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PhD Studentship – Stable and high efficiency electro optic Polymer synthesis for low power optical sensor interconnects


Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:   Thursday 31 August 2017
Reference:  853517EB

Supervisor: Dr Ramon Rios Torres

co supervisor: Dr. Frederic Gardes

 PhD Description: 

Gas sensing plays a key role in enabling many different technologies used to monitor the emissions from different sources. Photonic gas sensors exhibit unique advantages of building a CMOS-compatible, cost-effective, and portable sensing system fully integrated on a single chip. In order to transmit data efficiently between sensors, so far electrically driven modulation relies on un-efficient refractive index change resulting from the modulation of carrier density in silicon either by carrier depletion, injection or accumulation. In nonlinear optical (NLO) polymers however, the electro-optic (EO) effect originates from the electronic hyperpolarisability of the organic molecules, which allows extremely high modulation speeds. Furthermore, molecular engineering of organic molecules can lead to extremely high Pockels-coefficients in polymers exceeding 10 times the value available in the lithium-niobate, the industrial standard inorganic material used in optical data transmission application. Photonic devices based on a hybrid material system merging silicon and polymer are therefore attractive since they combine the strong light confining abilities of silicon with the superior NLO properties of polymers, thereby enabling extremely fast modulation, ultra-low driving power and small geometric footprint that will enable the generation of optical transceivers and data transfer between remote sensing platforms.


The PhD consists in the synthesis and development of the monomers required for EO and the preparation of the polymers that will be tested in several Photonic Devices in collaboration with the research group of Professor Frederic Gardes. Moreover, this position will give the opportunity to interact with different fields and collaborate with other research projects that are ongoing in our laboratory. 

For these reasons a highly motivated hard/working student with a strong background in Synthetic Organic Chemistry is required.

For more information:

Nature Photonics 8, 229–233 (2014) doi:10.1038/nphoton.2014.9

The project is funded for 3 years and welcomes applicants from the UK  who have or expect to obtain at least an upper second class degree in  Organic Chemistry or allied subjects/relevant disciplines. Funding will cover fees and a stipend at current research council rates of £ 14,553 per annum.

Due to funding restrictions this position is only open to UK applicants

Applications for a PhD in Chemistry should be submitted online at

Please ensure you select the academic session 2017-2018 in the academic year field and click on the Research radio button.  Enter Chemistry in the search text field.

Please place Dr R Rios Torres in the field for proposed supervisor

General enquiries should be made to Dr R Rios Torres at  Any queries on the application process should be made to

Applications will be considered in the order that they are received, and the position will be considered filled when a suitable candidate has been identified


The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position



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