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Postgraduate research project

Shaping light at the nanoscale with dielectric nanoantennas

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

In the last decade, nanophotonics has emerged as one of the most important research fields in optics. A tiny nano-object plays the role of a nanoantenna: when excited by a light source, it scatters light in the surrounding environment in one or more directions that depend on its geometry and material. An important issue that has not been fully understood yet is how to control the directionality and power of this scattered radiation.

The scope of this PhD project is to advance our knowledge in nanophotonics by designing and fabricating nanoantennas that allow full control of the scattered field at the nanoscale. Single nanoantennas with arbitrary shape as well as arrays of coupled nanoantennas will be designed, fabricated and tested.

PhD Programme

You will work at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), University of Southampton, in the Multimode Photonics Group led by Dr. Massimiliano Guasoni. We collaborate with the University of Brescia (Italy) and the Australian National University and you may have the opportunity to visit them.

Besides gaining a theoretical understanding in nanophotonics, you will have the unique opportunity to learn how to fabricate and test nanoantennas in our state-of-the-art cleanrooms. You will have access to some among the best equipped laboratories and nanofabrication research facilities in the world (£120M worth), and to one of the most powerful supercomputers in UK.

You will interact with world-leading scientists at the ORC revolutionizing the field of photonics, and you will engage with several ORC industrial partners. Furthermore, you will present your work in leading academic journals and at the most renowned conferences all over the world, which will allow you to engage with the best researchers worldwide.

In the first year of your PhD, a structured training program will run along with the research project, which will allow a gradual transition from a taught degree to independent research.
The ORC PhD will prepare you for a successful career as a top research scientist or business leader in academia and in industry.

As a PhD candidate, you will:

  • Develop next generation, low latency HCFs customised for ultrafast high bandwidth interconnections.
  •  Collaborate with teams at the University/Optoelectronics Research Centre and at Microsoft Azure Fiber.
  • Contribute to improve the physical infrastructure for LLM training.

About You 

We are seeking candidates with a strong interest in AI, optics, and a keen desire to learn more about hollow core fibres. Candidates must have a background in physics/engineering/material science and an interest in glass science and fibre optics. Through this project, you will not only develop custom HCFs for AI applications but will also deliver new ways of understanding the fundamental physics of how these fibres work, and how the design parameters influence the performance of these fibres.

Join Us 

This is a unique opportunity to work with a world leader in HCF technology and Microsoft Azure Fiber, who fabricate fibre in their dedicated facility near Southampton.

The project is based at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton, which has led the world in optical fibre technology research for the past 50 years. With over 90 state-of-the-art laboratories and 200 researchers working in all areas of photonics, the ORC provides an outstanding interdisciplinary environment for students to grow. Its cluster of 12 photonics spin-out companies provides a natural career path for PhD graduates.

If you are ready to accelerate AI with low latency hollow core fibres, we would love to hear from you. Seize this opportunity to be at the forefront of AI and optics research, and make a significant impact on the future of technology.

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