imaging in an atomic force microscope (AFM), and self-mixing interferometry with terahertz quantum cascade lasers. Self-mixing interferometry is a technique that we have developed in which the emitting laser cavity itself is used as an exceptionally sensitive coherent self-detector of reflected radiation. Signals reflected off remote samples induce perturbations in the intra-laser electric field, and are manifest by measurable fluctuations in the laser voltage. We will combine this with a near-field imaging approach in which the incident terahertz radiation is focussed locally on the sample by an AFM needle. By combining the nanometer-scale resolution of the AFM with the high sensitivity and compact footprint of the self-mixing detection technique, we will develop a new terahertz nanoscale microscope.

For more information please visit the Terahertz electronics and photonics web page https://engineering.leeds.ac.uk/info/201497/institute_of_microwaves_and_photonics/61/terahertz_electronics_and_photonics

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a first-class bachelor’s degree or equivalent (a GPA or average mark of at least 85% or the top 10% of graduates), and/or a Master's degree in a relevant engineering or science degree such as (but not limited to) electrical engineering, control engineering, applied mathematics and/or a relevant undergraduate degree with strong academic results.

Additional requirements:

 - Degree Certificates

 - Transcript(s) to date

 - CV including any publications

 - Two academic references

The above information and documents are required before your application will be circulated.

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

Northern England