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PhD Studentship on Understanding Loss Mechanisms in Hollow Optical Fibers

University of Southampton

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Southampton
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: £18,000 enhanced stipend tax-free per annum
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 6th December 2018
Expires: 6th March 2019

Project Description

Because of their unique properties derived from confining and guiding light in a hollow region rather than in a solid material, hollow optical fibers hold a great promise for a wide range of applications, including high power delivery, gas sensing, metrology, sensing, quantum optics and in particular optical communications. 

Remarkable breakthroughs at the ORC over the past few years have shown that data can be transmitted over long distances in a hollow fibre, travelling much faster than in a glass fibre and with comparable data transmission capacity (>50 Tbit/s). For wide deployment of these fibers in data transmission applications, it is however imperative that their attenuation is reduced further. Significant progress made over the past few years has led to the understanding that surface scattering, leakage and microbending contribute to the ultimate attenuation and need to be reduced. 

In this PhD project, the candidate will work within a world-leading team to develop theoretical models and/or experiments for the studies of loss mechanisms in hollow fibers, and to develop adequate loss reduction strategies for next generation hollow core fiber technology.

A fully funded PhD position is available for UK applicants. EU students with no external funding can contend for a small number of competitive scholarships. Students from overseas who have secured some external funding are also encouraged to apply.

To discuss any details of the project or arrange a visit, please contact Professor Francesco Poletti, (, email:

The PhD programme

The project will be hosted at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), a world-leading institution in optical fibre technology for the past 45 years. With more than 90 state-of-the-art laboratories and 200 researchers working in all areas of photonics, the ORC provides an outstanding interdisciplinary environment for students to grow. Besides, its cluster of ten photonics spin-out companies provides a natural career paths for PhD graduates.

The group has an excellent track record of publishing in high profile research journals and in leading international conferences. Former PhD and postdoctoral researchers from this group have made successful careers in Universities worldwide or as scientists and business leaders in industry. The quality of our research outputs, the cluster of spin-off companies and the worldwide network of successful alumni place the ORC amongst the top institutes worldwide for doctoral research. 

The ORC PhD provides a solid education for a research career, In the first year a structured training programme runs in parallel with the research project, provides a gradual transition from a taught degree to the open-ended research. Students will present their work at conferences worldwide, first-author papers in leading academic journals and will emerge from the PhD with skills at the forefront of glass and fibre optics research.

Key facts

  • Entry requirements: first or upper second-class degree or equivalent
  • Closing date: applications are welcome throughout the year.
  • Duration: typically three and a half years (full-time)
  • Funding: full tuition plus, for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £18,000 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.
  • Assessment: reports at the 8 and 16-month stage and an oral examination to determine progression to PhD, which is awarded after thesis submission and viva voce examination
  • Start date: typically October (although later starts might be acceptable)
  • Applying:
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