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Towards a THz Imager for Eye Diagnosis

University of Birmingham - School of Physics and Astronomy

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Birmingham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, Self-funded Students
Funding amount: See advert text
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 7th April 2020
Closes: 1st June 2020

Sandwiched between microwaves and infrared in the electromagnetic spectrum, THz radiation (ca. 0.1 – 3 THz) holds promise for medical diagnosis, security applications (chemical fingerprinting and standoff screening) and industrial control processes [1]. The potential of THz in these realms arises from the ability of THz radiation to pass through many optically opaque materials (e.g., clothing, paper, etc.), its achievable (sub-)millimeter resolution and the fact that specific rotations, vibrations or librations of molecules and molecular aggregates occur in this frequency range. In addition, THz radiation is non-ionizing and safe, unlike X-rays. In Life Sciences applications, where specimens stay in an aqueous environment (like the human eye), THz spectroscopy and imaging meets a special challenge: 1 mm of water attenuates a THz signal by a factor of ~1000 times! To tackle this problem, THz imaging and spectroscopy should be done in reflection (reflectometry) [2] or in the low part of the THz spectrum (i.e.

Students who wish to discuss any details of the project informally should contact Dr Miguel Navarro-Cia ( in the first instance by email attaching an up-to-date CV.


[1] D. M. Mittleman, Opt. Express 26, 9417-9431 (2018)

[2] J.-H. Son, Terahertz: Biomedical Science & technology, CRC Press, 2014.

[3] Z. D. Taylor et al., IEEE Trans. THz Sci. Techn. 5, 170-183 (2015)

Applications are sought from highly motivated students graduating with first degree (2:1 or higher) in physics or engineering (and preferably a Master degree). Funding is awarded by the School on a competitive basis, depending on the strength of the applicant. The funding is only available to UK/EU nationals, and it will cover tuition fees and provide a stipend for 3.5 years. Non-EU Students: If you have the correct qualifications and access to your own funding, either from your home country or your own finances, your application to work on this project will be considered. For details of the funding available and advice on making your application, please contact:

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