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PhD Studentship - Fibre laser based mid infrared source development

Fibre & Systems Group

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Monday 31 August 2020
Reference:  1214619PN

Supervisor:                 Professor David Richardson

Co-supervisor             Dr Lin Xu

Project description

We are looking for applicants with a background in physics, material sciences or engineering, to develop a ground-breaking new technology platform for the mid-infrared (mid-IR) and demonstrate the enabling capabilities it provides in a wide range of sensing applications in biology, medicine, environmental monitoring and manufacturing.

You will develop high power short pulse fibre lasers operating at conventional near-IR wavelengths and converting the wavelength of the output light to mid-IR wavelengths using nonlinear optical effects in specially engineered crystals, and/or optical fibres. You can expect professional support and mentoring, leaving with independence and skills to help you in a successful career. 

Most gas molecules exhibit vibrations that lead to highly structured but characteristic light absorption spectra in the mid-IR regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. By measuring the absorption of light for gas samples as a function of the wavelength, the presence and concentration of different gas species within a sample can be determined, enabling many sensing applications. 

Laser sources operating in the mid-IR are necessary to exploit this sensing approach, but these are difficult to realise using traditional laser materials and designs. 

You will target both high-power sources with a wide wavelength tuning range and a narrow spectral linewidth that can be used to probe individual gas absorption and broadband supercontinuum sources with ultrahigh spectral power densities used to record the full gas absorption section in one go without tuning.

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

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

Further ORC information:

Further Airguide Photonics information:

To discuss any details of the project or arrange a visit, please contact Professor David Richardson (

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 selecting “Faculty of Engineering and Physical Science” under the Faculty and then “PhD ORC (Full time)” as the programme. 

Applications should include

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact:

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