THz and mm-wave detection through silicon luminescence Ref: 4782
About the award
Professor Euan Hendry, University of Exeter
Prof Alastair Hibbins, University of Exeter
Dr Ian Hooper, University of Exeter
Department of Physics, Streatham Campus, Exeter
The University of Exeter’s Centre for Metamaterials Research and Innovation (CMRI) with industry partners QinetiQ, is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship. For eligible students, the studentship will cover home tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £18,622 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study. The student would be based in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the Streatham Campus in Exeter.
Unlike X-rays, radiation in the mm-wave THz bands is intrinsically safe, non-ionising and non-destructive. These frequencies also correspond to a “sweet spot” in the electromagnetic spectrum, where radiation can pass unimpeded through typical clothing materials, making them ideally suited for security imaging applications. However, THz and mm-wave radiation has also proven difficult to detect using standard approaches,, and this part of the electromagnetic spectrum is often referred to as the “terahertz gap”, where it is currently difficult to develop applications due to a lack of detector technology.
In this project we will develop a new technology for detecting THz and mm-waves, exploiting a very recent discovery by the Exeter THz group: by measuring heating induced changes to luminescence, one can make a very sensitive detector for these frequencies. This discovery, once fully developed, could have wide ranging applications, effectively turning any silicon based camera, such as a modern smartphone, into a sensitive THz detector.
Applicants must have a working knowledge of optics, and have taken modules in optics and/or electromagnetism during their undergraduate degree. Proficiency in programming using Python, Matlab or Labview would also be helpful.
About the CDT in Metamaterials
You would be joining the doctoral training programme at the Centre for Metamaterial Research and Innovation at the University of Exeter. We provide scientific knowledge as well as transferable and technical skills training to all our students to prepare them for careers within and outside of academia. In 2014, we started off as a £12 million Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Metamaterials, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC/EP/L015331/1), the University of Exeter and industry.
The PhD students learn together in targeted courses, self-driven activity groups, and exposure to industry to gain scientific background knowledge beyond their areas of expertise, and to equip themselves with transferable professional skills such as creative thinking, project management, and leadership. The CDT now consists of more than 60 active PhD students (Postgraduate Researchers, PGRs) from the UK, the EU and beyond, who are training in a stimulating, challenging yet supportive cohort-based environment. Since 2018, over 30 graduates went into employment in industry and as postdocs in Higher Education Institutions in and outside of the UK.
This award provides annual funding to cover Home tuition fees and a tax-free stipend. For students from the UK who pay Home tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least £18,622 per year tax-free stipend (increasing each year as per UKRI standard PhD stipend). The conditions for eligibility of home fees status are complex and you will need to seek advice if you have moved to or from the UK (or Republic of Ireland) within the past 3 years or have applied for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
The studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 3.5 years of full-time study. The collaboration with industry partners QinetiQ is subject to contract.
For further information on the project, please contact Professor Euan Hendry, e-mail E.Hendry@exeter.ac.uk, or telephone (01392 725654).
Eligibility: UK only
Applications are made to the Metamaterials programme for a PhD in Physics/Engineering. We invite candidates to specify their project(s) of interest at the time of application.
Please ensure to upload ALL items listed below through our application system. Incomplete applications cannot be processed.
Applicants for this studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in Physics or an appropriate area of science or technology.
If English is not your first language you will need to have achieved at least 7.0 in IELTS and no less than 6.0 in any section by the start of the project. Alternative tests may be acceptable (see http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/english/).
How to apply
In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents
• Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project).
• Research proposal
• Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying)
• Names of two referees familiar with your academic work. You are not required to obtain references yourself. We will request references directly from your referees if you are shortlisted.
• If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English.
We foster creativity and utilisation of individual strengths. Applicants are encouraged to provide evidence to support their statements. This might include conventional written documents (e.g., examples of work), but we also encourage alternatives such as audio or video recordings, websites, programming etc. Please ensure to include accessible links to such files in an appropriately named document as part of the upload process
If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email email@example.com or phone 0300 555 60 60 (UK callers) +44 (0) 1392 723044 (EU/International callers) Project-specific queries should be directed to the main supervisor.
Applications will normally be reviewed within two weeks of receipt. Candidates will be short-listed against a set of agreed criteria to ensure quality while maintaining diversity. Failure to include all the elements listed above may result in rejection.
The essential criteria
• Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline;
• Vision and motivation (for research & professional development);
• Evidence of the ability to work collaboratively and to engage in a diverse community;
• Evidence of excellent written and oral skills in English.
The highest quality candidates will also be able to demonstrate one of more of the following:
• Specialist knowledge about one or more of the 8 research areas listed above;
• Training in research methodology (e.g., undergraduate research projects);
• Research outputs (e.g., papers) and/or other indicators of academic excellence (e.g. awards).
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an entry interview to assess fit to the CDT concept. This will be held prior the academic interview with the supervisors and will normally be undertaken by a panel of 3 people, including a current postgraduate researcher or post-doc in Physics or Engineering.
Interviews are expected to start within two weeks upon application receipt. It is therefore advisable to apply as soon as possible.
|Application deadline:||31st December 2023|
|Number of awards:||1|
|Value:||For eligible students the studentship will cover Home tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £17,668 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.|
|Duration of award:||per year|
|Contact: Metamaterials admissions firstname.lastname@example.org|