PhD Opportunities

Possible research topics to be undertaken in the Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering Division of the James Watt School of Engineering are given below. If you are interested in any of these projects, you should email the prospective supervisor for discussing your intentions.

The School of Engineering has a limited number of scholarships to offer to excellent candidates, application shall be discussed with the potential supervisor.

Advanced cryoelectronic devices for future, high Qubit density quantum computers

Supervisor

Dr David Moran

Prof. Martin Weides

Description

The global race is currently underway to develop quantum computers with high enough “quantum bit” (Qubit) count to demonstrate “Quantum Supremacy”. While the most advanced quantum computers to date possess 10s of Qubits, this is planned to be expanded soon to hundreds, thousands and then millions to achieve unparalleled quantum computing performance.

At present, amplification of the miniscule signals emitted from individual Qubits which operate at cryogenic temperatures (as required to read their state) is performed by electronics external to the cryogenic system. As Qubit density increases it will become essential to integrate these amplifying electronic components into the cryogenic system, creating a demand for high performance, low noise and low power electronic components that operate efficiently at cryogenic temperatures.

This project will focus on the development of InGaAs/InAlAs heterostructures for the production of field effect transistors that operate with low noise, high gain and low power at temperatures down to 1 degree Kelvin. These will be incorporated into amplifier circuits and bench-tested in cryogenic Qubit characterisation systems.

The student on this project will work with the Advanced Semiconductor Materials and Devices and the Quantum Circuit groups (https://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/engineering/research/divisions/ene/researchthemes/micronanotechnology/quantumcircuits/) and have access to the world leading facilities within the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (http://www.jwnc.gla.ac.uk/) at the University of Glasgow. At the end of the project the student will have developed a diverse skillset and acquired experience in nanoscale lithography and processing, various microscopy and spectroscopy techniques, electrical characterization of semiconductor materials and devices, simulation and modelling, reliability testing and low noise device measurements.

Students applying for this project should ideally possess a degree or equivalent in Electronic Engineering, Physics or Chemistry and have some background understanding in solid state physics and/or semiconductor devices.

For further details contact Dr David Moran (David.Moran@glasgow.ac.uk).


Investigation of AlN as a high performance semiconductor for high power electronic applications

Supervisor

Dr David Moran

Description

This PhD project is based in the School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow and will focus on investigating Aluminium Nitride (AlN) for the production of advanced high power semiconductor devices.

The larger the bandgap of a semiconducting material, the greater its ability to tolerate high voltages and the more interesting its potential application for high power electronic systems such as future electric vehicle technology, electricity distribution smart grids and space-based electrical systems.

AlN is an emerging, ultra-wide bandgap semiconductor with the potential to deliver high power performance beyond existing semiconductor technologies and become the semiconductor of choice for future high power systems.

This project will address the primary challenges faced for the development of AlN as a mature and viable semiconductor. This will involve a range of activities from experimenting with new doping processes to convert AlN into an efficient semiconductor, to producing prototype electronic devices such as transistors to measure and benchmark performance.

The student on this project will work with the Advanced Semiconductor Materials and Devices group and have access to the world leading facilities within the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (http://www.jwnc.gla.ac.uk/) at the University of Glasgow. At the end of the project the student will have developed a diverse skillset and acquired experience in nanoscale lithography and processing, various microscopy and spectroscopy techniques, electrical characterization of semiconductor materials and devices, simulation and modelling, reliability testing and high power device measurements.

Students applying for this project should ideally possess a degree or equivalent in Electronic Engineering, Physics or Chemistry and have some background understanding in solid state physics and/or semiconductor devices.

For further details contact Dr David Moran (David.Moran@glasgow.ac.uk).


Zero-carbon electronics using ultra-wide bandgap semiconductor technologies

Supervisor

Dr David Moran

Description

This PhD project will focus on investigating, inspecting and developing various ultra-wide bandgap semiconductor materials for low loss, efficient and robust electronics that will be adopted in zero-carbon future systems.

The drive to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in the UK by 2050 will require significant change and adoption of new technologies across the electronics sector. Development of new semiconductor materials with so called ‘ultra wide” bandgaps (UWBG) provides an opportunity to development new, efficient and robust electronic systems for a range of both high and low power applications.

This project will investigate various UWBG materials (e.g. diamond, aluminium nitride, gallium nitride, gallium oxide and boron nitride) and utilizing existing know-how already established at the University of Glasgow, establish new techniques and processes for the production of efficient, high and low power device technologies with a drive towards zero-carbon electronic systems.

The student on this project will work with the Advanced Semiconductor Materials and Devices group and have access to the world leading facilities within the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (http://www.jwnc.gla.ac.uk/) at the University of Glasgow. At the end of the project the student will have developed a diverse skillset and acquired experience in nanoscale lithography and processing, various microscopy and spectroscopy techniques, electrical characterization of semiconductor materials and devices, simulation and modelling, reliability testing and high power device measurements.

Students applying for this project should ideally possess a degree or equivalent in Electronic Engineering, Physics or Chemistry and have some background understanding in solid state physics and/or semiconductor devices.

For further details contact Dr David Moran (David.Moran@glasgow.ac.uk).


Development of Gallium Oxide (Ga2O3) high power and high frequency devices for next generation high voltage applications

Supervisor

Dr David Moran

Description

This PhD project will focus on investigating the new ultra-wide bandgap material system, Gallium Oxide (Ga2O3) for the production of advanced high power and high frequency performance semiconductor devices. 

Gallium Oxide is an exciting new ultra-wide bandgap material with the potential to deliver high power semiconductor devices and circuits for use in future electric vehicle technology, electricity distribution smart grids and space-based electrical systems. The aim of this project is to develop prototype, nanoscale transistor devices to explore the maximum high voltage and high frequency performance that can be achieved using this exciting new material system. Devices produced in the project will also be inspected at high and low temperatures and in radioactive environments to examine the technology’s suitability for operation in extreme environments that may be experienced in outer space. 

The student on this project will work in the Advanced Semiconductor Materials and Devices group to produce prototype Gallium Oxide devices using the world leading facilities of the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (http://www.jwnc.gla.ac.uk/) at the University of Glasgow. At the end of the project the student will have developed a diverse skillset and acquired experience in nanoscale lithography and processing, various microscopy and spectroscopy techniques, electrical characterization of semiconductor materials and devices, simulation and modelling, reliability testing and high power device measurements.

Students applying for this project should ideally possess a degree or equivalent in Electronic Engineering, Physics or Chemistry and have some background understanding in solid state physics and/or semiconductor devices.

For further details contact Dr David Moran (David.Moran@glasgow.ac.uk).


New-Generation, Wearable Imaging and Sensing Technology

Supervisors

Dr Hubin Zhao

Description

Various established neuroimaging technologies, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), have been successfully applied across neuroscience and clinical research. However, the limitations of these technologies such as their fixed location, high cost, and patient discomfort inhibits their application to certain patient groups (e.g. babies, small children, and the elderly) and prevents use outside of a hospital environment.

The aim for this (or a series of) PhD project(s) is to develop a new generation of wearable imaging & sensing technologies, which can provide effective diagnosis and long-term, regular monitoring for subjects and patients in almost any environments. Multiple novel neuroimaging technologies including Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) and Photoacoustic (PA) will be in implemented and then integrated with other popular imaging modality, such as  electroencephalography (EEG), and electrical impedance tomography (EIT), on a miniaturized, intelligent, modular platform. This modular platform is expected to lead to wide-reaching applications in neurological diseases (e.g. dementia, epilepsy), behavioural disorders (e.g. autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), brain-computer interface, and personalized at-home healthcare.

The PhD student will gain substantial knowledge in fields such as medical electronics & microelectronics, photonics, optical imaging, and wearable technologies, and will learn various useful skills such as circuit design, programming, microcontroller design, data analysis, and will also gain significant practical experimental experience. These skills will be applicable in a wide range of future careers for the student.

The PhD student will join the dynamic and growing team at the HUB of Intelligent Neuro-engineering (HUB-IN) at University of Glasgow and become part of collaboration between University College London or Kings College London.

For more information we would welcome questions to: hubin.zhao@glasgow.ac.uk


Quantum mechanical simulation of superconducting qubits

Supervisors

Dr Vihar Georgiev

Description

Quantum computers (QC) have an enormous impact on many areas of our life and for this reason they are one of the most heavily researched topics not only in academia but also in the industry. Companies such as Honeywell, IBM and Google are using different technologies to create qubits.

One of the most promising technology is superconducting qubits made from Josephson Junctions (JJ). JJ are made for a superconducting material, e.g. Al and tunnel junctions made from a thin layer of non-superconducting materials, e.g. AlOx (in an ideal case x=1.5). While there is constant improvement of the circuit designs, error corrections, reproducibility and reliability of the qubits, there is still significant knowledge gap in relevant material science. For example, the growth process of AlOx on top of Al is not well understood which is crucial to be able to fabricate uniform, without defects and surface roughness JJ. Any imperfections of the JJ, such as charges trapped in the oxide, dangling bonds and different stoichiometry in AlOx (x can be a number between 1.3 and 1.8) will produce different tunnelling current and hence different qubit behaviour. The variability of the qubit’s behaviour makes the design of the circuit much harder and increases the errors in the measurements and decreases the coherent times.

The main aim of this project is to develop a unique computational framework which will be able to simulate realistic size superconducting qubits. Here we will investigate Al/AlOx/Al interfaces (Josephson Junctions) as qubits. The simulation framework will combine various quantum mechanical methods which will allow us to simulate not only materials growth of Al/AlOx/Al interfaces but also the variability of the tunnelling current due to trap charges and defects. Such computational framework is the most cost effective and time saving approach in order to significantly improve the reliability, reproducibility and decrease variability in superconducting qubits.

This work is based on close collaboration with the group of Prof Martin Weides, the leading expert in the field. The vision is to simulate various architectures and types of devices in order to evaluate and to predict the critical design parameters for the fabrication process.

The ideal candidate will have good computational skills and a background in engineering, physics or chemistry. Knowledge of computational methods, such as Density Functional Theory (DFT) and numerical methods, is highly advantageous but not mandatory. Programing skills are not required but will be beneficial. Also, the candidate must be self-motivated, interested in conducting interdisciplinary computational and theoretical research and to have good interpersonal skills.

The student will be part of the Device Modelling Group in the University of Glasgow, which is perhaps the largest specialised semiconductor device group in academia worldwide. The group is the world leader in 3D simulations of advanced CMOS devices that include different sources of statistical variability. The group is listed among the five leading Electronic Materials and Devices Centres according to EPSRC funding in the ICT Programme Landscape (2008) documents.

Contact: Vihar.Georgiev@glasgow.ac.uk


Nanowire Photodetectors for Neuromorphic Chips

Supervisors: 

Dr Abdullah Al-Khalidi

Description:


The Internet, the personal computer and the mobile phone have revolutionized our lives. Within the last few decades, the computing power has increased exponentially to sustain this transformation. Notably, the recent rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems powered by computers that can learn without the need for explicit instructions is transforming our digital economy and our society as a whole. AI uses brain inspired neural network algorithms powered by computers. However, these central processing units (CPU) are extremely energy inefficient at implementing these tasks. This represents a major bottleneck for energy efficient, scalable and portable AI systems. Reducing the energy consumption of the massively dense interconnects in existing CPUs needed to emulate complex brain functions is a major challenge. This project aims at developing a nanoscale photonics-enabled technology capable of delivering compact, high-bandwidth and energy efficiency CPUs using optically interconnected spiking neuron-like sources and detectors.

 

 


AI Hardware for Medical Imaging Processing

Supervisors

Dr Hubin Zhao

Description

The emergence of new imaging modalities, such as Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) and Photoacoustic (PA), have demonstrated the high potential for wide neuroscience, clinical neurology, and personal healthcare applications. However, the conventional way for data & imaging processing of NIRS and PA are offline processing and not in real time. Meanwhile, the processing unit is usually chosen as PC, which is bulky, heavy, and cumbersome, which further limit their wider applications particularly for personal at-home healthcare.

The aim for this PhD project is to develop new-generation AI hardware for on-board real-time medical imaging processing. Using FPGA and/or System on Chip with embedded AI algorithms such as machine learning, an AI hardware platform (that will be later integrated into multiple novel imaging technologies) will be implemented to miniaturize and localize the imaging processing units, to reduce the processing time, and to improve the processing quality, so as to realize on-board real-time signal processing and data fusion. This intelligent processing platform will not only be used for imaging processing, but also would be applied for Brain-Computer Interface, Human-Robot Interaction, and neuro-rehabilitation.

The PhD student will gain substantial knowledge in fields such as medical electronics & microelectronics, AI hardware, optical imaging, and imaging processing, and will learn various useful skills such as AI algorithms, hardware programming, microchip design, data processing, and will also gain significant practical experimental experience. These skills will be applicable in a wide range of future careers for the student.

The PhD student will join the dynamic and growing team at the HUB of Intelligent Neuro-engineering (HUB-IN) at School of Engineering and become part of collaboration between School of Computing Science and School of Physics & Astronomy at Glasgow.

For more information we would welcome questions to: hubin.zhao@glasgow.ac.uk


Development of Integrated Waveguide Optical Isolators on a silicon-on-insulator Platform

Supervisors: 

Prof. David Hutchings

Description:

The nonreciprocal optical effect of Faraday rotation is widely exploited in optical isolators to suppress back-reflections to protect optical sources and other devices from injection noise, or in optical circulators to route counter-propagating signals in a single physical channel to different ports. To date, these devices are assembled from bulk components. We have developed techniques for realising quasi-phase-matched non-reciprocal polarisation mode conversion in a semiconductor waveguide using a patterned magneto-optic rare-earth iron garnet as an overcladding in collaboration with the University of Minnesota, as shown in the SEMs below. A new magneto-optic iron garnet material deposited by sputtering, substituted Terbium Iron Garnet, is showing great promise as it can be crystallised without the need for a seed layer, and it is intended that fabrication of devices incorporating this new garnet will be developed.

This project, expanding to a PhD project, will also involve the design, simulation and assessment of the additional requirement for a reciprocal polarisation mode converter on the same silicon-on-insulator platform and the integration strategy for the multiple device elements for an integrated optical isolator. This will lead on to the fabrication and optical characterisation of asymmetric waveguide cross-sections. The approach to fabricating asymmetric waveguides is either by two-step etching, or by masked deposition of amorphous silicon layer.

The eventual goal of the PhD project will be the realisation of an integrated optical waveguide isolator that operates for TE-polarised input which is aligned to the normal output from edge-emitting semiconductor lasers.


Multimodal Imaging for Brain-Computer Interface and Human-Robot Interaction

Supervisors

Dr Hubin Zhao

Description

In recent years, electroencephalography (EEG) has been miniaturized, and low-cost wearable devices are currently available for a wide range of populations across various applications. Particularly, EEG has been widely applied for Brian-Computer Interface (BCI) and Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). Despite the success, the existing technology also has drawbacks: wet-electrode connection (using conductive gel), low channel density, and limited wearability for long-term monitoring. The adoption of dry electrode techniques overcome these limitations to some extent, but the signal quality and ergonomic design can still be improved. Moreover, the recorded noise from scalp (with possible movements) could bias the signal quality of EEG.

The aim for this PhD project is to develop a new type of technology for BCI and HRI applications.  This new technology would integrate multiple neuroimaging modalities including optical imaging (diffuse optical tomography, DOT), electrophysiological monitoring (EEG), and/or bio-impedance measurements (electrical impedance tomography, EIT). This new technology will combine the advantages of each and provide highly complementary, simultaneous information for a broad variety of BCI and HRI applications. This new technology is also expected to provide unprecedented spatial-temporal resolution and patient comfort so as to become an “ideal” system for BCI and HRI.

