PhD Studentship in Nanophotonics and Plasmonics: developing new nanomaterials for extreme light trapping University of Southampton, Astronomy Group United Kingdom

PhD Studentship in Nanophotonics and Plasmonics: developing new nanomaterials for extreme light trapping

Astronomy Group

Location: Highfield Campus

Closing Date: Sunday 31 March 2019

Reference: 1059518WF

Applications are invited for a postgraduate researcher to join a new research project in the Integrated Nanophotonics group at the University of Southampton. The aim of this project is to design and fabricate complex systems for light. Research in the group aims to explore fundamental physics and develop new applications of light in nanostructured environments, including high-index semiconductors, plasmonic nanoantennas and metamaterials. The laboratory is equipped with state of the art equipment and has access to world-leading nanofabrication facilities.


A fully funded PhD place on this project is available for UK and EU applicants, through a Leverhulme Research Grant. The studentship is part of a larger project and focuses in particular on the materials science and optical properties of novel materials for manipulation and trapping of light using extreme scattering effects. We will exploit bottom-up chemistry as well as physical fabrication methods and structural characterization. Materials will be studied in optical experiments where the student will learn to develop new laser setups and make use of state of the art optical techniques such as wavefront shaping with spatial light modulators, transmission matrix experiments and femtosecond time-resolved spectroscopy.


The project involves experimental research using state of the art facilities and equipment, combining fundamental questions with potential new applications. We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with good experimental research skills and a degree in physics, chemistry, materials science, photonics engineering or another relevant subject. This project focuses on experimental nanophotonics research. We work together with collaborators at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands and the activity will involve short research visits to this group. A substantial budget for research consumables and travel is available.


For more information, please visit our group website at and contact Prof. Otto Muskens (


Key facts

Entry requirements: first or upper second-class degree or equivalent.


Closing date: applications should be received by mid-September 2018 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered.


Duration: 3 years (full-time) with a possible extension by 6 months (pending additional funding).


Funding: full tuition fees for UK students, and a tax-free stipend of £14,777 per year


Assessment: Nine month and 18 month reports, viva voce and thesis examination


Start date: March 2019



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