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Developing high power, high efficiency terahertz sources using advanced semiconductor processing techniques


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Thursday 8 June 2023
Project start date
Sunday 1 October 2023
Country eligibility
UK only
Source of funding
External organisation
Dr Joshua Freeman and Dr Christopher Wood
Additional supervisors
Professor Edmund Linfield
School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Research groups/institutes
Pollard Institute
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

In this project, you will - as part of a larger team - develop high power, high temperature terahertz semiconductor lasers by investigating a number of advanced microfabrication and device packaging techniques, including flip-chip bonding, device planarization, and the integration of novel materials. You will also develop novel thermal management strategies such as fully-clad laser ridges for increased thermal efficiency. These advances are expected to apply to a range of semiconductor transceiver architectures, in which high power operation, and therefore efficient thermal management, are fundamental.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:11px">Semiconductor lasers operating in the far-infrared, or terahertz (THz), region of the electromagnetic spectrum were first developed in 2002. Over the last decade, the Pollard Institute at the University of Leeds has been a leading centre for development of these lasers, including holding the current world record for power output (&gt;2W). Previously requiring cryogenic cooling, THz QCLs have recently been shown to operate at &ndash;23?C using a compact Peltier cooler. However, this was under pulsed operation with modest output power and, while this demonstrates the potential of these sources, wide ranging applications will only become feasible when continuous wave and/or high power operation can be achieved at, or near, room temperature without cryogenic cooling technology.</p> <p>The University of Leeds are world-leaders in semiconductor material growth and active region design for THz-frequency devices. We seek to translate this materials research into generation-after-next transmitter architectures by implementing advanced thermal management techniques and by developing high-quality, high-power, low divergence transmitters that operate above cryogenic temperatures.</p> <p>This project represents an exciting opportunity to join a <a href="">National Hub in technologies for the Electromagnetic Environment</a>, funded by the <a href="">Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)</a>, led by the University of Loughborough and partnered with the University of Leeds, Queen Mary University London, the University of Glasgow and Queen&rsquo;s University Belfast. You will work in one of the largest <a href="">University cleanrooms</a> in the UK and with one of Europe&rsquo;s largest <a href="">THz research groups</a>.</p> <p>Moreover, the UK is recognising an urgent need to develop highly skilled personnel in semiconductor processing and device manufacture in an increasingly competitive global market. The skills developed on this programme will position you at the forefront of a new wave of microfabrication experts that will underpin UK expansion into the global semiconductor market worth in excess of $655 billion.</p> <p>This project would suit an applicant with a good first degree in Physics, Electronic Engineering, or an aligned subject.</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:11px">Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study section that you are applying for <em><strong>PhD Electronic &amp; Electrical Engineering</strong></em> and in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>Developing high power, high efficiency terahertz sources using advanced semiconductor processing techniques</strong></em> as well as <a href="">Dr Christopher Wood</a> as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p><em>&nbsp;As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBTQ+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. &nbsp;We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents in support of your application by the closing date of 8 June 2023:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> <li>Funding information:&nbsp;&nbsp;Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) Studentship</li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p>A highly competitive Studentship funded by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), consisting of the award of fees at the UK Fee rate with a maintenance grant of &pound;18,622 for 3 years.</p> <p>This opportunity is available to UK applicants only. All candidates will be placed into the DTSL Studentship Competition and selection is based on academic merit.</p> <p>Please refer to the&nbsp;<a href="">UKCISA</a>&nbsp;website for&nbsp;information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information regarding your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions,<br /> e: <a href=""></a></p> <p>For further information regarding the project, please contact Dr Christopher Wood,<br /> e:&nbsp;<a href=""> </a></p>