The PhD student will gain substantial knowledge in fields such as BCI, Human-Robot Interaction, wearable imaging, and wearable EEG, and will learn various useful skills such as machine learning, signal processing, microcontroller design, data & imaging analysis, and will also gain significant practical experimental experience. These skills will be applicable in a wide range of future careers for the student.

The PhD student will join the dynamic and growing team at the HUB of Intelligent Neuro-engineering (HUB-IN) at Division of Electronics & Nanoscale Engineering and become part of collaboration between Division of Biomedical Engineering and School of Computing Science at Glasgow.

For more information we would welcome questions to: hubin.zhao@glasgow.ac.uk


Simulation and Design of Novel Polarisation-functional Waveguide Devices

Supervisors: 

Prof. David Hutchings

Description:

This project will entail the theoretical and computational study of novel optical waveguides which incorporate polarisation-functional elements. It is intended that the project will benefit from collaboration with fabrication and optical characterisation, both to gain understanding of experimental results and to inform the fabrication process. There can be scope for the student on this project to additionally contribute to the experimental characterisation. It is intended that the basic platform for this study will be silicon-on-insulator or silicon nitride on insulator. The three potential themes for the study are:

  • asymmetric profile waveguides by double etch, or etch and deposition. These waveguides can act as polarisation diverse couplers. The aim would be to develop a robust design for a universal 3dB polarisation coupler.
  • magneto-optical cladding. This study would build on an ongoing collaboration with the University of Minnesota, particularly on the development of devices based on substituted terbium iron garnets which can be sputtered and crystallised under anneal without the requirement for a compromising seed layer. This technology would be combined with the universal 3dB polarisation coupler to provide integrated optical isolators and circulators.
  • electro-optic cladding. This study would build on an ongoing collaboration with the University of Strathclyde pick-and-play positioner to bond heterogeneous materials. An example study would be to bond an electro-optic material such as gallium arsenide as up upper cladding to the waveguide, and then incorporate electrodes to apply an electric field. This configuration, when combined with the universal 3dB polarisation coupler, can provide a high-speed polarisation modulator.

The simulation tools would include optical modesolvers and beam propagation method. There may be a need for the student to develop these tools to include polarisation diversity. It is hoped that such enhanced tools could be developed using python computing language and eventually be made publically available as open software under appropriate licensing.


High sensitivity GaN based THz detectors for imaging applications

Supervisors: 

Dr Abdullah Al-Khalidi

Description:

The use of Terahertz (THz) detectors started gaining momentum in different applications including security, drugs and explosions detection, medical and industrial imaging and astronomy applications. Field-effect transistors have been recently demonstrated to exhibit high sensitity and high temperature operation.
On this project, highly sensitive GaN based THz detectors will be investigated for imaging applications in the 100 GHz – 1 THz frequency range. GaN HEMTs are interesting due to a number of beneficial physical properties, such as a high 2DEG sheet carrier density and an enhanced saturation velocity in combination with high robustness in breakdown voltage. It also exhibits radiation hardness to ionizing radiation which is of interest in particular with respect to space applications.

 

 


Development of tailored µLEDs for Optogenetics in brain implants

Supervisors: 

Dr Hadi Heidari

Dr Finlay Walton

Description:

Optogenetics concerns the control of genetically modified neurons in a brain using light. It involves expressing one of a family of light-actuated rhodopsin proteins into targeted regions of the brain which, when exposed to light open ion channels, stimulating proximal neurons. ChR-2 for example has been used to both activate and inhibit motor functions in live organisms. This “Breakthrough of the decade” technique has the potential to relieve the symptoms of, or even cure neurological diseases such as epilepsy. Electrical stimulation requires less power than optical stimulation, but the former is much less precise than the latter. Challenges remain, notably designing miniaturised light sources that produce sufficient irradiance to activate the rhodopsins without causing tissue damage.

The candidate will aid in the (1) design, (2) development and (3) validation (testing) of a microfabricated flexible implantable neural probe that is wirelessly powered and features a state-of-the-art array of InGaN/GaN multiple quantum well (MQW) μLEDs, that have been optimised to control the light-actuated rhodopsin proteins via optogenetics.

The candidate will join the vibrant and growing team at meLAB (www.melabresearch.com) and become part of collaboration between the projects SCOTLAND (Dr Finlay Walton), WiseCURE (Dr Rupam Das) and HERMES (Dr Hadi Heidari).

It would be beneficial for the candidate to have knowledge and/or experience with: optical physics and optical devices, micro/nanofabrication experience in a cleanroom and implantable devices, but if not, full training will be provided.

For more information we would welcome questions to: hadi.heidari@glasgow.ac.uk


Wireless, scalable and MRI compatible implantable neural devices

Supervisors: 

Dr Hadi Heidari

Dr Finlay Walton

Dr Rupam Das

Description:

Optogenetics, named as the “Nature Methods of the year 2010”, provides controlled stimulation using photosensitive ion channels or proteins (e.g., Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2)) in genetically modified neurons to allow optical stimulation or inhibition. However, scientists pursuing optogenetic therapies still face some technical challenges (e.g., size and multifunctional capability, biointegration, wireless capability, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) compatibility that keeping optogenetics from clinical trials for brain diseases.

To overcome the optogenetic challenges, the prospective PhD candidate will investigate to a) develop an innovative self-tracked wireless powering system for optogenetics using high-permittivity dielectric metamaterial; b) fabricate a wireless, miniaturized and scalable neural implant using micron-sized LEDs (μLEDs) using the state-of-the-art JWNC (https://www.gla.ac.uk/research/az/jwnc/); c) validate the fabricated MRI-compatible wireless neural implants in rats.

The candidate will join the vibrant and growing team at meLAB and become part of collaboration between the projects WiseCURE (Dr Rupam Das), SCOTLAND (Dr Finlay Walton), and HERMES (Dr Hadi Heidari).

It is essential that the student have knowledge on electromagnetic waves and propagation, antennas, experience of using HFSS, or sim4life/remcom and hands-on experience of antenna test in anechoic chamber. Furthermore, experiences in implantable devices, micro/nano fabrication in cleanroom are highly desirable.

For further information please contact: hadi.heidari@glasgow.ac.uk


Magnetomyography sensors

Supervisors: 

Dr Hadi Heidari

Description:

With the rapid progress of micro- and nanotechnology, non-invasive assessment of biomagnetism has been a reliable and robust approach, and its applications have been extended from clinical diagnoses to human-computer-interaction. This PhD project aims to develop a new scientific and engineering paradigm to measure Magnetomyography (MMG) signals generated in the skeletal muscle of humans by electrical activities. Nowadays, Spintronic sensors based on a magnetoresistive effect revolutionise the way magnetic recording owing to their full compatibility with traditional silicon technology. These sensors can be integrated with the readout circuitry onto a standard CMOS process in sub-mm diameter substrates to eventually realize the on-chip signal conditioning, including amplification, filtering, noise and drift cancellation.

To develop such miniaturized, low cost and room temperature system, the objectives of this PhD project are 1) Creation of a numerical MMG compact model; 2) Design, integration and characterisation of a spintronic sensing system; 3) Validation of the developed and fabricated system in rodents.

The candidate will develop magnetic systems (magnetic device and circuit interface) under the guidance of Dr Hadi Heidari (School of Engineering) as a primary supervisor at the Microelectronics Lab (meLAB) and become part of collaboration the University of Edinburgh (Dr Kia Nazarpour) and Imperial College London (Prof Dario Farina).

It would be beneficial for the candidate to have knowledge and enthusiasm in magnetic devices, electronics design and chip measurement with experience of conducting independent research, excellent oral and written communication skills.

If you are interested, please get in touch with Dr Hadi Heidari: hadi.heidari@glasgow.ac.uk


Analogue brian-like computer for sensory interface - Funded EPSRC iCASE

Supervisors: 

Dr Hadi Heidari

Prof Muhammad Imran

Prof David Cumming

Description:

Neuromorphic engineering is seeking a hardware implementation of the brain-like learning algorithms for extremely efficient computing. The ultimate goal is a chip that can mimic the nervous system for information processing and machine learning task. It has been predicted that the neuromorphic computing will lead the development of artificial intelligence in the next decade, after the software-based implementation.

The researches on neuromorphic computing is a typical interdisciplinary topic, including statistics, electronics, materials, etc. In our lab, we mainly focus on the implementation of reservoir computing using novel circuits and systems, aiming to provide a neuromorphic interface for our sensing system. Hence, the prospective PhD candidate will investigate to a) model and simulate the behaviour of hardware-based reservoir computing architecture in signal processing and machine learning tasks; b) design, optimize and fabricate the corresponding analogue circuit with the purpose of extremely low power; c) redesign the system specifically for processing the sensory output in real-time, such as biopotential signals, in cooperation with other team members who develop the sensor. 

This topic requires that the applicant has solid understanding in machine learning and circuit design (experiences in VLSI design will be preferred). Furthermroe, the theoretical work is essential to model the chaotic system so that math and physic knowledge as well as  good coding skills in MATLAB/Simulink or Python will be highly desirable.

If you are interested, please get in touch with Dr Hadi Heidari: hadi.heidari@glasgow.ac.uk


Biphotons for nonlinear imaging

Supervisors 

Dr. Matteo Clerici 

Prof. Daniele Faccio 

Description: 

Nonlinear imaging delivered transformative results to our science and technology. One example is multiphoton microscopy, which is used to study biological structures with 3D resolution. Quantum optics may deliver yet another improvement to our ability to look at the microscopic world. With this PhD you will discover how biphoton fields can enhance nonlinear imaging. It has been predicted that the temporal correlations between twin photons generated by parametric down- conversion can significantly increase the two-photon absorption cross-section. In the presence of a resonant nonlinearity, such as two-photon absorption in a fluorophore or a semiconductor, biphoton states are absorbed with a cross-section orders of magnitude higher than classical radiation at the same wavelength. This concept is currently being tested experimentally and is among the most exciting topics in quantum imaging also due to the possibility it entails of improving bioimaging. The down-converted field is composed only of photon pairs (biphotons) that are strongly correlated in space and time. For this reason, under proper conditions, they effectively behave as a single particle for the light-matter interaction. As a consequence, they can be absorbed with a cross-section approaching that of one-photon processes yet being in a transparent spectral region of the material. The very same concept is expected to hold also for other two-photon processes, such as those underpinning parametric interactions in third-order nonlinear media, such as self and cross-phase modulation, parametric amplification, and Raman scattering. With this PhD project you will investigate the biphoton-induced enhancement of Kerr nonlinearities for nonlinear imaging applications.

Funding: 

QUNTIC – funded PhD. The Scholarship covers the student fees for UK residents (see EPSRC definition) and provides a stipend at the UKRI/EPSRC rate (https://www.ukri.org/skills/funding-for-research- training/) for 3.5 years. The Scholarship is available starting in January 1st, 2021.


Tuneable Quantum Cascade Laser Systems

Supervisors 

Dr. David Childs

Description: 

Lasers generate coherent light that is high brightness such that it can be directed, focused and collected from a small spot and from afar. This opens up microscopy or stand-off detection. Semiconductor lasers are small, cheap and can be tuneable in an external cavity, allowing us to make portable equipment for use in spectroscopy. Quantum Cascade lasers are the most efficient way to generate light in the Mid infrared region of the spectrum. This corresponds to the biological fingerprint region, where all our molecules have tell-tale signatures. As a result we can build a system that can be: low cost, portable and can give us chemical and biological tissue information.

These systems have application in many fields from precision agriculture to healthcare, the possibilities are endless, and the Star Trek ‘Tricorder’ is merely one vision that could come true.

Your research can span laser design and manufacture, system design and realisation, through to proving application readiness.


High performance lasers for additive manufacturing

Supervisors 

Dr. David Childs

Description: 

Lasers generate coherent light that is high brightness such that it can be directed and focused to small spot. This enables power densities high enough to sinter and melt plastic and metal powers into solid forms. This form of 3D printing is currently higher cost than other technologies such as filament deposition (FDM), but can make parts that are fit for use in cars and planes. However, writing speed and scaling to large sizes are key to uptake in industry to completely change to 3D printing from milting and molding processes.

We have the ability to produce semiconductor laser arrays that could bring down these write times such that direct laser 3D printing is as commonplace as the laser based Xerox printer in the office.

Your research can span laser array design and manufacture, system design and realisation, through to proving application readiness.


Hybrid RF-ultrasound transducers for wireless sensor nodes in harsh environments

Supervisor: 

Dr. Cong Li 

Description:

Wireless sensor nodes (WSN) are used in numerous applications such as environment, buildings, agriculture, and personal health. WSNs are normally powered by batteries which are bulky and can only last for a certain period. Replacing batteries can be very expensive or impossible in some scenarios. In past several years, research activities have been focused on reducing power consumption of sensor nodes or converting ambient energy e.g. solar, thermal, and acoustic to power WSNs. However, those methods have different limitations, e.g. weather conditions, size, working distance, and communications.

In this project, the candidate student will investigate a novel hybrid RF-ultrasound transducer that can be used as an exchange hub for energy conversion and wireless communication. This cutting-edge, interdisciplinary, and challenging project requires the candidate work with our industrial and academic collaborators to develop a prototype of the proposed transducer. Research activities include investigation of high efficiency piezoelectric/SAW/MEMS materials, and design, fabrication, and test of RF antennas, ultrasound transducers and electronic circuits using the state of the art JWNC (https://www.gla.ac.uk/research/az/jwnc/) and Microwave and Terahertz Laboratory (https://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/engineering/staff/chongli/#researchinterests)


High power GaN devices for 6G communications and beyond

Supervisor

Dr. Cong Li

Description

As commercial 5G networks rolled out worldwide since 2019, the agenda of researching into future generation of mobile communications has been prioritised in both academia and industry. Several research institutes have recently established 6G related research centres in the UK and overseas.

One of the main challenges of cracking the nutshell of future communications is the RF front ends or transceivers. As the operating frequency of future communications moves to millimeter-wave territory e.g. 30 GHz and above, the performance of electronics e.g. amplifiers, passive components integrated circuits degrade in a number of ways including lower efficiency, higher power consumption, poor integrability and so on.

In this project, the successful candidate will investigate high efficiency high power GaN devices e.g. PIN diodes and oscillators which will be used in the frontend circuits of future communication systems. The candidate must have solid knowledge on semiconductor device physics and experience of RF circuit design. Experience of using simulation tools such as ADS or AWR is desirable. Devices will be fabricated using the state of the art nanofabrication equipment at James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (https://www.gla.ac.uk/research/az/jwnc/).  The successful candidate will work closely with external collaborators at Cambridge, Bristol and Cardiff.  


Frequency scanning antennas for next generation RADAR sensors

Supervisor

Dr. Cong Li

Description

RADAR sensors play a key role in the autonomous vehicles. To ensure safety, various ranges i.e. short-range, medium-range and long-range of RADARs with different resolutions and coverage areas are required within a vehicle.  Different RADARs require different antennas that will not only increase system complexity and cost but also make antenna design extremely changeling. A frequency scanning antenna (FSA) is a type of antenna that allows electronic beam scan by changing input frequencies. Previous work within our group (Microwave and Terahertz Electronics group) has successfully demonstrated a rectangular waveguide-based FSA that can scan more than 90 degrees that is the highest of its kind. In this project, the candidate student will continue improving the antenna design and make it low profile, more efficient and compatible Si/SiGe technology for system integration. The student must have solid knowledge on electromagnetic waves and propagation, experience of using HFSS, or CST and hands-on experience of antenna test in anechoic chamber. Antennas will be fabricated at JWNC (https://www.gla.ac.uk/research/az/jwnc/) and tested in the Microwave and Terahertz Laboratory (https://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/engineering/staff/chongli/#researchinterests)


Developing the next generation of MEMS gravity sensors for volcanic eruption forecasting, and creating MEMS sensors for scanning probe microscope calibration

Supervisor

Dr Richard Middlemiss 

Description

In our group we focus on the development of new mechanical and electrical tools to help solve real world problems.

