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PhD in Novel Phase Change Materials for Neuromorphic Applications

University of Southampton

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Southampton
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £21,000 Stipend at the UKRI rate plus £2,000 ORC enhancement tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 22nd December 2023
Expires: 21st March 2024
 

Supervisory Team: Ioannis Zeimpekis, Fred Gardes 

Project description

In collaboration with a large EU consortium, we work to create a reprogrammable neuromorphic photonic platform for a variety of applications from telecommunications to biosensing. While working with us, you will benefit from state-of-the-art cleanrooms with access to silicon and silicon nitride integrated photonics platforms. You will employ the latest generation of phase change materials to create highly efficient in-memory photonic functionality with novel materials that allow the upscaling of the technology. 

The current increase in data generation is expected to start reaching unsustainable rates by 2025. This has a strong impact on the environment and therefore new solutions are sought after. In addition, specific applications such as image recognition and lidar are more efficiently processed in the light domain. Integrated photonics have the inherent ability to modulate and carry a much larger data density than electronic solutions. Moreover, reprogrammable integrated photonics provide the ability to implement the photonic equivalent of a memristor enabling neuromorphic based computation. Our work is to build the most efficient building components for such a system by employing the latest generation of advanced materials. 

If you enjoy developing new technologies and applying novel concepts using the latest technologies, you will enjoy working with us. Our facilities are unique in the UK and will help you to develop advanced skills in the design, characterisation, optimization, and experimental application of novel materials and devices. You will have the opportunity to optimise the processes and materials and thus be the first in the world to use these compositions. 

We are looking for a passionate candidate excited about the latest developments in technology. You will work in a multidisciplinary, motivating and supportive environment. You will need a background in physics, chemistry, engineering, electronics or a related discipline. A basic understanding of semiconductor physics, photonics and material science are essential, and we will support you to expand in all these subjects. Experience with experimental work in either electronics, physics, optics or photonics, and computer modelling, programming languages are also desirable. 

The University of Southampton is committed into sustaining an inclusive environment for all students and staff. We hold an Athena SWAN Silver Award and work continuously to improve equality in the workplace and encourage a work-life balance. The Zepler Institute is home to over 200 researchers working in all areas of photonics, offering a unique, interdisciplinary, friendly and supportive environment. 

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent). 

Funding

For UK students, tuition fees and a stipend at the UKRI rate plus £2,000 ORC enhancement tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years (totalling around £21,000 for 2024/25, rising annually). EU and Horizon Europe students are eligible for scholarships. CSC students are eligible for fee waivers. Funding for other international applicants is very limited and highly competitive. Overseas students who have secured or are seeking external funding are welcome to apply. 

How To Apply

Apply online. Select programme type (Research), Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, next page select “PhD ORC”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Ioannis Zeimpekis.

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