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Fully Funded EPSRC and Swansea University PhD Scholarship: Multi-Element Adaptive Shaping of Ultrafast Radiation

Swansea University - Physics

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Swansea
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £17,668 p.a. annual stipend
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 8th December 2022
Closes: 18th January 2023

Funding providers: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) DTP and Swansea University's Faculty of Science and Engineering

Subject areas: Physics, lasers, machine learning

Project description: 

Focussed, ultrafast laser pulses can expose materials to enormous peak powers. However, controlling the structure of such ‘’light bullets’’ remains challenging and is a crucial requirement for high-intensity applications such as materials processing and nonlinear microscopy. Combining multiple programmable adaptive optics is a new concept and has been demonstrated to enable the full spatial control of ultrafast pulses, providing powerful new degrees of freedom for pulse shaping. However, the vast parameter space of these systems limits the utility of conventional optimization routines. 

In this project a multi-element adaptive optics system will be developed to provide rapid shaping of ultrafast pulses for high-intensity applications. A neural network will be developed to enable on-the-fly pulse tailoring, allowing the optimum response from the full parameter space of the adaptive optics system to be determined rapidly. The system will be developed in the Department of Physics at Swansea University using existing adaptive optics, as well as a newly installed ultrafast laser system. It is anticipated that the project will consist of an approximately 50-50 split between experimental and computational work and will appeal to those with an interest in developing skills across optics and machine learning.

A target application of this system will be the generation of shaped ultrafast x-ray beams using high-intensity laser pulses. The candidate may have the opportunity to participate in these experiments and will require occasional travel to national research facilities over the course of the project.

Eligibility

Candidates must normally hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level or a master’s degree with a minimum overall grade at ‘Merit’ (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University). 

English Language requirements: If applicable – IELTS 6.5 overall (with at least 6.0 in each individual component) or Swansea recognised equivalent. 

This scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality.

Funding

This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees and an annual stipend at UKRI rate (currently £17,668 for 2022/23).

Additional research expenses will also be available. 

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