Our main focus at the moment is on the development of a new type of miniature, low-cost gravity sensor.  By measuring tiny variations in the Earth’s gravitational acceleration, g, you can infer density variations beneath the ground.  Since magmatic systems contain rock of differing density, changes in gravity over time can tell us when/where magma is moving. Traditional gravity sensors (gravimeters) were costly and heavy, but with the advent of the technology used to make mobile phone accelerometers (MEMS – Microelectromechanical-systems), this is changing.

At Glasgow University we have already developed the first MEMS gravity sensor ( https://www.nature.com/articles/nature17397), which was named by the Institute of Physics as one of the top ten breakthroughs of global physics for 2016. The work continues, and we are now working with four other European nations to make a network of these MEMS gravity sensors around Mt Etna. It will be the first multi-pixel gravity imager – enabling unprecedented resolution of Etna’s plumbing system (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feart.2020.573396/pdf ).

The first generation sensor consisted of a mass on a spring, which moved in response to changing values of g. This, however, can only ever be used to measure changes in gravity, which means it is very difficult to tell the difference between a geophysical signal and instrumental drift. If we could measure absolute values of gravity, then instrumental drift would stop concerning us, and we wouldn’t need to calibrate the sensors against hugely expensive commercial absolute gravimeters. This reduction in cost is important when assessing volcanic risk because 8/10 of the countries at most risk from volcanic hazards are on the Overseas Development Agency (ODA) list.

One way of making absolute measurements of gravity is to use a pendulum. This method was used for hundreds of years until the scientists and engineers essentially ran out of fabrication tolerance about 100 years ago. But now nanofabrication is at our disposal… We are working to develop a miniature gravity sensor using nanofabrication techniques in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (JWNC), one of the leading academic cleanrooms in Europe. We also work closely with colleagues in the Institute for Gravitational Research (IGR), part of the team responsible for the Nobel-prize-winning discovery of gravitational waves. The sensor will work by monitoring the oscillation period of a pair of silicon pendulums. It can be made at least ten times smaller and ten times cheaper than conventional gravity sensors.

But this isn’t the only project we’re working on. We are also looking into the MEMS sensors for the calibration of scanning probe microscopes. This industry-focused project has the potential for commercial success, and involves working closely with some industrial partners.

A further project which we are currently exploring is the creation of smart sensors to measure the physical characteristics of pyroclastic density currents (PDCs). This deadly physical phenomena was responsible for the burial of Pompeii, and there are still many things that we can learn about them by the creation of new engineering tools.

The projects available in our group offer exciting opportunities to work with world-leading research groups and labs. Learning new skills and working collaboratively with a vibrant team of multidisciplinary researchers. Training in nanofabrication in the JWNC. Working with collaborators in industry and academia from many countries. Travelling for field work and conferences around the world. We encourage our team to work hard when at university, but we think it is equally important to maintain a healthy work/life balance. Glasgow’s fantastic night life/culture/music/sports facilities/proximity to the Highlands will certainly help with the latter!

We are always looking for a new potential PhD students from a STEM backgrounds (engineering/physics/geophysics/geology etc.). Enthusiasm is essential, as well as a willingness to learn skills in many different areas of science and engineering, which you’ll use to bring this exciting new technology to fruition.

Please get in touch with Richard Middlemiss (Richard.middlemiss@glasgow.ac.uk) if you would like to talk about joining the group. We’d love to hear from you!


AI-enabled Plasmonic Nanodevice Design Techniques

Supervisors

Dr Hasan Abbas
Dr Bo Liu

Description

Recently, plasmonic nanodevices have attracted considerable attention due to their applications in both academy and industry and it is expected that the need for the design of plasmonic nanodevices will be increased more and more in the future. There are different novel nanostructured plasmonic devices that are determined by the shape as well as the material. In a conventional design, we utilize a trial-and-error process to reach the best parameters, then carry out our experiments with improved parameters for achieving the best results. This process is time-consuming. Although gradient-based local optimization techniques may be employed, the setting still involves quite a few “magic” parameters. Moreover, it should be noted that for the conventional design at least thousands of EM simulations are needed which are very expensive. For these reasons, the conventional method faces difficulties in terms of time and design.

The objectives of this PhD project are to:

  1. Understand direct EM scattering problems, which lay that foundation to comprehend mathematically ill-posed synthesis/inverse design problems.
  2. Design and measure simple nanoscale plasmonic structures to understand the design process and get first-hand design experience.
  3. Investigate AI techniques to synthesize plasmonic nanodevices, and
  4. verify the synthesized designs and improve the AI-driven design method. It is expected that the project will enable an antenna designer to only provide a fundamental structure, structure alternatives to some parts and material alternatives, and the AI-driven design technique will yield a highly optimized design efficiently.

Short and mid-infrared single photon detectors and arrays for rangefinding and automotive LIDAR

Supervisor

Professor Douglas Paul

Description

Time correlated single photon detection enables a photon to be sent and the time it takes to return to be recorded. From this measurement and knowing the speed of light, the distance the photon has travelled can be calculated which is a technique known as rangefinding. There are many applications of rangefinding which include 3D imaging and seeing around corners but also it is a key technology for the navigation of autonomous vehicles so they do not bump into objects around them. Rangefinders are also important for road vehicles and one major application in the automotive industry is for sensors to determine if a car might crash so that the driver can be warned or preventative measures can be undertaken. The technology could also be used in digital and mobile phone cameras for autofocusing. 

This project aims to develop the key device required for rangefinding at the important eye-safe wavelengths of 1.55 µm but also investigate longer wavelengths where the technology could be used for direct gas identification and imaging. The project will involve designing Ge and GeSn materials on a silicon substrate as the absorber layers for single photon detectors before fabricating a range of different single photon detectors and then testing them. At present all room temperature commercially available single photon detectors at this wavelength rely on expensive InGaAs technology which is too expensive for consumer markets and has US export controls. This project is aiming to develop much cheaper technology on a silicon platform that could be mass produced in silicon foundries allowing large arrays to be produced.

The student should have an undergraduate degree in Physics, Electrical and Electronic Engineering or an equivalent degree. They will design and model devices and be working in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre to fabricate the devices before testing the photodetectors. The project is in collaboration with the companies Optocap and IQE as part of an InnovateUK project. 

Contact Douglas.Paul@glasgow.ac.uk 


Superlattice detectors for high-operating temperature mid-infrared sensors and imagers

Supervisors

Professor David R.S. Cumming, Professor Richard Hogg and Dr Vincenzo Pusino

Description

In the visible wavelength range, cheap and high performing cameras are widely available. In the mid-infrared (MIR) imaging market, however, most available imagers need cryogenic cooling, and uncooled MIR sensing and imaging technologies are of much interest. Type-II superlattice (T2SL) detectors have been proposed as suitable candidates for MIR uncooled detection, and other structures are also under investigation. Using semiconductor material design and growth to realise new MIR imaging and sensing devices the project will advance the state-of-the-art to investigate MWIR single photon detection. 

The student will join a team of researchers with expertise in semiconductor device engineering, infrared imaging and sensing, and material design, fabrication, and characterisation. Wafers will be grown by either MBE or MOVPE according to the most suitable methods for the materials in use. Materials will be III-V semiconductors based on but not limited to alloys on Ga, As, In, and Sb, grown using the most appropriate epitaxial method. The student will carry out device fabrication in world-class James Watt Nanofabrication Centre at the University of Glasgow and will characterise the devices that they make in the laboratories of Imperial College or the University of Glasgow to access an excellent range of equipment. The project is multidisciplinary in nature and you will have the opportunity to work with industry and academia. The project will also provide opportunities to publish your research in leading journals and to attend international conferences in the field.

This challenging and exciting project is suitable for a highly motivated UK student with a first class degree in electronic engineering, physics or a related subject.  Prior research experience is particularly valued.


Integrated metamaterials and plasmonic filters for enhanced mid-infrared sensing and imaging

Supervisors

Professor David R.S. Cumming and Dr Vincenzo Pusino

Description

New advances in metamaterials and plasmonics research are making exciting concepts such as invisibility cloaking become achievable.  We are using these same concepts to invent new imaging and sensing technologies by integrating metamaterials with semiconductor devices.  In so doing we are opening new possibilities for medical and environmental imaging and sensing.  In this project the student will join a team of researchers providing expertise in semiconductor device engineering, infrared imaging and sensing, and metamaterial design, fabrication, and characterisation. 

Our team has pioneered compact, low-cost monolithic imaging arrays working in the mid-infrared (MIR). You will work on the integration of metamaterials with our MIR arrays. The metamaterial structures will add new functionalities such as polarisation and wavelength selectivity to the MIR imagers. You will carry out the fabrication in our world-class cleanrooms and will characterise the devices that you make in the laboratories of the Electronic Systems Design Centre.  The project is multidisciplinary in nature and you will have the opportunity to work with industry and academia. The project will also provide opportunities to publish your research in leading journals and to attend international conferences in the field.

This challenging and exciting project is suitable for a highly motivated UK student with a first class degree in electronic engineering, physics or a related subject.  Prior research experience is particularly valued.


MIMOPO - Contribution of Polarimetry to the Collocated MIMO Radar Concept for Detection and Identification of UAVs

Supervisors:

Dr Julien Le Kernec (UofG)

Dr Francesco Fioranelli (UofG)

Prof Muhammad Imran (UofG)

Dr Helene Oriot (HDR - Onera)

Mr Philippe Brouard (Onera)

Mr Sylvain Attia (Onera)

Location: 

50% in France in Onera Palaiseau and 50% in University of Glasgow

Funding: 

Onera the French Aerospace Lab 50%, University of Glasgow, School of Engineering 50% (Only for UK/EU nationals)

Description:

The increasing use of UAVs for civilian or military purposes and thus their integration into the airspace leads us to rethink suveillance systems.  This is particularly true for radars as they must consider the threat that would constitute a small UAV operating at low altitude, low speed and whose RCS (Radar Cross Section) would be of the same order of magnitude as that of a bird for example.

This scenario combines three issues:

  1. The detection of UAVs using a Multiple-Inputs Multiple Outputs (MIMO) radar configuration
  2. The classification of moving targets (UAVs, birds) using polarimetric filtering capabilities 
  3. The management of radar modes (surveillance, identification)

Here, the MIMO configuration in envisaged to ensure a surveillance mode over a wider sector and to enable a long integration capacity suitable for the detection of targets moving at low speed.

Polarimetry would be implemented to distinguish UAVs from birds among moving targets.  This technique has been shown to promising results for this type of classification ([1], [2]).

Mode management will need to ensure optimal monitoring capability.

This thesis will develop novel algorithms for classifications of UAVs on the HYCAM radar system combining polarimetry and MIMO.

It will draw on ONERA's experience in both fields and in particular on a thesis work supported in 2015 ([3]) on MIMO waveforms.  It will also be able to rely on ONERA's expertise in the field of radar polarimetry applied to surface systems and airborne systems.  The novel algorithms for the proposed study will be evaluated on an operational radar demonstrator.  HYCAM ([4], https://www.onera.fr/demr/unites-de-recherche#srm), to carry out live experiments for the different measurement modes and their management.

University of Glasgow will bring its expertise in terms of classification, radar systems and MIMO.

References:

  1. X-band measurements of radar signatures of large sea birds - Børge Torvik, Karl Erik Olsen, Hugh D. Griffiths, 2014 International Radar Conference
  2. K-band Signature Radar Analysis of a Flying Duck - Børge Torvik, Karl Erik Olsen, Hugh D. Griffith
  3. MIMO Radar Processing Methods for Anticipating and Compensating Real World Imperfections - Mathieu Cattenoz - thesis defended on May 22, 2015
  4. HYCAM - a software-defined testbed for experiments of new S band surface radar concepts - Laurent Constancias, Philippe Brouard, Eric Chaumette, Arnaud Brown, Sylvain Attia: European Radar Conference, Paris, October 2010

Candidate Profile:

Engineering School and/or Master 2

Desired skills:

Physics, Radar, Signal Processing

Contact:

For further information on this project, potential applicants are encouraged to contact Dr Julien Le Kernec


Compact monolithic millimetre-wave and terahertz integrated circuits (Funded)

Supervisor

Dr Chong Li

Project Description

The School of Engineering of the University of Glasgow is seeking a highly motivated graduate to undertake an exciting 3.5 year PhD project entitled 'Compact monolithic millimetre-wave and terahertz integrated circuits' within the Division of Electronic and Nanoscale Engineering.

Millimetre-wave and terahertz (MWT) technology has achieved significant progress in many areas including communications, radars, imaging, microscopy and so on in the past decade. From electronics point of view, the advancement of nanofabrication technology has enabled MWT integrated circuits to operate at their limits, especially for transistors. It is well-known that the higher the frequency that the components operate at, the smaller the size they become. However, no matter how high frequency even at THz, passive components e.g. switches, filters, antennas and matching circuits etc. still take up majority space on the chip. This is because most of them are realised using distributed elements i.e. transmission lines which leads to higher cost. In addition, the distributed elements tend to cause higher loss at higher frequencies. In this project, we aim to develop highly compact and efficient 3D monolithic integrated MWT circuits operating at 300 GHz and above. By exploring both novel design methodologies for passive components and active devices and advanced fabrication processes, miniaturised 3D MMT ICs based on GaAs will be developed using the world leading facilities of the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (http://www.jwnc.gla.ac.uk/) and tested with the-state-of-the-art instruments of the Microwave Laboratories at the University of Glasgow. The candidate student will be able to develop cutting edge skills including micro/nano fabrication, numerical electromagnetic simulation, advanced circuit design and precise measurement throughout the project.

Personal Specification: The successful candidate will have a MSc, 1st class or 2:1 (or equivalent) in Electronic Engineering or similar degree. The candidate will have the ability to work under minimal supervision, but also as part of a team.  It would be advantageous to have experience of numerical simulation, microwave circuit design, micro/nano-fabrication, antenna design and test. A knowledge of semiconductor device physics, microwave engineering, and test equipment would be desirable.

Funding

The studentship is supported by the School, and it will cover home tuition fees and provide a stipend of £14,777 per annum for 3.5 years.  To be eligible for this funding, applicants must have ‘settled status’ in the United Kingdom and must have been ‘ordinarily resident’ for the past three years.

It should be noted that other terms may also apply. For full details about eligibility please visit: http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/Pages/eligibility.aspx

How to apply

Application for this scholarship is made by using the online system at the following link for admission as a postgraduate research student to the admission team in the Recruitment and International Office.

It should be noted that this application is to gain admission to our PGR programme with the decision on this being based on your academic achievements, and an offer of admission may be sent out before a decision on this Scholarship is made. Candidates applying for this Scholarship will have their applications further vetted as to acceptability to this Scholarship and will most likely have an interview/discussion with the supervisor before any decision is made.

Contact

For an informal discussion or for further information on this project, potential applicants are encouraged to contact: Dr Chong Li at chong.li@glasgow.ac.uk


Printing of Electronic Layers and Devices on Flexible Substrates

Supervisor

Professor Ravinder Dahiya

Project Description

The School of Engineering of the University of Glasgow is seeking a highly motivated graduate to undertake an exciting 3 year PhD project entitled ‘Printing of Electronic Layers and Devices on Flexible Substrates’ within the Electronic and Nanoscale Engineering Division.

Future flexible electronics demands new ways for manufacturing high-performance electronics over large areas and flexible substrates such as plastic, paper, etc. In this regard, printing of high-mobility semiconductor nanowires is an attractive route as printing will enable cost-effective manufacturing and high-mobility of printed materials will open new avenues for high-performance electronics. This  project will explore new ways of printing electronic layers from high-mobility semiconductor nanowires and devices from them. A custom contact printing setup will be used to develop the devices. The printing of electronics layers is planned as major objective of this project and the efficacy of this approach will be demonstrated by developing some electronic devices from the electronic layers on flexible substrates. This existing project is expected to have impact on the manufacturing of high-performance flexible electronics on non-conventional substrates.

