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Postgraduate research project

Fibre laser based mid infrared sources and their applications

Competition funded View fees and funding
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree
View full entry requirements
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Closing date

About the project

The mid-infrared (mid-IR) spectral region of 2-20 µm contains strong characteristic vibrational transitions of many important molecules and incorporates the atmospheric transmission window, which makes it crucial for applications in spectroscopy, materials processing, chemical and biomolecular sensing, security and environmental monitoring. However, this wavelength range is difficult to access directly using traditional laser materials and cavity implementations.

"This project will involve the development of high-power short-pulsed fibre lasers operating at conventional near-IR wavelengths (e.g. 1 and 2µm) and converting the wavelength of the output light to the mid-IR wavelengths using nonlinear optical effects in specially engineered crystals, and/or optical fibres. As an integral part of the £6M Airguide Photonics EPSRC programme grant and a collaborative £5M EPSRC Healthcare Technologies grant, we will target both high-power laser operation providing a wide wavelength tuning range and a narrow spectral linewidth (that can be used to probe individual cells with high-resolution and with molecular specificity) and broadband supercontinuum sources with ultrahigh spectral power densities (that can be used to rapidly record the full absorption spectrum of biological samples without the need for laser tuning).

The project will create a world leading femto/pico-second pulsed fibre laser source as well as advanced nonlinear frequency conversion techniques, overcoming the technical challenges that currently limiting progress in the field. In broad terms, the work undertaken by the project student will combine experiments and simulations and will be directed to advancing both our understanding of lasers and nonlinear optics, as well as applications of mid-IR laser in medical imaging and surgery. The finer details of the project can be aligned to suit the preferences of the successful candidate. You will emerge as a high-achieving young scientist ready to embark on a strong career in this rapidly growing field.

For candidates with industrial career aspirations, there are real opportunities to work closely with Trumpf, a major manufacturer of fibre lasers based in Southampton and project partner on the grants, enabling experience to be gained of working with industry.

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