PhD Opportunities

PhD Opportunities

Possible research topics to be undertaken in the Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering Division of the 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.

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


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


Modelling and Simulations of Single Electron Devices for Portable Metrology Standard

Supervisors

Dr Vihar Georgiev
Professor Douglas Paul

Description

Single electron transistors (SETs) use the Coulomb blockade to control the flow of electrons one at a time. While the low gain restricts the use of such devices in circuits, SETs are extremely sensitive charge detectors (electrometers). Therefore SETs can be used to probe small molecules or electron transport in small transistors. Further applications include a new current standard, the non-invasive detection of quantum states for read out in quantum computation and the detection and imaging of objects through walls for security applications.

This project will be based on developing a methodology and performing computational simulations of different types of SETs based on silicon technology and small molecules. The project aims to establish a link between how quantum mechanical effects in these devices control the flow of electrons in SETs. This work is based on close collaboration with the group of Prof Douglas Paul, 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


Advanced nanophotonic materials

Supervisors

Professor Robert Hadfield

Description

There is growing interest in advanced materials for emerging nanophotonic applications.  This PhD research project will focus on a class of transition metal based silicide and nitride materials (such as MoSi and TiN) with exceptional  high and low temperature properties.  For example materials in this class offer resilience to high temperatures due to their high melting points and chemical resistance, lending themselves to plasmonic sensing applications.  Also the same materials exhibit excellent superconducting properties at low temperature, and are ideal for infrared single photon detection in the quantum technologies arena.   Using the facilities of the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre at the University of Glasgow, thin films will be deposited using sputter and atomic layer deposition.  The materials will be evaluated using advanced metrology (transmission electron microscopy, spectroscopic ellipsometry, and temperature dependent properties).  Nanoscale test structures will be fabricated and tested and compared with finite difference time domain modelling.  The aim of this project is to gain a full understanding  of the optical properties of these materials, optimise compatibility with waveguide circuits and to tailor devices to the requirements of advanced nanophotonic applications in data storage, sensing, single photon detection and optical computing.

This project is suitable for a talented and motivated student with a background in engineering, chemistry, materials science or physics.

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


On-chip detectors for mid infrared integrated photonics

Supervisors

Professor Robert Hadfield

Description

Over the past decades integrated photonics has revolutionized the applications of optics, shrinking high quality optical components to microchip scale. The move from near to mid infrared platforms is opening up new frontiers in on-chip spectroscopy and information processing. In this project you will develop novel on-chip superconducting detectors integrated with mid infrared waveguide circuits. These advanced devices, with sensitivity down to the single photon level, have the potential open up new horizons in astronomy and optical quantum computing.  You will design and fabricate devices, using advanced simulation tools and the state-of-the-art facilities of the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre. You will characterize these detectors and circuits using the advanced facilities of the Quantum Sensors Group.

This project is suitable for a talented and motivated student with a strong background in engineering, physics or materials science.

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

Contact: Robert.hadfield@glasgow.ac.uk


Terahertz Ge/SiGe Quantum Cascade Lasers on Silicon Substrates

Supervisor

Professor Douglas Paul

Description

The terahertz region of the electromagnetic spectrum (0.3 THz to 10 THz) is being investigated for medical imaging (oncology including skin cancer and breast cancer diagnosis), security screening and non-destructive test in the pharmaceuticals industry. At present all the available coherent sources are high cost or require cryogenic operation such as the GaAs THz quantum cascade laser (QCL) where polar optical phonon scattering limits the operation to low temperatures. Unlike interband lasers where the indirect bandgaps of silicon and germanium prevent lasing, QCLs are unipolar lasers which only use intersubband transitions inside quantum wells to enable lasers. In group IV materials such as silicon and germanium unlike III-Vs or II-VIs, there is no polar optical phonon scattering and experiments have demonstrated long non-radiative lifetimes that are relatively temperature independent ideal for a THz laser at room temperature. Glasgow is part of an EC H2020 Future Emerging Technologies project with Roma Tre University in Italy, ETH Zurich in Switzerland, IHP in Germany and Nextnano in Germany. The aim is to produce a THz Ge/SiGe QCL operating at room temperature using Ge quantum wells and SiGe barriers grown directly on top of silicon substrates.

The successful student should have an undergraduate degree in Physics, Electronic and Electrical Engineering or an equivalent subject. They will design and model structures for LEDS, tunnel diodes, optically pumped lasers and QCLs and be working in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre to fabricate the devices before testing them electrically and in FTIR systems. 

Contact

douglas.paul@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


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 


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