Funding

The studentship is supported by the School via an EU award, and it will cover home tuition fees and provide a stipend of £14,777 per annum for 3 years.

How to apply

Application for this scholarship is made by using the online system at the following link for admission as a postgraduate research student to the admission team in the Recruitment and International Office:

http://www.gla.ac.uk/research/opportunities/howtoapplyforaresearchdegree/

It should be noted that this application is to gain admission to our PGR programme with the decision on this being based on your academic achievements, and an offer of admission may be sent out before a decision on this Scholarship is made. Candidates applying for this Scholarship will have their applications further vetted as to acceptability to this Scholarship and will most likely have an interview/discussion with the supervisor before any decision is made.

Contact

For an informal discussion or for further information on this project, potential applicants are encouraged to contact: ravinder.dahiya@glasgow.ac.uk

Closing date – 31 July 2018


Smart Printed RFID Sensor Tags for Health Monitoring

Supervisor

Professor Ravinder Dahiya

Project Description

The School of Engineering of the University of Glasgow is seeking a highly motivated graduate to undertake an exciting 3-year PhD project entitled ‘Smart Printed RFID Sensor Tags for Health Monitoring’ within the Electronic and Nanoscale Engineering Division.

The Radio frequency identification (RFID) with integrated sensing is needed for several applications requiring real-time measurement and monitoring. In particular, the chip-less RFID sensor technology is attractive as it offers a low-cost solution by eliminating the need of an integrated circuit (IC) chip. Further, by means of printing, the chip-less RFID sensors could be made flexible, lightweight and developed at a very low cost, lending themselves to the realization of ubiquitous sensing. This project will investigate the printable chip-less RFID sensor tags, with focus on the incorporation of the  active components such as sensors or using RFID as sensor for early warnings of the variations in parameters such as pH, pressure, and moisture. The project will also investigate the development of RFID sensors tag on dissolvable and biodegradable substrates. This project will explore simple 2D planar structures for RFID and develop from them 3D structures in antenna to provide a feasible solution for wireless data transmission.

Funding

The studentship is supported by the School via an EU award, and will provide a stipend of £14,777 per annum for 3 years.

How to apply

Application for this scholarship should be made, in the first instance to Dr Dahiya at ravinder.dahiya@glasgow.ac.uk , enclosing your CV and other relevant documents such as awards received.

Closing date – 31 July 2018.


Dual mode lasers based on novel sampled grating for generating mode-beat Terahertz signals

Supervisor

Dr Lianping Hou

Description

THz radiation is of increasing importance for a variety of new applications, such as medical imaging, remote sensing, and THz communications. One of the techniques used to generate optical THz signals is by photomixing beams from two different distributed feedback (DFB) lasers or alternatively using an extended cavity configuration. Dual mode lasers (DML) utilising integrated distributed Bragg reflectors (DBR) or DFB laser cavities have also been used. A much simpler DML source for pumping, capable of uncooled operation and with a simple device structure is strongly desired. Among the various reported DML configurations, simultaneous emission of two longitudinal modes within the same cavity is very appealing because the device is compact, gives a stable beat frequency with high spectral quality, can be manufactured at low cost and is straightforward to package. DMLs operating in the 1.5 μm telecommunications window for silica fibre are most desirable. At this wavelength a plethora of components has been developed to modulate, control and manipulate optical signals, and erbium doped fibre amplifiers (EDFAs) can be used to increase the signal power to hundreds of Watts if required.

 

We will develop a DML using sampled Bragg grating (SBG) structures with reconstruction equivalent chirp (REC) technique based on π phase shifted SBGs (PPS-SBG). Compared with conventional SBGs (C-SBG), the PPS-SBG has a grating in all parts of the structure. As a result, the coupling coefficient κ of the ±1st-order reflections double and the 0th-order reflection is eliminated. So this kind of DML can support two longitudinal modes lasing simultaneously within the same cavity, separated by the frequency between the +1st –order and -1st –order. Both modes are affected equally by electrical, thermal and mechanical fluctuations, and so rejection of these common-mode-noise effects is improved. The frequency difference between the modes is determined essentially by the sampling period, and crucially not by the ambient temperature or injection current (of course, a small difference frequency shift will appear due to fluctuations of temperature and injection current). Compared with conventional DMLs, this novel design will generate a stable THz mode-beating frequency with a large working range in terms of the operating current of the device. Tuning the sampled period will tune the mode beating frequency used to produce the THz radiation.  We will use this DML as a practical compact, stable, solid-state laser source for generating THz radiation using photoconductive antennas developed in our group and we will characterize the THz system using state-of-the-art room temperature THz detector Golay cell detectors.

 

The aims of this project are to:

1)     Develop the DMLs based on the PPS-SBG and the mode beating frequencies covering the ITU-designated THz band of frequencies 0.3-3 THz.

2)     Produce THz signals using photoconductive antennas

Characterize THz signals using room temperature Golay cell THz detectors.

How to apply

The studentship is supported by the School, and it will cover home tuition fees and provide a stipend of £14,553 per annum for 3.5 years. To be eligible for this funding, applicants must have 'settled status' in the United Kingdom and must have been 'ordinarily resident' for the past three years.

It should be noted that other terms may also apply.

Application for this scholarship is made by using the online system at the following link for admission as a postgraduate research student to the admission team in the Recruitment and International Office.

It should be noted that this application is to gain admission to our PGR programme with the decision on this being based on your academic achievements, and an offer of admission may be sent out before a decision on this Scholarship is made. Candidates applying for this Scholarship will have their applications further vetted as to acceptability to this Scholarship and will most likely have an interview/discussion with the supervisor before any decision is made.

Contact

For an informal discussion or for further information on this project, potential applicants are encouraged to contact: Dr Lianping Hou at Lianping.Hou@glasgow.ac.uk.

Closing date - September 2018


Development of integrated photonic circuits for non-linear applications (Funded)

Supervisors

Professor Marc Sorel

Dr Loyd McKnight, Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics (FCAP)

Description

The UK's recent investments in Quantum Technology envision disruptive new time standards based on an ultrastable optical frequency locked to a clock transition in trapped ions / atoms. Optical standards offer superior fractional stability (Δf/f) to radio-frequency (RF) clocks, and embedding them into servers, navigation systems and networks would revolutionise the telecommunications, finance, defence, geodesy and energy sectors. However, realizing this vision needs a means of transferring such timing stability from optical (PHz) frequencies to the RF/microwave (GHz) domain—a function requiring a laser frequency comb.

This project targets the timely development of an integrable miniature comb platform, leveraging recent progress in GHz femtosecond lasers at Heriot Watt University and integrated nonlinear photonics at Glasgow University. Specifically, the concept we propose unites a 10-GHz Kerr-lens modelocked laser with an ultra-high nonlinearity silicon nitride or AlGaAs supercontinuum chip with an on-board interferometer to enable offset frequency stabilization via self-referencing. The final device will integrate, on the same chip, signal filtering and delay functions with micro-ring resonators, couplers, tuning elements and electronic control.

The project will be developed in close association with QuantIC - the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging - as well as several academic and industrial partners who will contribute resources, expertise and routes for exploitation.

The learning experience: The Optoelectronics Research Group in the School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow has pioneered theoretical and experimental research on photonic integrated circuits for over 40 years. This activity is supported by the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (JWNC), one of the finest nanofabrication facilities in Europe with over £32M of nanofabrication tools in a 1350 m2 clean room. The Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics (FCAP) provides professional research and development services for industry and is part of the larger Fraunhofer network that is Europe’s largest application orientated research organisation. The student will have access to state-of-the-art optical laboratories and will enjoy unique opportunities to develop industry contacts in an expanding research environment with responsibility at an early stage.

The project is highly multidisciplinary and will present an excellent opportunity for a motivated candidate to learn techniques spanning traditional discipline boundaries and to engage with academic and industrial partners. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to work in the FCAP laboratories and gain first-hand experience in industrially relevant research and development projects. This collaborative research studentship is part of the EPSRC-funded grant "Compact visible frequency combs - the missing link in a vision of pervasive quantum timekeeping" - EP/P005446/1.

Personal Specification: We are looking for a motivated and talented student graduating with at least a 2.1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in an engineering or physical science field. A master degree is preferable but not essential and previous research experience is greatly valued.

Funding is available to cover 42-month stipend and tuition fees, travel allowance and research consumables for UK/EU/International applicants. 

How to apply

Application for this scholarship is made by using the online system at the following link for admission as a postgraduate research student to the admission team in the Recruitment and International Office.

It should be noted that this application is to gain admission to our PGR programme with the decision on this being based on your academic achievements, and an offer of admission may be sent out before a decision on this Scholarship is made. Candidates applying for this Scholarship will have their applications further vetted as to acceptability to this Scholarship and will most likely have an interview/discussion with the supervisor before any decision is made.

Contacts

Prospective applicants should contact Prof. Marc Sorel (marc.sorel@glasgow.ac.uk) to discuss their interest in the position. Applications for this studentship must be made via the University website.


Development of next generation superconducting electronic and sensors (Funded)

Supervisor

Dr Alessandro Casaburi

Funding

The studentship is supported by the School, and will cover home tuition fees and provide a stipend of £14,057 per annum for 3.5 years.

To be eligible for this funding, applicants must have ‘settled status’ in the United Kingdom and must have been ‘ordinarily resident’ for the past three years. EU nationals are generally eligible to receive a fees-only award.

It should be noted that other terms may also apply.

Description

Superconducting material based nano devices are a key enabling technology to develop ultrafast electronic and high performance single molecule/single photon detectors for a host of cutting edge scientific applications.

Infrared photon counting detectors based on superconducting nanowires in arrayed configuration will make it possible to develop next generation instrumentation to open entirely new horizons in a wide range of existing/emerging applications of photonics such as advanced imaging, quantum communication and remote sensing.

High efficiency single molecule detection is of great importance in some biomedical/chemical diagnostic techniques like time-of-flight mass-spectrometry (TOF-MS). Among the most relevant applications in which this technique is involved is DNA fragment sizing for genomics, and the identification of proteins and their constituents for proteomics. Moreover, the development of functional proteomics combines functional characterization, like regulation, localization and modification, with the identification of proteins for deeper insight into cellular functions.

Cryogenically compatible ultra-fast electronic readout for superconducting nanowire detectors in an advanced multipixel array is of vital importance for the deployment of the aforementioned technologies.

The goal of the PhD project will be the development of large-area arrays of superconducting single-photon/molecules detectors using an innovative superconducting electronic readout scheme for precision time stamping with spatial, spectral and photon/molecules number information. In such a way these devices will combine the pinnacle of highest detection sensitivity and high temporal resolution, together with imaging and high collection efficiency. Details of the project can be discussed in agreement with the interested candidates to see what part suits.

This project will focus on the device modelling and simulation, advanced nanofabrication (carried out using state-of-the-art electron beam lithography facilities in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre) and preliminary testing using low temperature RF electrical and optical characterization facilities. For the superconducting single molecule detectors, testing under molecule bombardments will be carried out through joint experiments with potential collaborators that are interested in this disruptive technology (AIST – RIIF, Japan).

Applications are sought from highly motivated students graduating with first degree (2:1 or higher) in electrical engineering, physics or materials science. Previous research experience is greatly valued.

How to apply

Application for this scholarship is made by using the online system at the following link for admission as a postgraduate research student to the admission team in the Recruitment and International Office.

It should be noted that this application is to gain admission to our PGR programme with the decision on this being based on your academic achievements, and an offer of admission may be sent out before a decision on this Scholarship is made. Candidates applying for this Scholarship will have their applications further vetted as to acceptability to this Scholarship and will most likely have an interview/discussion with the supervisor before any decision is made.

Contact: alessandro.casaburi@glasgow.ac.uk


Atomic Magnetometers for Magnetospinography Assessment of Nervous System Diseases

Supervisor

Professor Douglas Paul

Description 

The ability to detect small magnetic fields has many applications and in the medical field superconducting SQUID based detectors have demonstrated the ability to monitor brain and nerve activity suitable for the study and diagnosis of a wide range of diseases. Such superconducting devices have significant limitations mainly relating to their cryogenic operation requirement which also limits the lateral resolution of the imaging technique. For spinal cord or nerve imaging in arms and hands, the total imaging area may only be a few mm to a cm wide and so sufficient resolution is required to image such biological systems. More recently a number of groups have demonstrated the use of optical probing of the spin states of atoms in gases to be able to detect changes in magnetic field down to femtoTesla (1 part in 1015) levels. This project aims to deliver Rb atoms in a MEMS fabricated cell with integrated 780 nm DFB lasers and silicon photodetectors to deliver a multipixel magnetometer imaging array suitable for a range of applications including magnetospinography applications. The work will be in collaboration with the School of Medicine in Glasgow and the School of Physics in Strathclyde University.

The successful student should have an undergraduate degree in Physics, Electronic and Electrical Engineering or an equivalent subject. They will design and model the interferometer and be working in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre to fabricate the sensors before testing the devices. 

Contact

Douglas.Paul@glasgow.ac.uk


From Atom to Device: Multi-scaled Simulations of Molecular-based Electronic Devices (Funded)

Supervisor

Dr Vihar Georgiev

Funding

The studentship is supported by the School, and it will cover home tuition fees and provide a stipend of £14,057 per annum for 3.5 years.

To be eligible for this funding, applicants must have ‘settled status’ in the United Kingdom and must have been ‘ordinarily resident’ for the past three years. EU nationals are generally eligible to receive a fees-only award.

It should be noted that other terms may also apply.

Description

Life in the 21st century relies on transistors, as they are fundamental for the automotive, medical, industrial and consumer markets, as well as for the data processing and telecommunication sectors. Since its creation, the transistor has undergone progressive shrinking in size to facilitate faster and smaller electronic devices. However, reducing the transistor’s size below tens of nanometres is currently the main challenge for the industry. In order to continue its scaling new materials and device architectures are required. Modelling and simulations are the most cost effective and shortest time-to-develop, time-to-design and time-to-innovation approach to evaluate these novel material properties and various devices’ geometries.

The main goal of this project is to perform simulations and develop a multi-physics computational framework for evaluation of novel materials and device architecture in order to create the next generation transistor and electronic devices. During the project’s span the Ph.D. student will aim to establish a link between electronic structure of a specific type of molecules and their electron transport properties. The project will also endeavour to answer the question of how different types of molecules would behave under applied bias and will explore the variability and reliability issues in molecular-based devices, eventually providing design solutions and recommendations to improve the existing technology and fabrication process. The ultimate aim is to perform simulations of realistic molecular-based electronic devices, starting from single atoms and going all the way up to the device level.  

The key component of this work is close collaboration with other research groups in the University of Glasgow. Working collaboratively will give the project the opportunity to establish a direct link and correlation between experimental results and simulation observables. A good track record in successful group collaboration is already established in the School and it can be proved by various papers, including the recent paper in Nature (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v515/n7528/abs/nature13951.html).

The ideal candidate will have good computational skills and background in engineering, physics or chemistry. Knowledge of computational methods such as the Density Functional Theory (DFT) and numerical methods is highly advantageous but not mandatory. Programing skills are not required but will be beneficial. The candidate must be self-motivated, interested in conducting interdisciplinary computational and theoretical research and to have good interpersonal skills.

The student will be part of the Device Modelling Group in the University of Glasgow, which is one of the leading semiconductor device groups worldwide. The group is the world leader in 3D simulations of advanced CMOS devices that include different sources of statistical variability.

