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PhD Studentship: Design, Fabrication and Characterisation of Optical-based CO2 Gas Sensor

University of Southampton - Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Southampton
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: The funding covers UK/EU fees and stipend at the standard EPSRC rate
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 21st February 2019
Closes: 30th April 2019
Reference: MechEng-ELM-554

Location: Southampton and Singapore

Increased levels of indoor CO2 has been linked to occurrence of illnesses. Understanding and controlling common pollutants such as, CO2, indoors, can help to reduce the risk of indoor health concerns. The extraction of CO2 through effective carbon capturing technologies is considered to be one of the most promising options but needs to be thoroughly researched before it can be fully accepted as a long term solution. 

Applications are invited for a fully-funded PhD studentship to develop an efficient and cheaper photonic-based CO2 gas sensor that underpin Electro-Mechanical technologies which can potentially replace the incumbent low-cost MOS gas sensors. The project scopes are to: 

(1) design, fabrication and characterise Si/Ge waveguides operating at 4.26µm, 
(2) design MEMS gas detectors with enhanced performance (e.g. detectivity, responsivity) and 
(3) integrating the Si/Ge waveguides and infrared detector to realize the CO2 gas sensor. 

The studentship holder will work closely with collaborators from A*STAR’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME), Singapore. IME is a research institute of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). It has 150+ team of scientists and engineers pool diverse experience and knowledge in key technologies such as integrated circuits and hardware AI, advanced packaging, advanced optics, sensors and actuators, embedded memory, and medtech capabilities, to serve technological needs for key and emerging markets driven by AI-enabled Internet-of-Things – consumer electronics, healthcare, automotive and industrial applications. Under this studentship, he/she will need to prepare and present results regularly, and will need to publish articles in high-profile journals, attend project progress meetings and international/domestic conferences. 

The first year of the studentship is based within the Mechatronics Research Group and Nano Research Group in University of Southampton while the subsequent two years of the studentship will be based in IME, A*STAR, Singapore. The student is expected to return to University of Southampton in the fourth year to round up the project and to complete the thesis writing. 

This project will best suit a graduate in Physics, Materials or Electronic & Electrical Engineering with a strong background in semiconductor materials and physics. Candidates from a Physics department are particularly welcome. An undergraduate degree with a 1st or 2:1 classification, or its international equivalent, is required. 

The studentship can start at the earliest opportunity. If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr. Chai Grace, Email:, Tel: +6016 642 5151.

Funding and Eligibility

This 3 year studentship covers UK/EU level tuition fees and provides an annual tax-free stipend at the standard EPSRC rate, which is £14,777 for 2018/19.

The funding available is competitive and will only be awarded to an outstanding applicant. As part of the selection process, the strength of the whole application is taken into account, including academic qualifications, personal statement, CV and references.

For further guidance on funding, please contact

How to Apply

Click here to apply and select the programme - PhD in Engineering and the Environment. Please enter the title of the PhD Studentship in the application form. You should upload your CV, degree transcripts and certificates with your application.

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