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Single Photon Optical Detector

University of Sheffield - Electronic & Electrical Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Sheffield
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £15,009
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 12th June 2019
Closes: 30th September 2019

Project description

Single-photon counting - the ability to faithfully capture the single quantum of light - is a critical capability for a wide range of new low-light sensing applications and a host of emerging photonic quantum technologies.

We have been awarded funding for a multi-partner project to develop high-sensitivity optical detector for single-photon counting. The project aims to significantly expand the operational region of single-photon detectors well beyond the current limits, expanding into short-wave and mid-wave infrared regions. We will produce revolutionary new cameras with picosecond timing resolution which can be used, for example, to see though fog in automotive lidar scenarios, as well as allowing imaging and sensing in new applications in environmental monitoring, healthcare, and security and defence. 

We are seeking a motivated PhD student to join the team of academics and post-doctoral researcher at Sheffield for this project.  Working as part the team, the typical tasks for the PhD student include wafer design of III-V semiconductor optical detector (using in-house and commercial device simulation programs); device fabrication; measurements of key performance characteristics for the fabricated optical detector; collaborating with other researchers on the same project at other partner organisations as well as other researchers in the Sheffield research group.

This studentship comes with full funding for UK and resident EU applicants (i.e. resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of this studentship). It offers partial funding for international students.


The PhD student will be supervised by Prof Chee Hing Tan. The normal place of work will be the University of Sheffield. In addition to attending national/international conferences, the student will also have opportunities to visit project collaborators at other institutions.

Selection criteria

A good degree in electronic engineering or physics and interest in semiconductor devices.

How to apply

Candidates should email their CV and covering letter to Prof Chee Hing Tan (

Funding Details

£15,009 Tax-free stipend per year

Closing Date


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