How to apply

Application for this scholarship is made by using the online system at the following link for admission as a postgraduate research student to the admission team in the Recruitment and International Office.

It should be noted that this application is to gain admission to our PGR programme with the decision on this being based on your academic achievements, and an offer of admission may be sent out before a decision on this Scholarship is made. Candidates applying for this Scholarship will have their applications further vetted as to acceptability to this Scholarship and will most likely have an interview/discussion with the supervisor before any decision is made

Contact: For an informal discussion or for further information on this project, potential applicants are encouraged to contact: Vihar.Georgiev@glasgow.ac.uk


Quantum technology with superconducting quantum circuits

Supervisor

Professor Martin Weides

Description

The simulation of a quantum system by another laboratory system is the core idea of ​​Feyman’s dream. That proposal is 35 years old, and there are now the first experimental quantum simulators, including our recent analog quantum simulation of an effective quantum Rabi model (Nature Communications 8, 779 (2017)) which describes the fundamental mechanism of light-matter interaction. Further applications for quantum technology are secure communication, improved sensor technology, and, of course, quantum computing.

Quantum technologies harness quantum physics to gain a functionality or performance, which is otherwise unattainable, and lead to new products and processes to revolutionise the electronics, medicine, energy and computing industry. Superconducting circuits are a leading choice for building such devices as they carry electric signals without dissipation and are highly scalable, which are ideal prerequisites for quantum coherence devices.

At Glasgow, we are using superconducting nanostructured electrical circuits, which behave like artificial macroscopic spins. The qubit control pulses are in the microwave regime, and the system is operated at temperatures of 10mK.

The Quantum Technology Laboratory seeks talented and highly motivated students with a strong background in engineering, physics or materials science to undertake research on quantum technologies using solid-state, scalable and highly coherent superconducting quantum circuits. You will design and fabricate devices, using advanced simulation tools and the state-of-the-art facilities of the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre.

Open positions are in:

- Quantum sensing of microwave signals using on-chip quantum circuits

- Quantum simulation of open quantum systems

- Hybrid quantum system of real and artificial spins

- Scale-up science (control and readout electronics, circuit fabrication)

Contact:

Email: martin.weides@glasgow.ac.uk

Tel: 0141 330 1769


Integrated opto-electrochemical CMOS sensors chip for minimally invasive and precision diagnostics

Supervisors

Professor David Cumming

Description

Minimally invasive and point of care diagnostic devices are transforming the healthcare industry, by facilitating the use of home-testing to provide an early indication of potential illness and diseases. The development of low-cost and effective consumable biosensors is at the forefront of the research for user-orientated testing. Complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology which has made modern computing and communications possible, has also made an enormous impact on sensing technology for biomedical applications. The Microsystem MST research group at the University of Glasgow is an internationally recognised, multidisciplinary group that has an outstanding track record on the development of CMOS based Integrated Optical and electrochemical sensor platforms for minimally invasive and precision diagnostic devices. In this post, we are seeking an enthusiastic PhD Student to work on developing our next generation multimodal CMOS integrated sensor platform.

The successful candidate will be working on the design and implantation of an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chip. The new implemented chip will incorporate an array of optical and electrochemical sensors along with on-chip integrated electrodes and microLEDs. This ASIC will enable measurements such as lifetime fluorescence, pH, Colorimetric, chemiluminescence and electrochemiluminescenc detection. The fabricated chip will be interfaced with bioassays which are developed by the MST group and it collaborators around the UK.

This challenging and exciting project is suitable for a highly motivated UK student with a first class degree in electronic engineering, physics or a related subject.  Knowledge of the design and verification flow of analogue/mixed-signal flow with some experience on use of Cadence design Tool is an advantage. The successful candidate must be an enthusiastic student with willingness to learn and apply new skills on integrated electronic design and integration. You will have an opportunity to work with state-of-the-art CMOS process provided by world leading foundries such as Austria microsystems and Taiwan semiconductors.

Contact: david.cumming.2@glasgow.ac.uk

 


Multiplexed detection of analytes and screening enzyme assays using multicorder CMOS chip

Supervisors

Professor David Cumming

Description

Multiplexed assaying and screening of enzyme based reactions would facilitate with the prognosis of diseases and drug screening in healthcare, in food safety, to monitor environment and in detecting hazardous materials. Multiple sensors integrated on a chip provide possibility to detect multi-analytes from range of enzyme based reactions because of multiple transduction abilities. For multiplexed sensing and screening it is challenging to integrate multiple micro-reactors on a small area of CMOS chip avoiding mixing of reagents and products. To scale up multiplexing, challenges associated with maintaining a trade-off between increasing density of micro-wells on CMOS chip and to keep generous dimensions for micro-wells to allow easy access for the mixing of reagents and for detectable product formations have to be addressed.  Apart from integrating micro-wells on top of CMOS chip, developing surface immobilization technique is key to achieve multiplexed sensing. Addressing issues such as-selective immobilization of enzymes on micro-well surface or on other surface enhancers in micro-wells such as micro-beads or on paper would help enhance to increase multiplexing.

Development of micro-fabrication protocols for micro-well based micro-fluidics, integrating micro-fluidics with CMOS chip and development of novel procedures towards selective immobilization of addressable pixels on encapsulated surface and to increase shelf life of multicorder chip with immobilised enzymes are expected as a part of this project.

Contact David.Cumming.2@glasgow.ac.uk


Integrated technology for diagnostic capsule devices

Supervisor

Professor David Cumming

Description

The traditional ‘gold standard’ for medical diagnosis of disease in the gastro-intestinal tract is the endoscope.  Recent innovation has introduced the video pill which is particularly effective in the small-intestine, and is also less disagreeable to the patient.  We are now working with partners in medicine and medical engineering to produce multimodal diagnostic and therapeutic devices.  Opportunities within this broad field are in integrated circuit engineering, optics and microwave engineering.  The applications for the technology have the potential to be life-changing for patients afflicted with a broad range of intestinal disease, ranging from irritable bowel disease through to cancer. We are therefore looking for talented students who will enjoy working in a highly interdisciplinary environment and have a real desire to engage with medical practitioners. The project will also provide opportunities to publish your research in leading journals and to attend international conferences in the field.

This challenging and exciting project is suitable for a highly motivated UK student with a first class degree in electronic engineering, physics or a related subject.  Prior research experience is particularly valued.


Contact david.cumming.2@glasgow.ac.uk


Metamaterials and nanophotonics for imaging technology

Supervisors

Professor David Cumming
Professor Iain Thayne

Description

New advances in metamaterials and nanophotonics research are making exciting concepts such as invisibility cloaking become achievable.  We are using these same concepts to invent new imaging and sensing technologies by integrating metamaterials and nanophotonics with semiconductor devices.  In so doing we are opening new possibilities for security, medical and environmental imaging and sensing.  In this project the student will join a team of researchers providing expertise in semiconductor device engineering, CMOS chip design and metamaterial engineering.  You will work on nanophotonics and sensor integration in our excellent cleanrooms and will characterise the devices that you make in the laboratories of the Electronics Design Centre.  The project is multidisciplinary in nature and you will have the opportunity to work with industry and academia. The project will also provide opportunities to publish your research in leading journals and to attend international conferences in the field.

This challenging and exciting project is suitable for a highly motivated UK student with a first class degree in electronic engineering, physics or a related subject.  Prior research experience is particularly valued.

Contact david.cumming.2@glasgow.ac.uk


Bioengineered skin for prosthetics interface

Supervisors

Dr Ravinder Dahiya

Description

Significant effort is being devoted worldwide on prosthetics to compensate or restore the loss of sensory functionalities in amputees. The major challenge that need to be overcome to bring a step change in the field related to the interface and integration of advanced prosthetics with amputee's simpatico-motor activity. There is huge scope for engineering research to overcome this bottleneck and to establish linkage between man and machine. In this regard, electronic skin based monitoring of motor activity, particularly the bioengineering of artificial skin with patient specific IPSC, is a promising direction to bridge the gap between electronics and amputee. As the cell functions are known to be highly influenced by the micro and nanoscale topography and the mechanical and electrical behaviour of the bio platform, the question arises if micro and nanoscale engineering together with the tissue specific flexibility of biomaterials could be employed to regenerate engineered skin by differentiating IPSC. This project will investigate this aspect with a larger goal of developing an effective interface for electronic skin with amputees.

The study will involve fabrication of a bendable chitosan membrane with flexibility equivalent to the natural tissues. This functionalised bendable/conformable surface will be used for adhesion, proliferation and differentiation of IPSC. The Skin tissue specific lineage specification during the differentiation process will be achieved by modulating and optimising the flexibility as well as micro-nanoscale topography of the functionalised chitosan membrane. The engineered skin from a patient specific IPSC will be evaluated for its suitability to bridge the gap between amputee and prosthetics.

Contact Ravinder.Dahiya@glasgow.ac.uk 


Energy autonomous electronic skin (I)

Supervisors

Dr Ravinder Dahiya

Description

The flexible electronics in applications such as wearable electronics and robotics require portability of electronic systems and for this purpose energy autonomy of skin is important. Recently we have developed transparent skin based on Graphene (patent pending) and demonstrated energy autonomy of skin by integrating the same on commercial planar solar cells. The light-based energy harvesting devices such as photovoltaics are promising as they lead to sufficient energy for wearable devices. A challenge for current photovoltaics research, for their use in flexible and wearable systems, is posed by the fact they currently they are based on rigid substrates. This project aims to develop a flexible photovoltaic cell based on Si nanostructures and to combine with flexible and transparent touch sensitive layer, resulting in a fully energy autonomous electronic skin.

The aim of this PhD project is to fabricate high-performance photovoltaic cells on flexible substrates by transferring high crystal quality Si nanostructures such as NWs from donor to receiver substrates using different transfer approaches, including mechanically and electrically assisted assembling techniques. The project involves the synthesis of the nanowires. Synthesized nanostructures will be transferred to specific circuit layout designed during the project to build functional photovoltaic structures. Once flexible photovoltaic cells are fabricated, they will be characterized under different bending conditions. The photovoltaic prototype will be tested with a flexible tactile sensitive layer. The structure and composition of the flexible photovoltaic cell will be optimized to generate enough energy to drive a sensitive tactile layer.

Contact Ravinder.Dahiya@glasgow.ac.uk


Energy autonomous electronic skin (II)

Supervisors

Dr Ravinder Dahiya

Description

The flexible electronics in applications such as wearable electronics and robotics require portability of electronic systems and for this purpose energy autonomy is important. For this purpose, thermoelectric, photovoltaics, piezoelectric mechanisms have been explored so far. Another interesting direction is to engineer the structure of substrates and exploit the same to harvest energy. This new area, called triboelectric energy generation, is very attractive level of energy generation is high enough for wearable electronics and allow us to get more from the substrates (so far substrates are largely passive). This project aims to develop a flexible triboelectric generator with larger goal of developing an energy autonomous electronic skin.

The aim of this PhD project is to engineer flexible substrates, define various microscale patterns and use the same to harvest energy. Once flexible energy generator is fabricated, they will be characterized under different bending conditions. The prototype will be tested with a flexible tactile sensitive layer. The structure and composition will be optimized to generate enough energy to drive a sensitive tactile layer.

Contact Ravinder.Dahiya@glasgow.ac.uk


Integrating high efficiency energy conversion materials on flexible substrates

Supervisors

Dr Ravinder Dahiya

Description

Future electronics will be bendable and conformable. Recent technological advances have enabled flexible electronic systems, mainly through exploring organic semiconductors, amorphous and polycrystalline silicon, and more recently also using single crystal silicon to meet high-performance requirements. With mobility in the range of 10–5 to 500 cm2/Vs, these materials have been used to develop devices in thin-film formats on flexible substrates for applications like displays and electronic skin. However, applications with demanding high-frequency and ultra-low power consumption requirements, such as wireless communications in body-area sensor networks require electronics based on materials with much higher mobility. Compound semiconductors with lattice constant around 6.1 A (eg InAs, GaInSb) - the so called "6.1 semiconductors", with mobility greater than 10,000 cm2/Vs are the materials of choice for above applications. This project will investigate the suitability of various compound semiconductor devices as routes to high-frequency (1-10 GHz), low power (<1 mW) flexible electronics. The first activity of the project will be to demonstrate that the high mobility of 6.1 semiconductors can be retained when the materials are transferred to flexible substrates. Next, passive components such as transmission lines realised on 6.1 semiconductors transferred to flexible substrates will be explored at GHz frequencies. Subsequently, transistors and ultimately simple monolithic microwave integrated circuits such as low noise amplifiers, oscillators, switches and mixers, building blocks of ultra-low power radio systems, will be realised. The relative fragility of single crystalline compound semiconductors creates a number of fabrication challenges that must be overcome in order to realise high-speed, flexible transistors and integrated circuits.

The student will receive full training in advanced nanofabrication techniques including dry etch, metal and dielectric deposition, and techniques for printable electronics. In addition, training in high frequency test and measurement, and circuit design will be provided. Working alongside post-doctoral researchers, the student will integrate various process modules to demonstrate high performance devices.

As much of the work of the Glasgow team active in this area is strongly collaborative with leading global industrial and academic partners, the student will have the opportunity to showcase their talents to potential future employers.

Contact Ravinder.Dahiya@glasgow.ac.uk


Development of Flexible Giant MagnetoResistance (GMR) Sensor

Supervisors

Dr Ravinder Dahiya

Description

Over the last decade, advances in the field of flexible electronics have reinvigorated the global electronics industry. The new features such as flexibility, conformability and disposability etc. of this new generation electronics have been made possible with fabrication of electronics directly on non-conventional substrates such as paper and plastic etc. The possibility of having electronics on paper and plastic also opens opportunities for innovative use of electronics in challenging areas such as counterfeit currency.

Magnetic transducers are widely used in modern industry and electronics to sense the magnetic field strength to measure current, position, motion, direction, and other physical parameters. Recent progresses of Giant Magnetic Resistance (GMR) has opened a new opportunity as it allows controlling an electronic device in non-contact mode by means of localized magnetic fields. The GMR sensors are particularly interesting as the resistance of their ferromagnetic layers can be altered by external magnetic field, which can be used to trigger the electronic circuits. The integration of GMR components onto a flexible device requires overcoming several practical challenges. These include relatively lower GMR response compared to rigid counterparts, performance instability due to elastic mismatch when deformed, induced strain effects due to substrate roughness, and higher anisotropy and switching fields of magnetic free layer causing interference with other coupled components etc.

This proposed project will realize GMR sensor on paper surpassing these difficulties and provide a breakthrough towards novel applications such as preventing currency counterfeits. The major goals of the project are (1) synthesize and characterize controlled composition of nanoparticles for example FeCo and Cu (due to FeCo also possesses highest saturation magnetization of 240 emu/g (Ms of Co is 161 emu/g). The excellent soft magnetic property (lower anisotropy), high permeability, high Curie-temperature (>900oC) and magneto-elastic properties) (2) develop GMR by printing multiple alternate layers of the nanoparticles on paper (3) integrate the paper-GMR sensor with other electronic components on flexible substrates and (4) demonstrating the efficacy of proposed system in different applications including the detection of counterfeit currency.

The project will involve designing the synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles and fabrication of GMR sensors using chemical synthesis and printing methods. The synthesis and fabrication part for the ferromagnetic and non-magnetic layers will be done at James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (JWNC) at the University of Glasgow. In order to complete the validation, measurement characterization, a magnetic test setup with related flexible PCB will be implemented.

