PhD Studentship: Next Generation Silicon Photonic Devices for Low Power and High Data Rate Applications

University of Southampton - Optoelectronics Research Centre

Supervisor: Dr David Thomson
Co-supervisor: Dr Abdul Shakoor

Project description

Future growth in the performance of computing systems is hindered by the electronic technology upon which the vast majority of its hardware is realised. Electronic technology is being pushed ever closer to its physical limitations and as performance is pushed further, power consumption is also becoming problematic. Silicon photonics technology is widely seen as the solution, however in its current form the performance, cost and how densely it can be integrated into such systems are not sufficient. Especially, the performance of silicon optical modulator which is an important component of a photonic interconnect is limited due to the weak electro-optic effect in silicon.

This studentship, funded by the Royal Society, will work on a project that will pioneer a new photonic platform which has the potential to immensely improve the performance of silicon electro-optic modulators and revolutionise future compute systems. The platform involves integrating high performance electro-optic materials such as Lithium Niobate with low cost silicon photonic waveguides to make high performance electro-optic devices for computing systems

We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate with background in photonics, electronics, physics or material science to take on this project. The work will involve design of electro-optic devices using modelling software, fabrication of devices using one of the best clean room facilities in UK as well as device characterisation in our state of the art high speed silicon photonics laboratory.

The PhD programme

The Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) PhD comprises a solid education for a research career. The structured 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 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 fiber laser research and will benefit from many opportunities to interact with the wider community of PhD students across the Southampton Campus.

The ORC is the leading photonics research institute in the UK and possibly in Europe. It comprises state-of-the-art cleanrooms for optical fibre, planar photonics, silicon and bio-photonics fabrication and over 80 laboratories. Computer simulations will benefit from Southampton’s high performance computing cluster Iridis, one of the largest supercomputers in the UK. A PhD at the ORC has enabled our past graduates to make successful careers in academia, in national scientific laboratories, and as scientists or business leaders in industry. Our research papers, patents, spin-off companies and these successful alumni taken together place Southampton amongst the top institutes worldwide.

Key facts

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

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2018 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Duration: typically three years (full-time)

Funding: full tuition plus stipend £14,777, for EU/UK students

Assessment: eight-and 16-month reports, viva voce and thesis examination

Start date: September

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South East England