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Postgraduate research project

Ultra-stable Hollow core fibre photonics

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

At the Optoelectronics Research Centre, we are leading the world in developing a new generation of optical fibres that promise a revolution in applications ranging from optical communications to ultraprecise optical sensors.  Our hollow-core optical fibres harness some truly intriguing physics to guide light in an air-filled core region over tens of kilometres distance and are now rivalling and outperforming standard optical fibres. However, their transformative potential in many areas remain largely unexplored.  

This project will investigate how the new hollow-core fibres can revolutionize highly-stable lasers, of interest in various fields including accurate time keeping or positioning. This is important for new emerging applications such as accurate positioning for self-driven cars, sensing of Earthquakes using existing network of undersea cables, or relativistic geodesy. This project will be carried out in collaboration with the National Physical Laboratory in London.

Further information:
A signal propagating through an optical fibre is generally considered to be immune to the external disturbances. However, this is only true for the signal intensity (power) – the time a signal needs to propagate through the fibre depends on environmental changes like temperature variations and here, hollow-core fibres significantly outperform conventional fibres. With further design and engineering, we have improved their stability even further, which is critical in many fibre systems such as:

  • interferometry (widely used across optics and quantum technologies)
  • ultra-precise time/frequency transfer, for instance, to support improvement of the already most-precisely defined units like second and meter
  • next-generation data networks, such as 6G

Low sensitivity to external environment is only one of numerous examples, where hollow core fibres excel. This property will, however, be central to this PhD project.

Applications are welcome from candidates with a background in physics or engineering. We are looking for enthusiastic applicants that are keen to join a vibrant environment and looking to make a difference. You will be working within a group of world-renowned scientists at the forefront of research into an exciting technology and have access to state-of-the art hollow core fibres and top-class optical laboratories. You will also interact with our partners such as National Physical Laboratory in London or Microsoft UK.

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