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CASE Award Studentship: Super-resolution Metrology of Image-forming Diffractive Waveguides for Augmented and Mixed Reality Displays

University of Nottingham

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Nottingham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 14th December 2021
Closes: 15th March 2022
Reference: ENG1510

Location: UK Other

WaveOptics is a UK-based company that develops, manufactures and sells head-mounted display (HMD) technology for the emerging augmented reality (AR) market. WaveOptics has established itself as the technology leader in its sector and lists among its customers many of the world’s leading technology companies. 

The principal function of an AR-HMD is to take a computer generated image and overlay it on viewing of the real world. The WaveOptics diffractive waveguide does this using a thin piece of glass onto the surfaces of which are formed arrays of nanostructures. The size and shape of these nanostructures is critical – if they are not realised with sufficient accuracy and fidelity then performance will be severely compromised. As such accurate measurement and characterisation is essential, especially for future developments targeting much more complex designs. WaveOptics currently uses a variety of methods to characterise its nanostructures, however these do not provide the combination of resolution, speed and large area survey needed for future development or online production monitoring.

This project will be concerned with developing optical techniques and instruments for new and improved methods of characterisation. These techniques include super-resolution microscopy methods, scatterometry and diffraction pattern measurements, along with associated analysis methods. Data analysis methods incorporating recent advances in machine learning will also be investigated. The student will make use of the extensive capabilities in the Manufacturing Metrology Team and Nottingham Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Centre to get a deep understanding of the measurement task. After an initial exploratory phase, the most promising techniques will be selected for development into one or more practical instruments that can be applied on line. The project will cover a broad spectrum of activity ranging from optical theory and simulation, instrument design, construction and testing, analysis of experimental data and uncertainty estimation.

Please send a copy of your covering letter, CV and academic transcripts to richard.leach@nottingham.ac.uk. Please note, applications without academic transcripts will not be considered.

Funding Notes

Full fees and enhanced stipend are available for 4 years.

The funded position is available for UK candidates.

Candidates must possess or expect to obtain, a high 2:1 or 1st class degree in science, engineering or mathematics, or other relevant discipline.

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