PhD Studentship in Next-generation Femtosecond Fibre-laser CPA sources and Their Applications
University of Southampton Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics
United Kingdom

PhD Studentship in Next-generation Femtosecond Fibre-laser CPA sources and Their Applications

Fibre & Systems Group

Location:  Highfield Campus

Closing Date:  Monday 31 August 2020

Reference:  1210519PN

Supervisor:     Professor David Richardson

Co-supervisor : Dr Johnathon Price

Project description

We are looking for applicants with a background in physics, material sciences or engineering to address the pressing challenge of significantly increasing pulse energy from a single fibre laser by incorporating newly created fibres from both the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) fabricators and collaborators to significantly advance the state-of-the-art. 

Applications of femtosecond and picosecond pulse lasers are driving the forefront of laser research. This close link was recognised by the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics for the development of chirped-pulse-amplified (CPA) lasers. Achieving a significant increase in the pulse energy from a single fibre laser is now reaching fundamental limitations set by nonlinear interactions in the fibres. 

There is ample scope for an ambitious student to emerge as world-leading scientist with an exceptional grounding as a potential research leader. 

This project will make use of our new computer-controlled ‘tailored’ pulse-shaper, which by acting in the spectral (Fourier) domain, can dynamically apply the required phase/amplitude. This advanced laser capability will be applied by our collaborators in nonlinear imaging (bio-sciences), material surface processing (industry) and to better understand the physical processes in the fibres. 

The project is supported with substantial funding from a £6m EPSRC-funded programme grant, hosted at the world-renowned . 

About the Optoelectronics Research Centre

The ORC has led the world in optical fibre technology research for the past 50 years. With over 90 state-of-the-art laboratories and 200 researchers working in all areas of photonics, the ORC provides an outstanding interdisciplinary environment for students to grow. Its cluster of 12 photonics spin-out companies provides a natural career path for PhD graduates. 

The group has an excellent track record of publishing in high profile research journals and international conferences. Its former PhD and postdoctoral researchers have made successful careers in universities worldwide or as industry scientists and business leaders. 

In the first year of your PhD a structured training programme runs alongside the research project, providing a gradual transition from taught degree to open-ended research. Students present their work at conferences worldwide, first-author papers in leading academic journals and emerge with skills at the forefront of glass and fibre optics research .

Further ORC information:

Further Airguide Photonics information:  

To discuss any details of the project or arrange a visit, please contact Professor David Richardson (djr@orc.soton.ac.uk), Dr Hans Christian Mulvad (h.c.mulvad@soton.ac.uk), or Dr Lin Xu (l.xu@soton.ac.uk).

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications are accepted throughout the year but start date is typically October 2020. 

Funding: full tuition for EU/UK Students plus, for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £18,000 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. EU students with no external funding can contend for a small number of competitive scholarships. Students from overseas who have secured some external funding are also encouraged to apply.

How To Apply: 

Applications should be made online here selecting “Faculty of Engineering and Physical Science” under the Faculty and then “PhD ORC (Full time)” as the programme. 

Applications should include: 

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: feps-pgr-apply@soton.ac.uk 


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