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Control of terahertz lasers with sound


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Monday 29 April 2024
Project start date
Tuesday 1 October 2024
Country eligibility
UK only
Competition funded
Source of funding
Doctoral training partnership
Professor John Cunningham
Additional supervisors
Dr Paul Dean
School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Applicants are sought for a funded PhD position investigating the acoustic control of terahertz frequency quantum cascade lasers (THz QCLs). The project is an exciting opportunity to join a large and world-renowned research group active and leading in many areas of terahertz science and technology, including in the design, growth and measurement of QCLs, which are a compact semiconductor source of terahertz radiation. The semiconductor wafers from which these lasers are made are grown in our laboratories in the School, and are processed into lasers in our new nanotechnology cleanroom, which is part of the University&rsquo;s Bragg Centre for Materials Research.<br /> <br /> In this experimental PhD project, you will develop new ways to modulate terahertz sources (including THz QCLs) using acoustic waves, leading to new ultrafast communications schemes relevant to 6G and beyond. For this, you will investigate and develop novel acoustic methods to manipulate the bandstructure of THz QCLs controllably and so change their light output, with the potential for extremely fast modulation (up to 100s of GHz). We have recently shown that one can use an acoustic pulse (created by an intense laser pulse hitting one side of the QCL) to perturb the light output, and we now wish to investigate this effect in detail. Future applications of the technology developed may include fast wireless communication systems and a new type of self-modulating laser, in which phonon and optical modes are both engineered for periodic sound and light modulation. The work will mainly be performed in our world-class terahertz laboratories in the School, and Bragg Centre cleanroom, in which you would make these devices using state-of-the-art equipment. There is also strong potential for you to work with our collaborators at the University of Nottingham and with our industrial project partners.<br /> <br /> This project would suit an applicant with a good first degree in Physics, Electronic Engineering, or an aligned subject, having a good working knowledge of physical electronics, and/or photonics. Full training will be provided in the experimental techniques.<br /> <br /> Please ensure that you quote this research project title in full on your application: Pollard Institute: Control of terahertz lasers using sound.<br />

<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>EPSRC DTP Engineering &amp; Physical Sciences</strong></em> (if you do not apply to this programme code, your application will not be considered) and in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is&nbsp;<em><strong>Control of terahertz lasers with sound</strong></em> as well as <a href="">Professor John Cunningham</a>&nbsp;as your proposed supervisor. Please state in the Finance section that the funding source you are applying for is <em><strong>EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership 2024/25: Electronic &amp; Electrical Engineering</strong></em>.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>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 LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p>Applications will be considered after the closing date. &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 29 April 2024:</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> </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 style="margin-bottom:11px">A highly competitive EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship offering the award of fees, together with a tax-free maintenance grant (currently &pound;18,622 for academic session 2023/24) for 3.5 years.&nbsp; Training and support will also be provided.</p> <p>This opportunity is open to UK applicants only.&nbsp; All candidates will be placed into the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership 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 style="margin-bottom:11px">For further information about this project, please contact Professor John Cunningham by email to&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions by email to <a href=""></a></p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>