- Professor of Optical and Quantum Electronics (Electronic and Nanoscale Engineering)
R208 Level 2
74 Oakfield Avenue
School of Engineering
Glasgow G12 8LS
Current Research Projects
Professor David C. Hutchings, FInstP SMIEEE, is a world leading expert on nonlinear optics and optoelectronic integration in semiconductors and was appointed to a personal chair in Optical and Quantum Electronics at the University of Glasgow in 2004. His research interests and experience encompasses nonlinear optics, monolithic and heterogeneous optoelectronic integration, semiconductor theory and modelling, and computational electromagnetics.
Following valuable postdoctoral experience at CREOL, Univ. of Central Florida, he held prestiguous fellowships at the University of Glasgow from the Royal Society of Edinburgh & Scottish Office/Executive (1992--1995, 2003) and EPSRC (1995--2000). He served (2005--2010) as the Head of the Graduate School (Associate Dean) in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Glasgow, and provided leadership in Knowledge Exchange activities as the Eng.D. in System Level Integration Academic Programme Director.
He has extensive experience in successfully directing and managing research council projects as principal investigator, including leading successful collaborative experimental programmes. He has authored over 70 papers in leading, peer-reviewed journals and over 150 conference presentations.
He represented the IEEE Photonics Society on the Joint Council for Quantum Electronics and the International Council for Quantum Electronics 2007-2013. He co-chaired the Quantum Electronics and Photonics 15 conference. He has chaired technical subcommittees for CLEO and Nonlinear Guided Waves.
He enjoys hill-walking and compleated all 284 Munros in 2007.
Current Research Students
Ms. Cui Zhang, Integrated waveguide optical isolators
Prospective Research Students
The following projects are currently available for study towards a PhD
Integration of ferroelectric claddings with semiconductor optical waveguides
Photonic integration has proved technically successful in developing techniques for combining multiple optical devices onto a single chip with the benefits of added functionality, and reduction in costs, arising from the replacement of manual assembly and alignment of individual components with lithographic techniques. An emerging technique for enhancing photonic integration is to combine two or more material systems, utilising the optimal properties of each of them. This project concerns the study of integration of heterogeneous optical materials to provide added functionality in optical waveguide devices. In particular, the incorporation of a ferroelectric oxide as a cladding on a semiconductor has the potential to facilitate (1) the development of dynamically reconfigurable photonic integrated circuits, (2) the development of high-speed optical modulators based on the large electro-optic effect available in ferroelectric materials, and (3) the investigation of a new method of periodic poling to provide quasi-phase-matching as a means for optical frequency conversion.
This project will involve the design and simulation of devices, materials growth and characterisation, the lithography and micro-fabrication of optoelectronic devices, and the characterisation of devices. It will take advantage of a new funded research collaboration between the Universities of Glasgow and Minnesota. Such devices would have applications within the areas of optical telecommunications and optical sensing.
High fidelity simulation of optoelectronic integrated circuits
The nanofabrication facilities at the University of Glasgow allow the Optoelectronics research to be at the forefront of the fields of III-V and silicon optoelectronic integration and applications in nonlinear optics. An essential element of such research programmes are the aspects of simulation, device design and optimisation. This project will entail a close collaboration with fabrication and characterisation efforts to not only provide a simulation capability for current experimental projects, but also to inform device design and to provide an initial exploration of future research programmes.
This PhD project will involve the development of computational simulation methods for application to semiconductor optoelectronic integrated circuits. Such integrated optical circuits have applications in optical telecommunications, or in optical sensing. Example techniques are the finite-difference-time-domain method, or the time-domain beam propagation method. Such techniques are beginning to be widely adopted, but they do have limitations. One particular challenge will be to incorporate phenomenon into a time-domain description that are normally described within a frequency domain, such as optical nonlinearities for optical frequency conversion, or a non-idealised optical dispersion. Another is the memory requirements for practical devices where fine discretisation is normally required to obtain the required sub-wavelength resolution.
The novel approach undertaken here will involve the development of a bandwidth-limited time-domain technique which will allow physical dispersion and nonlinearities to be incorporated. Such bandwidth-limitations correspond to physical reality of semiconductor optoelectronic devices anyway and so is not a fundamental issue. It will also potentially allow a coarser grid to be employed as the sub-wavelength resolution is no longer a fundamental requirement for the simulation methodology.
Nonlinear Frequency Conversion in Semiconductor Waveguides
This project builds on a collaborative project with the University of Toronto and addresses an emerging demand for low-cost, compact and flexible optical sources in the near- and mid-infrared wavelength regions due particularly to increasing need for sensing applications, e.g. environmental, clinical analysis, life sciences, food monitoring, pharmaceutical, security and forensics. The principal advantage of the frequency conversion approach introduced here is that the wavelength to be generated is not fixed by the bandgap of the semiconductor (or inter-subband splitting in the case of cascade lasers) at the wafer growth stage, but is instead determined by lithography in the post-growth processing. As such it is feasible to conceive of several devices, each with modest tunability, monolithically integrated on a single semiconductor chip. Overall, this allows coverage of a wide spectral bandwidth including mid-IR wavelengths which are currently difficult to generate.
This project aims to explore two novel aspects to facilitate the integration of frequency conversion waveguides with semiconductor pump laser sources. First the concept of vertical integration will be explored, where a wafer is designed with multiple-layers so that guided mode is evanescently coupled to separate gain layers. This will avoid the design compromise of having the laser and nonlinear functions in the same layers that we previously studied. The second aspect is to design and fabricate highly-confined waveguide structures, such as photonic wires, to modify the dispersion so that the quasi-phase-matching structures have a longer period and can be implemented with a higher fidelity.
I am the Senior Adviser for the undergraduate programmes (M.Eng., B.Eng. or B.Sc. in Engineering) for the Electronics & Electrical Engineering discipline.
- Electronics & Electrical Engineering
- Electronics with Music
- Electronic and Software Engineering
- Audio & Video Engineering*
- Microcomputer Systems Engineering*
If you have an advising query, please discuss with your adviser of studies in the first instance. However your case may be referred on to me if it is complicated, involves decisions on good cause or progression, or requires the authorisation of the Senior Adviser. If your adviser is not available I can also deal with emergency matters.
If you require a Certifying Letter or a Transcript of your studies, these can be obtained here.
I also can be consulted at surgeries in my office (74 Oakfield Avenue, room 208). The next scheduled surgery is:
- 2-3pm, Fri 20th Sept 2013