Contact Ravinder.Dahiya@glasgow.ac.uk


Multi-sensors Integrated with Smart Bandage for Wound Monitoring

Supervisors

Dr Ravinder Dahiya

Description

Wound management is a challenging task as the nature of wound, healing process, and the response to diagnostic practices vary with patient. In terms of measurements, the requirement of measuring simultaneously biological analytes and physical parameters at wound site is complicated by the need for the high selectivity and low cross sensitivity for each analyte. The parameters such as pH, glucose, moisture and temperature etc. indicate the wound healing at different stages. The analytical measurement tools for these indicators of wound healing suffer due to the lack of suitable sensors and portability. In this regard, the smart dressing of wounds with 'Smart bandage', having electrochemical biosensors and physical sensors, and the readout electronics will be an interesting development.

This project will develop 'Smart Bandage' to monitor chronic wounds. The proposed smart bandage will have a multi-sensor patch made with metal oxide or Carbon based materials that show antimicrobial and healing effects. The smart bandage will have electronics integrated on a flexible biocompatible substrate for a wireless monitoring application to transmit early warnings for the variations in parameters such as pH, glucose, pressure, moisture and temperature from the wound side. The antimicrobial effects of the sensor materials will also be synergistically studied for their role in the acceleration of healing process.
This project targets to combine the new micro/nanofabrication technology of printable electronics with electrochemical and physical sensors to design a new generation of sensors for medical textiles.

The major goals of this project are (1) to investigate new materials for electrochemical biosensor and physical sensors application (2) develop multi-sensors for wound analysis and (3) develop wearable 'Smart Bandage with multi sensors and flexible electronics for wireless applications. The material synthesis, fabrication and characterization part for the materials and sensors will be done at James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (JWNC) at the University of Glasgow.

The final prototype of the wound monitoring sensors is expected to perform a good sensing functionality with high performance, low cost, flexible and wearable with low power consumption.

Contact Ravinder.Dahiya@glasgow.ac.uk


Wearable device for cardiac care

Supervisors

Dr Ravinder Dahiya

Description

With increasing incidence of cardiac diseases, cardiac care, including regular blood pressure (BP) monitoring, is an important area attracting significant attention from Healthcare Systems. This project will develop new non-invasive wearable device for cardiac monitoring through careful analysis of abnormalities in ventricular outflow of the heart. The device will measure the heartbeat, BP and arterial stiffness and analyses the pumping mechanisms of different ventricles of the heart. The device will be fabricated on flexible substrate and is conformable in the form of smart wrist band.

The device will be made from well aligned PVDF coated ultrathin Au nanowires (NW) based nanocomposites. The pressure sensor will work on the principle of electron tunnelling between neighbouring partially coated Au NWs under the application of periodic force in perpendicular direction. The tunnelling current will be based on variation in the PVDF coat thickness on the NW under applied pressure. Suitable electronic circuitry will be designed on flexible chips to electronically filter the desired frequency bandwidth to obtain an output PPW.

The project aims to blend nanotechnology, micro-fabrication of new printable electronics to produce highly sensitive and low cost pressure sensors for clinical applications. The project incorporates novel ways to synthesize Au NW through microwave based synthesis method and transfer printing techniques for device assembly. This doctoral project will help to understand the microwave assisted anisotropic growth kinematics of Au NW and would also investigate on the patterning and deposition of ultrathin Au NW with high aspect ratio.

The Au NW synthesis will be performed at the BEST group laboratory while the fabrication part of the project will be carried out at the JWNC. The mechanical characterization of the device will be performed in BEST laboratory and the validation will be done in consultation of medical experts.

Contact Ravinder.Dahiya@glasgow.ac.uk


Fabricating Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) probes using novel materials

Supervisors

Dr Phil Dobson
Professor John Weaver

Description

Since its first demonstration in 1986, AFM has established itself as a powerful and versatile technique commonly used in labs around the world. Most AFMs are simply used to image surface topography at the micro- and nano-scale. However, there are an increasing number of applications that use AFM probes with additional structures integrated at their end (e.g. SThM, SECM-AFM, SNOM). One thing that all of these probes, both simple and advanced, have in common is that they are made from the same materials. These materials are largely the same as those used in semiconductor devices and are dictated by the processes used to manufacture AFM probes.

Although many devices have been made using this limited number of materials, the ability to use a wider range would allow the production of entirely new AFM probe types and well as bringing performance and cost benefits to established probes.

Our group are world leaders in the production of AFM probes and the aim of this project is to extend the number of materials that are available for effective AFM probe production. These materials will span a range from established and low cost (e.g. polymers) to cutting edge and high performance (e.g. atomic layer deposited materials). This will be coupled with the investigation of new manufacturing approaches needed to fully employ these materials as well as AFM scanning to assess finished device function.

By working on the project, the Ph.D. student will gain experience and training in microscopy (SThM, AFM, SEM and optical) and nano-fabrication in Glasgow University’s world class facility – the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (JWNC). This project is suitable for a student with a first degree in physical science or engineering. Applicants should have a 2:1 or equivalent and have demonstrated an ability to work in a laboratory environment. Training in microscopy, instrumentation and fabrication will be provided.

Contact: Phil.Dobson@glasgow.ac.uk

 


Scanning Thermal Microscopy (SThM): Imaging temperature and thermal properties at the nano-scale

Supervisors

Dr Phil Dobson
Professor John Weaver

Description

Heat has become a crucial aspect in the design and operation of modern electronic devices. An example of this is the fact that the performance of many semiconductor devices is dependent upon how effectively they can be cooled. However, as electronic devices become smaller, measuring their real temperature and other thermal properties has become increasingly difficult.

Scanning Thermal Microscopy (SThM) has become established in recent years and offers a way to study heat on the smallest scales. This microscopy technique employs a temperature sensor, located at the end of an Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) probe, to measure the temperature of a surface on the microscopic scale. Furthermore, the technique can also be used to locally heat the surface, making it ideal for probing how well nano-sized regions conduct heat.

Our group are world leaders in the production of SThM probes and the majority of the probes used by researchers around the world are made within the University of Glasgow.

The aim of this project is to extend the applications of SThM by using our cutting-edge probes to investigate some of the newest devices and materials being produced by our collaborators. This will provide important insights into these devices but will also help us to better understand the use and interpretation of SThM data. It is anticipated that this will be of great interest to both researchers and industry.

By working on the project, the PhD student will gain experience and training in microscopy (SThM, AFM, SEM and optical), the development of new instrumentation and nano-fabrication in Glasgow University’s world class facility – the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (JWNC). This project is suitable for a student with a first degree in science or engineering. Applicants should have a 2:1 or equivalent and have demonstrated an ability to work in a laboratory environment. Training in microscopy, instrumentation and fabrication will be provided.

Contact: phil.dobson@glasgow.ac.uk


Development of wireless charging technology for in-body medical and diagnostic devices

Supervisors

Dr Chong Li

Description

The clinical usage of active implantable medical devices (AIMDs) such as pacemakers, defibrillators, neuro stimulators, glucose monitors and so on has risen sharply over the past decades. On one side patients benefit of improving their quality of life or even extending their lives; however on the other side they are suffering from surgical replacement of those devices when the built-in batteries run out. Many companies have been trying to improve this by minimising power consumption or increasing battery capacity however the effect of these approaches is very limited. More recently, pill-like diagnostic medical devices have attracted extensive attention in research and practical applications. It is expected that this type of devices would replace the conventional endoscopy. However the implementation of such devices could be also limited by their sizes due to the size of battery. One solution for both cases is to implement wireless charging technology to charge batteries of AIMDs and diagnostic medical devices.   

In this project, the successful candidate will be expected to develop innovative low-cost and power-efficient wireless charging technology for charging AIMDs and in-body diagnostic devices. The student will need to explore both ultrasound and electromagnetic means to achieve this. This challenging project will require student to carry out research into from component design to system integration. Prior experience in circuit design, RF and microwave engineering and ultrasound is highly desirable. This is an interdisciplinary project which will provide the student opportunity to work with clinical doctors and industrial engineers.

Contact

chong.li@glasgow.ac.uk


Mid-infrared explosives and healthcare sensors

Supervisor

Professor Douglas Paul

Description

Plasmons are the quantum quasi-particle formed from the oscillations of electrons in a metal with respect to the fixed positive ions. When plasmons interact with light they form polaritons and the combined plasmon-polaritons can be used to amplify the absorption fingerprints of molecules leading to sensors that can identify different molecules. This identification of molecules has many applications for gas detectors, environmental monitoring (e.g. measuring carbon dioxide and pollutants), security detectors (e.g. detection of explosives or bioweapons) and healthcare detectors (e.g. early stage oncology detection). The molecular absorption fingerprint lines from most of the interesting molecules for the above applications lie in the mid-infrared so cheap and practical sources of radiation and detectors are not readily available despite the enormous potential. 

Work at Glasgow has already demonstrated mid-infrared detection and identification of mustard gas and explosives simulants using heavily doped n-Ge plasmonic antennas on a silicon substrate. The technology has the potential to be mass produced cheaply in silicon foundries and operates best in the mid-infrared. This project has the aim of integrating detectors and non-linear mixing elements to develop complete sensors that just require a mid-infrared source such as a quantum cascade laser or a cheap blackbody heater. Heterostructures of Ge/SiGe to form Ge quantum wells will be used for intersubband detection of the mid-infrared radiation and by coupling the light to the anti-crossings in the quantum wells, non-linear interactions will be generated that will tune the detection wavelength thereby allowing tunable detection of many different molecular bonds at different wavelengths.

The student should have an undergraduate degree in Physics, Electronic and Electrical Engineering or an equivalent subject. They will design and model devices and be working in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre to fabricate the sensors before testing the devices. 

Contact

douglas.paul@glasgow.ac.uk


Squeezed Light Interferometer for Measuring Gravity

Supervisor

Professor Douglas Paul

Description

Work at the University of Glasgow published in Nature and reported on the BBC news has already taken a silicon mass on a spring fabricated using the same Micro- Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) technology to the gyroscope in all smart phones that determine orientation and improved the sensitivity by a factor of 5000. This MEMS gravimeter has the potential to be used to search for new oil & gas researches, find buried utilities quickly thereby reducing roadworks and provide an early warning for volcanic eruptions. This project aims to deliver a quantum squeezed light source with pairs of correlated photons that can be used to measure the output of the MEMS gravimeter to improve the sensitivity by up to a factor of 40. The project also involves developing Ge photodetectors that can detect single photons which also has applications of rangefinding and LIDAR (determining how far away objects are by bouncing photons off them and timing their return) at wavelengths of light that can see through rain, mist and fog. A Michelson interferometer will be developed in a silicon chip using four wave mixing for the squeezed light source, a beam splitter and Ge photodetectors where the silicon proof mass is the moving mirror in the interferometer to enable squeezed light measurement of the displacement.

The project is in collaboration with Optocap and IQE as part of an InnovateUK project. The successful student should have an undergraduate degree in Physics, Electronic and Electrical Engineering or an equivalent subject. They will design and model the interferometer and be working in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre to fabricate the sensors before testing the devices. 

Contact

douglas.paul@glasgow.ac.uk


Detecting Dark Matter

Supervisors

Professor Robert Hadfield

Description

Dark Matter is believed by astronomers and cosmologists to make up a significant fraction of the mass of the universe.  This mysterious substance exerts a gravitational field but cannot be observed by conventional telescopes.  Recent dark matter searches suggest that axion-like particles are the most promising candidates.  Quantum technologies such as superconducting single-photon detectors offer a new route to detecting these particles through the axion-photon interaction.  The Quantum Sensors group led by Professor Robert Hadfield at the University of Glasgow is part of a major new UK project answering this challenge.  We will provide advanced superconducting single-photon detectors for the ALPS experiment at DESY, Hamburg, Germany.  This will boost the sensitivity of this important search experiment and may even succeed in capturing the first signature of Dark Matter.

Your PhD research will be aligned with this exciting international effort.  You will fabricate advanced superconducting photon counting detectors in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre at the University of Glasgow, gain expertise in precision cryogenic single-photon detection measurements in the Quantum Sensors group, and participate in the upgrade of the ALPS detectors.

This is an exciting opportunity for a physics graduate with an appetite for hands on experimental research, or an engineering graduate who is motivated by the mysteries of the universe.

This project is aligned to the new STFC Quantum Technology for Fundamental Physics project ‘Quantum Interferometry for New Physics’ ST/T006331/1 in partnership with the Universities of Cardiff, Warwick and Birmingham.

http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/engineering/research/divisions/ene/researchthemes/opto/quantumsensors/
http://www.jwnc.gla.ac.uk/
https://quantic.ac.uk/

Contact: Robert.hadfield@glasgow.ac.uk


Mid-infrared single photon detection with superconducting nanowires

Supervisors

Professor Robert Hadfield

Description

One of Einstein’s key contribution to modern science was to recognise that light is quantised in packets of energy known as photons.  A century later, the ability to produce, manipulate and detect single photons underpins a host of emerging optical quantum technologies.   These technologies are poised to have a profound impact on secure communications, imaging and computing in the 21st century.

 

The Quantum Sensors Group at the University of Glasgow leads the UK’s effort in a new class of photon counting detectors, based on superconducting nanowires.  We have the ability to fabricate, benchmark and implement these devices in frontier quantum technology applications. Superconducting nanowires offer high speed, low noise, single photon sensitivity deep into the mid infrared, beyond the range of semiconductor photon counters.  As a PhD researcher, you will receive training in state-of-the-art nanofabrication in through Glasgow’s James Watt Nanofabrication Centre, develop advanced low temperature testing at the single photon limit, and implement next generation detectors into state-of-the-art demonstrator platforms.  Our aim is to deploy these devices in ground-breaking quantum communications and single photon LIDAR demonstrations at mid infrared wavelengths.

 

This challenging and rewarding project is suitable for a well-qualified graduate in electrical engineering, physics or materials science.

This PhD research is closely aligned to our effort in the UK National Quantum Technology Programme through the QuantIC and QComm quantum technology hubs and the EPSRC Programme Grant SPEXS Single Photons-Expanding the Spectrum.   We have wide ranging collaborations with top research groups in the UK, USA and Japan. There are opportunities for sponsorship with our industry partners.

This project is aligned to the EPSRC Programme Grant  EP/S026428/1  SPEXS Single Photons – Expanding the Spectrum, and the UK National Quantum Technology Programme through the QuantIC and QComm quantum technology hub.  Industry sponsorship can be arranged for a suitable candidate.

http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/engineering/research/divisions/ene/researchthemes/opto/quantumsensors/

http://www.jwnc.gla.ac.uk/

https://www.spexs-uk.co.uk/

https://quantic.ac.uk/

https://www.quantumcommshub.net/

Contact: Robert.hadfield@glasgow.ac.uk


High-sensitivity optical gas sensor based on ring resonators

Supervisor

Dr Lianping Hou

Description

Real time monitoring of indoor air quality (IAQ) is desirable for both theoretical research and practical applications. Most conventional methods for gas detection are based on high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography (GC), but these approaches have practical barriers in obtaining sufficient data to represent real-time IAQ. Furthermore, these conventional approaches require expensive instrumentation, time consuming analysis, and sensors which bulky and of limited resolution. They are therefore far from being practical systems for IAQ monitoring, and technologies for gas sensing with low unit cost, small form factor, low power consumption, high sensitivity and high selectivity are of great importance.

In this project, we propose to fabricate a gas sensor based on photonic integrated circuit (PIC) technology. The sensor will consist of a monolithically integrated tunable DBR laser and a micro-ring for sensing. The laser will be based on technologies developed at UoG. It will be tunable from 1550 nm to 1620 nm and will use side-wall sampled gratings to determine the operating wavelength. Light from the laser will feed a bus waveguide. The ring sensor will be laterally coupled to the bus waveguide via a narrow slot. The wavelength range between 1.55 µm and 1.62 µm covers many important features in the absorption spectra of common gases. 

