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Postgraduate research project

Vacuum hollow-core optical fibres

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

Hollow-core optical fibres guide light in a central hole inside a silica microstructure. These newly developed fibres exceed traditional solid fibres used in the past 40 years in every metric: lower attenuation, nonlinearity, latency, and better high-power laser transmission. However, the central hole where light is transmitted is typically filled with air and for several applications even air limits the fibre performance.

We have been awarded funding for a project which aims to push the limits of what is possible with optical fibres by removing the air from the core - evacuating novel hollow-core optical fibres. Evacuation is not straight forward for kilometer length fibres so you will investigate both theoretical and experimental techniques for evacuation. You will develop tools and methods to measure the gas pressure distribution and study how evacuated fibres can push the limits of what is possible with optical fibres. We aim to use these fibres to demonstrate new record laser power delivery in fibres, interferometers with the minimum possible noise added by the fibre of interest, for example, ultra-sensitive detection of gravitational waves, and transmission at wavelengths where air-filled hollow-core fibres or standard fibres have too strong absorption.

In this PhD project you will either develop simulations of the various evacuation and characterisation methods or build set-ups based on such designs or combine both. This will mainly include optical methods exploiting linear and nonlinear laser pulse propagation in such fibres where the hollow core exhibits a non-uniform and (during evacuation) time-dependent air pressure. Additionally, you may investigate the pressure-driven gas flow inside these novel fibres. You can also choose to use the evacuated fibres with one of the applications they enable, as discussed above. Independently of what you choose, your work will be in close collaboration with our fabrication, theoretical, and experimental teams.

You will work in a supportive group of like-minded researchers and benefit from the world-leading expertise in these fields at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC).