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PhD Studentship - Ultra-stable fibre optics using new-generation optical fibres

Fibre & Systems Group

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Monday 31 August 2020
Reference:  1210919PN

Supervisor:                 Professor Radan Slavik

Co-supervisor             Professor Francesco Poletti, Dr. Eric R. Numkam Fokoua

Project description

We are looking for candidates with an interest in fibre optics and a degree or masters’ degree in physics or electronics to join us in researching the applications of brand new hollow core optical fibres developed at the University of Southampton.

The successful candidate will have significant interaction with the fibre design and manufacturing teams, as well as with potential ‘end user’ groups, including the National Physical Laboratory in London and several companies in the fields of fibre optic sensing and optical communications, for example. 

Radically different, new-generation optical fibres are being designed and manufactured in the Optoelectronics Research Centre, at the University of Southampton. The unique properties of these ‘hollow core’ optical fibres means they are predicted to surpass the ‘solid core’ fibres used today, in every aspect. 

The project is supported with substantial funding from a £6m EPSRC-funded AirGuide Photonics programme grant, hosted at the world-renowned Optoelectronics Research Centre

Further information

A signal propagating through an optical fibre is generally considered to be immune to the external environment and associated disturbances. However, this is only true in terms of the signal intensity (power) – the time signal needs to propagate through the fibre depends on environmental changes like temperature variations. This sensitivity is critical for many fibre systems such as:

  • Interferometry (widely used in any field of optics, including quantum technologies or gravitational waves detection), 

  • Ultra-precise time/frequency transfer, for instance, to support improvement of the already most-precisely defined units like second and meter,

  • Next-generation data networks, such as precise positioning in 5G networks or opportunities to scale up already-massive data centres that handle most of the information on the Internet.

About the Optoelectronics Research Centre

The ORC has led the world in optical fibre technology research for the past 50 years. With over 90 state-of-the-art laboratories and 200 researchers working in all areas of photonics, the ORC provides an outstanding interdisciplinary environment for students to grow. Its cluster of 12 photonics spin-out companies provides a natural career path for PhD graduates. 

The group has an excellent track record of publishing in high profile research journals and international conferences. Its former PhD and postdoctoral researchers have made successful careers in universities worldwide or as industry scientists and business leaders. 

In the first year of your PhD a structured training programme runs alongside the research project, providing a gradual transition from taught degree to open-ended research. Students present their work at conferences worldwide, first-author papers in leading academic journals and emerge with skills at the forefront of glass and fibre optics research https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2_6yNQamkU

Further ORC information: www.orc.soton.ac.uk

Further Airguide Photonics information: www.airguide.soton.ac.uk

Entry Requirements

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

Closing date: applications are accepted throughout the year but start date is typically October 2020. 

Funding: full tuition for EU/UK Students plus, for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £18,000 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

How To Apply: 

Applications should be made online here “PhD ORC (Full time)” as the programme. 

Applications should include

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/courses/how-to-apply/postgraduate-applications.page

For further information please contact: feps-pgr-apply@soton.ac.uk

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