Light from the tunable laser is transmitted into the input side of the bus waveguide; the output of the bus waveguide is either directly connected to single mode fibre (SMF) or is out-coupled through a second-order grating. The SMF is then connected to a detector or spectrum analyser. When the light satisfies the resonance condition in the micro-ring, the transmission from the bus waveguide shows a dip, i.e. the resonator behaves as a spectral filter. The wavelength separation between two adjacent resonances defines the free spectral range (FSR) of the resonator. The sensing ring is covered by a microfluidic channel based on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which guides the gases into the sensor. When the gas composition surrounding the sensing ring changes, there is a corresponding change in the effective index of the micro-ring. This in turn changes the transmission behaviour of the light propagating in the micro-ring. From the optical spectrum response, a resonance wavelength shift can be detected. According to information in the literature, we can detect gas composition and concentration, with a sensitivity of 1.7 pm change in wavelength for a gas concentration of 1000 parts per million. The ultimate detection limit is estimated to be as low as 200 ppm. 

Furthermore, by integrating an array of on-chip micro-rings, the proposed scheme has the potential to detect and distinguish between several different gas species.

The aim of this project is to:

1)     Develop a high-sensitivity optical gas sensor array based on a ring resonator array

2)     Develop the real time IAQ monitoring system based on a MATLAB or LabView system.

Contact: Lianping.Hou@glasgow.ac.uk


Low noise optically controlled THz phased array antenna system

Supervisor

Dr Lianping Hou

Description

Terahertz (100 GHz to 10 THz) radiation has applications in many fields such as spectroscopy, security, and imaging and has gained intense interest in recent years. For the realization of these applications, powerful THz emitters are essential. Different types of emitters have been studied, but they all have limitations in tenability, or require a cryogenic environment, or are very expensive. Although THz wave generation technology research has made remarkable progress, at present we still lack sources with low cost, high efficiency, compact size, room temperature operation, high power, which inevitably seriously limits the applications of THz technology in daily life and scientific research.

Uni-Travelling-Carrier (UTC) Photodiodes, which can be integrated with thin film THz antennas, is another kind of THz emitter, which has the advantage of room temperature working, continuous wave operation and compact size. However, their output power is limited due to the available frequency bandwidth. To further increase the maximum output power, an array of THz antennas can be used. The power of several mutually coherent emitters can be combined, and the output THz peak intensity can be increased by N2 instead of N, where N is the number of the antennas. In this project, a low noise optically controlled THz phased array antenna system will be studied. A novel chip, which monolithically integrates a thin film THz antenna array, photodiode array, semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) array and optical beamformer, will be fabricated. The integration of the SOA helps to avoid deterioration of the quality of the THz emission resulting from non-uniform pump of array elements, and can enhance the pump power effectively at the same time. The integration of the photodiode array, the SOA array and the beamformer will be realized by the asymmetric twin waveguide (ATG) technique. For the low loss passive waveguide fabrication, we can use our quantum well intermixing (QWI) technique. The pump laser source and can be a 1.55 µm SG-DBR MLL with 640 GHz and 1.28 THz modulation frequencies which have been recently developed by my group. Due to the coherence of the THz MLLs, the phase noise of the THz emission will be greatly reduced.

Compared with conventional THz emitters, there are several advantages of the THz TW-UTC-PD integrated antenna arrays. These can be summarized as:

  1. Miniature
  2. High peak intensities 
  3. High spatial resolution
  4. THz beam steering

Contact: Lianping.Hou@glasgow.ac.uk


Graphene travelling-wave electro-absorption modulator

Supervisor

Professor John Marsh

Description

Graphene is an atomically thin monolayer of carbon atoms packed in a benzene-ring structure. Since appearing in the scientific community in 2004, its applications in optical devices have been widely investigated because of its excellent optical and electrical properties. Graphene is a promising material for novel optical devices and, in particular, has several advantages for realizing broadband optical modulators. These advantages include: constant absorption over a wide spectrum, ultra-high carrier mobility at room temperature, electrically controllable conductivity and compatibility with CMOS processing. Until now, however, the highest modulation bandwidth reported is around 30 GHz due to the use of lumped metal contacts which are limited in frequency by the RC time constant.  This problem can be overcome by using travelling wave (TW) designs which have been used for a long time in order to resolve the conflict between high modulation depth and high modulation bandwidth.

 

In this project, we will design a travelling-wave electro-absorption modulator (TWEAM) in graphene. TWEAMs have superior performance over lumped EAMs provided the intrinsically low impedance of the modulator is taken into consideration and proper impedance matching is applied. The design of graphene TWEAMs present a significant challenge where compromises have to be made between bandwidth, impedance, modulation depth, and electrical and optical loss. A robust approach to design will be developed in order to find an optimized design.

 

The aims of this project are to:

1)     Design graphene TWEAMs

2)     Fabricate devices

3)     Characterize graphene TWEAM in terms of insertion loss, modulation bandwidth, depth and efficiency. 

 

Contact

john.marsh@glasgow.ac.uk


Quantum Secured Communications with a Twist

Supervisor

Dr Martin Lavery

Description

Almost everything we use on a daily basis is digitally connected, this is know as the Internet of Things. This new internet landscape will require fundamental structural changes in the network tools used to link homes and businesses, and potential re-designs of our interlinked
devices. In this project the we investigate fundamental properties of quantum physics and use them to address novel engineering challenges in development of novel Quantum Secured Communications Systems.

As a member of the Structured Photonics Research Group, you will be exploring the development of next generation technology focused on creating novel quantum secured communications systems. We will explore these systems for use in free-space and fibre based
optical inks. We will employ Quantum Key Distribution to securely encode information that issent across real world links. The twist is the tail for this project arises from the use of an optical property known as Orbital Angular Momentum that will boost both the security of the through a dramatic increase in the bit deep of an encryption key, but will also provide a novel method to multiplex data carrying signals over the communications link offering a large boost to the achievable data rates. The project will involve both fundamental studies of the behaviour of optical properties, along with the development of technology allowing this property to be implemented into potential commercially available devices.

Contact: martin.lavery@glasgow.ac.uk


Optical Beam Forming Network for THz Photonics

Supervisor

Prof John Marsh

Description

THz radiation (100 GHz to 10 THz) is important for applications including medical imaging, spectroscopy, security screening, detection of hidden explosives, and remote sensing of the atmosphere. The ITU has identified the band from 275 GHz to 3 THz for alleviating scarcity of the spectrum and capacity limitations of current wireless systems. Current trends suggest such links will become a necessity within a few years. We will therefore focus on the lower frequency part of the THz band, from 275 GHz to 1.5 THz.

This project concerns developing an Optical Beam Forming Network (OBFN), as part of a beam steerable THz radiation source. The overall system is shown in Fig 1(a) where two laser lines locked in a defined phase relationship feed a novel integrated coherent optical beam forming network (OBFN), the output of which is again amplified to pump a detector/antenna array. In the OBFN, the two optical input waves are generated by tunable DFB lasers, DFB1 and DFB2, locked to () injected from the mode-locked laser with a fixed phase relation.  and  are split manifold and combined in pairs before the photodetector/ antenna array. The desired phase shift of the THz-wave () is obtained by creating a phase delay within each pair of optical waves using electro-optic modulators in the OBFN. The phase difference between the waves from different THz antennas can be varied and so constrained and steerable beam forming of the THz wave can be achieved in the optical domain.

The objectives of the project are as follows:

  • To develop a THz antenna array prototype systems with a minimum of 4 elements;
  • To develop a THz antenna array prototype device based on an OBFN to increase the peak intensity and reduce the beam width while achieving THz beam steering. 

    THz radiation (100 GHz to 10 THz) is important for applications including medical imaging, spectroscopy, security screening, detection of hidden explosives, and remote sensing of the atmosphere. The ITU has identified the band from 275 GHz to 3 THz for alleviating scarcity of the spectrum and capacity limitations of current wireless systems. Current trends suggest such links will become a necessity within a few years. We will therefore focus on the lower frequency part of the THz band, from 275 GHz to 1.5 THz.

     

Contact: John.Marsh@glasgow.ac.uk


Development of nano-scale diamond electronic devices for future space technologies

Supervisor

Dr David Moran

Description

Diamond is a fantastic material system for use in many cutting edge applications, including future generation high performance electronic components. The unique properties of diamond deem it ideal for the development of robust electronic systems for operation in extreme and hazardous environments such as for future satellite technologies, extra-terrestrial planetary exploration and long-haul space missions.

The student on this PhD project will work with high quality diamond material to develop stable electronic devices to meet the performance requirements of these space-based applications. This will involve working in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre to create and test the diamond devices. The student will gain experience in Nanotechnology and a range of nanofabrication and testing techniques as part of this process to reduce the devices to as small a size as possible to improve their operation and performance. Further information on the diamond nano-device work undertaken within the JWNC is described in the following media coverage: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-18273712

Students applying for this project should ideally possess a degree or equivalent in Electronic Engineering, Physics or Chemistry and have some background understanding in solid state physics and/or semiconductor devices.

For further details contact Dr David Moran (David.Moran@glasgow.ac.uk).


New doping processes for diamond for electronic, sensing and quantum applications

Supervisors

Dr David Moran

Description

Diamond possesses a range of amazing properties that make it an exciting new material system for use in a range of electronic, sensing and quantum applications. Some of these properties include high electron charge mobility to make extremely fast switching devices, the ability to tolerate very high voltages, extremely high thermal conductivity, radiation hardness, biocompatibility for bioelectronic devices, a range of quantum point defects for quantum computing and single photon applications and superconductivity at cryogenic temperatures.

This PhD project is joint between the Schools of Engineering and Chemistry and will focus on developing new processes to dope diamond to unlock its electronic potential as a high-performance semiconductor. This will involve hands on processing of diamond material in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre combined with the use of various spectroscopy and analytical techniques to characterize the electrical, chemical and physical properties of the diamond.

This project is ideally suited to students with a background in chemistry or physics, though would also be appropriate for electrical engineering students with a good knowledge in the area of semiconductors.

For further details contact Dr David Moran (David.Moran@glasgow.ac.uk).


Diamond nano-mechanical resonant systems for sensing and material analysis

Supervisor

Dr David Moran

Description

The various extreme properties of diamond (such as its extremely high Young’s modulus) make it an ideal material for the production of many types of mechanical systems. Nano-scale diamond based resonant systems in particular should be able to achieve higher operating frequencies than other materials and can operate in extreme environments, e.g. at very high temperatures. This makes diamond of great interest for a range of sensing applications including ultra-fine mass measurement and the characterisation of the very high frequency materials’ mechanical properties.

The student on this PhD project will work on the development, design and fabrication of advanced nano and micro-scale devices using high quality diamond material. This will involve working with the Nano-electronic Diamond Devices and Systems group (http://nedds.co.uk/) and in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre to create and test the diamond devices. The student will gain experience in Nanotechnology and a range of nanofabrication and testing techniques as part of this process and benefit from a variety of highly supportive research environments existing at the University of Glasgow. The multidisciplinary nature of the research project will also provide the student with the opportunity to build up an outstanding academic curriculum vitae with significant experience in the fields of Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics.

For further details contact Dr David Moran (David.Moran@glasgow.ac.uk)


A single chip cold atom atomic clock

Supervisor

Professor Douglas Paul

Description

Atomic clocks are the most accurate timing system yet developed. They are used as timing standards essential for the internet and communications but also are essential for navigation and part of the key technology in satellites for GPS navigation. There are many other potential applications for financial trading and GPS-free personal navigation if a cheap, practical, miniature atomic clock can be realised. The US National Institute for Standards and Technology developed a chip scale atomic clock in the 2000s which has an accuracy of nanoseconds using a heated rubidium vapour in a miniature gas cell whose accuracy is limited by the velocity of the atoms in the gas through Doppler broadening. 

This project has the aim of producing a single chip cold atom atomic clock where lasers are used to Doppler cool atoms to milliKelvin temperatures to enable a chip scale atomic clock with a sub-picosecond accuracy. This is an improvement by 3 orders of magnitude over any demonstrated chip scale clock. The project will integrate diode lasers with integrated waveguides, a Micromechanical Mechanical Electrical Microsystem (MEMS) gas cell, photodetectors, grating magneto-optical traps and high Q resonators to deliver an atomic clock. 

The student should have an undergraduate degree in Physics, Electrical and Electronic Engineering or an equivalent degree. They will design and model devices and be working in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre to fabricate the clocks before testing the devices. The work will be collaborative with the companies M Squared Lasers, Kelvin Nanotechnology and Optocap as part of an InnovateUK Quantum Technology project. 

Contact Douglas.Paul@glasgow.ac.uk


MicroCrystal Silicon and Germanium Single Photon Avalanche Detectors

Supervisor

Professor Douglas Paul

Description

Whilst CMOS single photon avalanche detectors (SPADs) are commercially available, the quantum efficiency is limited by the indirect bandgap and the thickness of the absorption region. At near infrared wavelengths where automotive rangefinding and LIDAR can most easily operate through fog and rain, expensive InGaAs technology limits large SPAD arrays for civilian applications. Such single photon detectors are essential for many quantum optics experiments but also for quantum communications, squeezed light imaging, rangefinding, LIDAR and appealing at longer wavelengths for the optical assessment of breast cancer risk. This project aims to deliver silicon CMOS SPADs with 80% single photon detection efficiency in the visible and Ge on Si SPADs for 1500 to 1600 nm operation for automotive and autonomous vehicle LIDAR. By growing either Si or Ge microcrystals on top of microfabricated Si pillars, thick absorption regions with very low defect densities can be achieved, ideal for high performance photodetectors. The project is funded through the EC H2020 FET Project "MicroSPIRE" and is a collaboration beween the University of Glasgow and the Politecnico di Milano in Italy, the University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy, the Philipps University Marburg in Germany, the Technical University of Dresden in Germany and Micro Photon Devices in Italy.

The University of Glasgow is seeking a high quality PhD student to fabricate the CMOS and Ge on Si devices and aid with the characterisation of the devices in collaboration with the European partners of the project. The successful student will work in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre and learn micro and nanofabrication skills alongside academic colleagues and industrial engineers. The student will also learn about single photon detectors and photonic devices. The PhD position available includes both an annual stipend (not less than £14,553 tax free) and the payment of the university fees. 

Contact Douglas.Paul@glasgow.ac.uk


Microfabricated ion traps with integrated optical control for atomic clocks and quantum computers

Supervisor

Professor Douglas Paul

Description

Microfabricated devices for the confinement and exquisite control of atomic particles are set to feature as essential core components in a range of quantum-enabled instrumentation. Applications of these devices are in atomic clocks and sensors, for use in precision positioning, navigation and timing. Furthermore, these chip-scale devices will be used for research in high-precision quantum metrology and have been proposed as a building block for quantum simulators and quantum computers. The aim of this project is to develop next-generation devices with enhanced performance characteristics, well-suited to these applications. 

The UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has developed novel chip-scale ion traps which are made using advanced microfabrication techniques, with the facilities at Glasgow's James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (JWNC). The microtrap device is a MEMS structure which, under the application of a radiofrequency high voltage, creates a linear array of segmented trapping potentials for storing strings of atomic ions. Irradiation by laser light cools the ions and controls their behaviour. Uniquely, the device combines a 3D structure with a parallel fabrication process, to exhibit a set of operating characteristics that is highly desirable for applications in atomic quantum technology.

At present all ion traps have bulk optical components for the laser cooling and optical control of the ions. This project has the aim to develop integrated optical components for laser cooling and the control of the quantum states of the ions in the taps. This will require the development of integrated on-chip laser delivery into the traps and providing high Q optical cavities to allow control of the quantum properties of single and multiple interacting ions in the traps.

Research and development in the microfabrication process will be conducted in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre. Testing and application of devices will be performed in partnership with NPL in Teddington, London thus providing a secondment opportunity.

