The deep-ultraviolet remains one of the last untapped portions of the spectrum in terms of wide industrial applications. This is, in part, due to the severe lack of laser sources operating in this regime. This is unfortunate, as it is ideally suited to applications such as the detection and monitoring of substances at range, which is itself extremely important to a number of industrial production, medical and safety processes. This program will be focused on the development of low SWAP (size, weight and price) coherent deep-UV laser sources, and then investigating their utility in a range of exciting and timely applications such as gas sensing; non-line-of-sight communications and fluorescence spectroscopic detection.
Further applications of deep-UV light are in sterilisation of surfaces utilizing a narrow spectral band centred around 250 nm with high germicidal efficiency. Deep UV light can also be utilised for material processing, where the short wavelength and absorption properties are used to alter materials on small scales.
Challenges arise in the development of such light sources where application tailored performance with respect to emission wavelength, peak or average powers, beam quality or overall system lifetime (due to degrading effects of UV light on optics, coatings and crystals) are required. This project will be focussed on addressing these various challenges in the context of improving next generation industrial products. The nature of this work will include close collaboration with industrial partners for the demonstration and reporting of technical progress in form of regular meetings and working towards fulfilling project goals within the cost and time constraints of the overall project plan.
The successful candidate will work on the development of compact laser systems based on solid-state platforms with fundamental emission in the visible to near-IR in combination with parametric nonlinear frequency conversion for the generation of the specified deep-UV light. The developed light sources will consecutively be used to drive prementioned applications with a particular focus on Raman spectroscopy.
The candidate will be working as part of a highly motivated team within Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics (CAP. Fraunhofer CAP is a world-leading centre in the field of applied photonics, located in central Glasgow. We engage in industry driven research and development (R&D) activities that benefit the UK economy and its citizens and enjoy excellent links with various industrial partners. The candidate will be able to experience translation of their technology from research laboratory to end use.
CDT Essential Criteria
A Masters level degree (MPhys, MSc) at 2.1 or equivalent.
Desire to work collegiately, be involved in outreach, undertake taught and professional skills study.
Project Essential Criteria
Understanding of optics, lasers & laser physics.
An ability to review relevant pre-existing literature.
Desire to undertake an experimental project which encompasses optics; lasers; interfacing to instrumentation; mechanical and electronic design and fabrication (the appropriate knowledge will be supplied); system integration; analysis of results.
To be practical and self-motivated.
A strong desire to interact with external end-users of the developed technology.
Project Desirable Criteria
Pre-existing knowledge of interfacing, computer programming (MATLAB, LabView, Python etc.)
Computer interfacing and experimental control is desirable; we are relaxed regarding the particular programming language used but Python has garnered considerable traction within the centre.
Once the laser is developed, there is scope for considerable in-field evaluation of resulting technologies. A desire to embrace experimental validation in such an environment would also be desirable.
The CDT in Applied Photonics provides a supportive, collaborative environment which values inclusivity and is committed to creating and sustaining a positive and supportive environment for all our applicants, students, and staff. For further information, please see our ED&I statement https://bit.ly/3gXrcwg. Forming a supportive cohort is an important part of the programme and our students take part in various professional skills workshops, including Responsible Research and Innovation workshops and attend Outreach Training.