 

Contact Douglas.Paul@glasgow.ac.uk 


Atomic layer deposition and etching for GaN power and RF electronics

Supervisor

Prof Iain Thayne

Description

This project, in partnership with Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology Ltd is associated with exploring the role of plasma based atomic layer etching and deposition in the realisation of high efficiency GaN power and RF electronic devices. The project will be part of an EPSRC funded Programme Grant led by the University of Bristol in the area of integrated GaN-diamond electronics.

Extensive use will be made of the plasma processing capabilities of the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre at the University of Glasgow.

Atomic layer etching is an emerging approach to the controlled and uniform removal of semiconductor materials with sub-nanometric precision. It is a vital enabling technology for future generations of energy efficient electronic devices. Glasgow University have been pioneering the use of this technique in GaN power electronics devices in the last 18 months. Atomic layer deposition is a well known technique for the controlled deposition of dielectrics and metals, where again, Glasgow has been playing a leading role in recent times. The student will gain training in all relevant aspects of nanofabrication relevant to the project, with emphasis on plasma processing techniques. The successful candidate will be embedded in a strong research team, and encouraged to work collaboratively with partners in the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff and Birmingham as well as with Oxford instruments Plasma Technology Ltd engineers and scientists.

Contact: Iain.Thayne@glasgow.ac.uk


Advanced Gallium Nitride Power Devices and Integrated Circuits

Supervisor

Dr Edward Wasige

Description

The proposed research addresses the need for technologies able to provide highly efficient power conversion for mundane applications such as mobile phone or laptop charging to emerging ways of transport such as electric cars, more electric aircraft etc. Until recently, this functionality was only the domain of silicon (Si) power electronics but the emergence of wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductors such as diamond, silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) has brought competition for Si. These WBG semiconductors are the subject of intense research effort, given their great potential for the realisation of more compact, rugged and higher power density energy conversion units compared to those based on Si, and their potential for commercialisation. The success of silicon power electronics is underpinned largely by the fact that silicon switches operate in the normally-off mode, with the desired turn-on (threshold) control voltages (required for robust operation) being easily realisable, for instance +3 V at 650 V operation. WBG devices, and in particular, GaN devices with desirable turn-on control voltages are not currently available. Further, the present GaN devices have the so-called floating or unconnected substrates which compromises their ability to realise half-bridge power converter modules, the key building blocks for modern power converters. The project, therefore, aims to develop robust normally-off GaN power devices with reproducible and high threshold voltages (Vth) up to +4 V and which are free of substrate crosstalk. Further, the project aims to demonstrate monolithic half-bridge power converters for 650 V applications.

Contact Edward.Wasige@glasgow.ac.uk


Terahertz based Ultra High Bandwidth Wireless Networks

Supervisor

Dr Edward Wasige

Description

The demand for broadband content and services has been growing at tremendous rates, and predictions indicate that wireless data-rates of multiple tens of gigabits per second (Gbps) will be required by the year 2020, essentially for short-range connectivity. Currently available wireless technology cannot support these future demands, and so there is an urgent need to develop new technology platforms that are cost and energy efficient to enable ubiquitous ultra-broadband wireless communications seamlessly integrated with high-speed fibre-optic networks, paving the way for 100 Gbps data rates in the longer term. The frequency spectrum currently in use is not expected to be suitable to accommodate the predicted future data-rate requirements, and therefore there is a need to embrace higher frequency bands, above 60 GHz and up to 1 THz.  This project aims at developing a novel, low cost, energy-efficient and compact ultra-broadband short-range wireless communication transceiver technology, capable of addressing predicted future network usage requirements. This will be pursued through the exploitation of Resonant Tunnelling Diode (RTD) devices which represent the fastest pure solid-state electronic devices operating at room temperature with reported working frequencies exceeding 1 THz. The project aims at increasing the RTD oscillator output power to over 1 mW at frequencies above 500 GHz through improved circuit design and implementation, and the use of this in basic multi-gigabit wireless communications links.

Contact: Edward.Wasige@glasgow.ac.uk


Vertical GaN Power Devices

Supervisor

Dr Edward Wasige

Description

Gallium nitride (GaN)-based High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMT) technology has made rapid progress over the last 2 decades. These devices are expected to contribute significantly towards efficiency improvement and downsizing of power supplies since the devices have the potential for realizing higher breakdown voltages and lower on-state resistances in comparison to silicon-based devices conventionally used (a projected 100x performance advantage). To date, the vast majority of the work in developing GaN-based transistors has been concentrated on lateral transport device topology due to the horizontal nature of the two dimensional electron gas (2DEG) in the AlGaN/GaN heterostructure. However, for high-power applications, the vertical topology is desirable, not least because breakdown fields close to the material limit could be sustained. This PhD project has therefore the following aims and objectives: 1) To develop process modules for normally-off vertical transport GaN HEMTs employing novel device concepts; 2) To design, fabricate and characterize large area devices with a) a threshold voltage of over +3 V and b) breakdown fields of over 100 V/m; 3) Determine the impact of device geometry on performance and derive the optimum device dimensions; and 4) Realize devices with large gate periphery capable of delivering >10 Amperes per device with breakdown voltage in excess of 1kV. Such devices will find applications in power conversion electronic circuits such as DC-DC converters and DC-AC power inverters capable of handling large currents (>80A) and corresponding power (>50kW) for modern day applications such as electric vehicles or interfacing renewable energy sources to the grid.

Contact: Edward.Wasige@glasgow.ac.uk


Magneto-Thermal Microscopy

Supervisors

Professor John Weaver
Dr Phil Dobson

Description

Recent developments in quantitative Scanning Thermal Microscopy (SThM) allow the measurement of temperature and the imposition of thermal stimulus on the scale of a few nm. The behaviour of magnetic materials and devices is dominated by thermally determined processes such as domain wall pinning or the ferromagnetic Curie point. Recent technological efforts have focused on the use of heating to facilitate writing in magnetic storage media (Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording), but the interplay of magnetic and thermal phenomena at the nanoscale is a very wide field.

The project is concerned with the development of sensor systems for the investigation of thermal processes in magnetic samples at the nanoscale. This includes the development of a range of instrumentation including systems for SThM in the presence of a magnetic field, high speed magnetic stimulation, injection of local currents and thermal excitation of magnetic materials.

Contact Jonathan.Weaver@glasgow.ac.uk


Agile Antenna Systems Providing Seamless Mobile Network Performance in the Transport Sector

Supervisors: 

Dr Qammer Abassi

Prof Muhammad Imran

Dr Hasan Abass

Description:

In this project, the student will propose a method to achieve the best configuration of the beamforming antenna to provide seamless connectivity to the transport infrastructure across the UK, including motorways, underground rail tracks, and urban environments. Different application scenarios may require different physical coverage beam and communication range. In addition, the antenna gain of choice can be chosen from the low/mid/high gain arrays to match the application needs and each array in the proposed agile antenna structure will be designed with beamforming capability for integration with an overall beamforming frontend. This method allows optimum interference performance and lowest deployment and maintenance costs to suit the volatile transportation environment.


Antenna design for future 6G wireless communications

Supervisors: 

Dr Qammer Abassi

Prof Muhammad Imran

Dr Massod ur Rehman

Description:

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened the spectrum between 95 GHz and 3,000 GHz for experimental use and unlicensed applications, to encourage the development of new wireless communication technologies. Following this trend, it is inevitable to utilise the terahertz (THz) bands (0.1 to 10 THz) for future wireless systems. In these bands, an enormous amount of bandwidth is available, which can facilitate Tbps data speeds in the future 6G systems. In this project, the student will explore novel antenna solutions that can generate high gain with wide beam steering capability. Lens or reflector antenna can generate high gain but there is a limitation of beam steering angle. Phase array can support beam steering but large number of array elements (and RF chain) is needed to generate high gain. Considering this, the goal of this project is to come up with novel antenna design for future 6G systems.


AI enabled Contact-less sensing for health monitoring

Supervisors: 

Dr Qammer Abassi

Prof Muhammad Imran

Dr Ahmed Zoha

Description:

The healthcare paradigm is shifting from doctor-centric to patient-centric concept. The prevailing techniques to enable this paradigm shift uses ambient sensors, cameras and wearable devices that primarily require strenuous deployment overheads and raise privacy concerns as well. To overcome aforementioned issues, an emerging technique to use perturbations in Channel State Information (CSI) of wireless signals for detecting human movements (which are linked to various health conditions) is attracting attention due to its non-invasive nature and security feature. The work will be focused on the development of non-invasive, easily-deployable, flexible and scalable testbed for identifying large-scale and small-scale body movements based on Software Defined Radios (SDRs).  By employing, machine learning on the collected data to do proactive health measures.


Develop a High-Resolution Plasmonic Imaging Technique using Semiconductor Heterostructures

Supervisors: 

Dr Hasan Abbas

Dr Qammer Abassi

Prof Muhammad Imran

Description:

The focus of the project is on the design and modelling of plasmonic devices at various wavelength regions, which have great potential for different applications, such as super-resolution imaging, biomedical imaging, nanolithography, integrated optics, etc. The student is expected to have knowledge in optics and photonics, electromagnetic waves, and strong interests in modelling with commercial electromagnetic simulation software. The fabrication of those devices with nano-fabrication techniques, such as e-beam lithography, with the state-of-the-art cleanroom fabrication facilitates at University of Glasgow. Through the project, the student will develop a high-level understanding of the physics behind those photonic devices from fundamental physics theory, fabrication and final characterization of those advanced photonic devices.


CMOS based readout electronics for multiplexing of superconducting single photon sensors

Supervisors: 

Dr Alessandro Casaburi

Description:

Infrared photon counting detectors based on superconducting nanowires in arrayed configuration represents a key enabling technology to open entirely new horizons in a wide range of existing/emerging applications of photonics such as advanced imaging, quantum communication and remote sensing. Cryogenically compatible ultra-fast electronic for control and readout in an advanced multipixel array form is of vital importance for the deployment of the aforementioned technologies.

The goal of the PhD project will be the development a cryogenically compatible CMOS based architecture to control and readout large-area arrays of superconducting single-photon detectors with precision time stamping and with spectral and photo number information. In such a way these devices will combine the pinnacle of highest detection sensitivity and high temporal resolution, together with imaging and high collection efficiency. This project will focus on the device modelling and simulation, advanced nanofabrication (carried out using state-of-the-art electron beam lithography facilities in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre) and preliminary testing using low temperature RF electrical and optical characterization facilities in the Quantum Sensors Labs.

This PhD project is strongly aligned with the EPSRC project SPEXS (EP/S026428/1) and the work will be carried out in tight collaboration with the group of Professor Robert Henderson (University of Edinburgh). The student will also benefit from attending events promoted for the project allowing to create its own professional network (Industrial and academic).

Applications are sought from highly motivated students graduating with first degree (2:1 or higher) in electrical engineering, physics or materials science. Previous research experience is greatly valued.


Blockchain enabled UHF RFID tagging for industry 4.0 applications

Supervisors: 

Dr Qammer Abassi

Dr Hasan Abbas

Prof Muhammad Imran

Description:

This project deals with a block-chain enabled inkjet-printed ultrahigh frequency radiofrequency identification (UHF RFID) system for the supply chain management, traceability and authentication of hard to tag bottled consumer products containing fluids such as water, oil, juice, and wine. In this context, a novel low-cost, compact inkjet-printed UHF RFID tag antenna design for liquid bottles is proposed, that can operate at relatively longer-range performance over existing designs. With the help of block-chain based product tracking and a mobile application, a real-time, secure and smart supply chain process can be realised, where items can be monitored using the proposed RFID technology. The standalone system can be deployed to create smart contracts that benefit both the suppliers and consumers through the development of trust.


Mode locked laser diode with repetition rate locked to an atomic transition

Supervisors: 

Dr Lianping Hou

Professor John Marsh

Description:

Numerous industrial applications including satellite based navigation, telecommunication, and space applications require field-deployable atomic clocks combining excellent fractional frequency stability, low power consumption, and small size.

The aim of this project is to develop a very compact source of an optical comb with its repetition rate locked to an atomic transition.

The objectives are:

(1) Developed GaAs/AlGaAs Distributed Bragg Reflector (DBR) Mode locked laser diode (MLLD) operating at 894 nm with two lasing modes and the repetition rate set to be 9.192631770GHz which equals the signal emitted by electron spin transitions between two hyperfine energy levels in atoms of caesium-133. The effective cavity length of the DBR MLLD is around 4.4 mm. 

(2) Feedback the signal from Coherent Population Trapping (CPT) to the MLLD to tune the mode spacing to be exactly the hyperfine splitting of Cs 9.192631770 GHz by changing MLLD’s gain or DBR  current for coarse tuning and/or the saturable absorber(SA) section’s voltage for fine tuning.

This device will be used as Miniature Atomic Clocks or Room Temperature Magnetometers. 

This project will collaborate with

(1) Professor Charlie Ironside, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Bentley Campus, Curtin University

(2) Dr Mohsin Haji, Senior Research Scientist at NPL for Cs CPT signal measurement and feedback loop experimental setup for MLLD mode spacing stability.


THz sources based on monolithic dual wavelength lasers and uni-travelling carrier photodiodes

Supervisors: 

Dr Lianping Hou

Professor John Marsh

Description:

Many applications of THz radiation require sources that are compact, low-cost, and operate at room temperature.

In this project, we will develop both the high power low linewidth novel DWLs and the first monolithic THz transmitter based on the combination of DWL and uni-travelling-carrier photodiode (UTC-PD) antennas. The integration of these devices will lead to a compact sub-system operating at low voltage/current and so addresses the significant barrier in the adoption of THz technology presented by current systems using large frame lasers. We will demonstrate a novel ‘system on a chip’, integrating a high power DWL and UTC-PD using asymmetric twin waveguide (ATG) and quantum well intermixing (QWI) technologies. The advantages of this THz emitter system include alignment free, uncooled, room temperature and continuous-wave operation, compact form factor, and a narrow linewidth. The compact THz sources will be assessed for use in medical imaging, chemical and atmospheric sensing. Portable THz radiation sources are also highly desirable in systems for high-bandwidth wireless communications, such as on-chip communications, data storage and data centre communications, and satellite to satellite communications.

The project has two main objectives:

1. Development of the first integrated photonic pulse source based on high-power narrow-linewidth DWLs operating at 1.55 μm with pulse repetition frequencies from 275 GHz to 1.5 THz. The use of novel π phase shifted sampled grating will be investigated.

2. Development of the first integrated photonic THz sources based on monolithic high-power narrow-linewith DWLs and travelling wave UTC-PD (TW-UTC-PDs) using ATG and QWI techniques.


Plant Health Testing and Assessment using Terahertz waves and artificial intelligence

Supervisors: 

Dr Qammer Abassi

Dr Hasan Abbas

Prof Muhammad Imran

Description:

The primary goal of this project is to develop the underpinning seed quality and plant health assessment technologies that combine nanoscale multi-spectral imaging, and sensing techniques that will ultimately improve a crop’s yield. To do so, the student is expected to perform a rigorous analysis of plant throughout its life cycle in which physiological features are collected for pathogenesis. It is expected that the proposed multispectral sensing technology will also result in the efficient utilization of water resources for crops such as maize, wheat, and rice that are major contributors to the staple food across the globe.


Future healthcare using nanoscale physiological sensors

Supervisors: 

Dr Qammer Abassi

Dr Hasan Abbas

Prof Muhammad Imran

Description:

Technological breakthroughs in nano-fabrication technologies have enabled us to realise miniaturised communication systems. Nano-scale pervasive sensing is a vision through which vital human physiological data of a patient can be captured with the help of self-powered nano-sensors that are placed on the skin of human beings. The collected data can then be used for a variety of diagnostic purposes. In this project, the student will deal with the challenges involved in the deployment of these nanoscale sensing networks. Specifically, the aim of the project is to study the terahertz frequency nanoscale communication systems and the underlying electromagnetic propagation and scattering schemes that enable the operation of nanosized sensors.