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Photon Science Institute

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Postgraduate students form an integral part of the Photon Science Institute.


Read about our latest funding opportunity: Postgraduate Scholarship, which offers more benefits than traditional funding.

As a student working at the PSI, you'll get the opportunity to work with outstanding researchers and to use some of the best technology in the country.

You will be registered with one particular Department, but can have a supervisory team that involves a number of Departments. In a truly interdisciplinary environment, you'll develop a wide range of skills.

Research projects

A number of research projects that would be based in the Photon Science Institute are currently open for applications. Find details by theme in the accordion below. If you are interested in any of these or interested in a related area, please contact the individual researcher directly.

Current available projects

Biophotonics and bioanalytical spectroscopy

Supervisor: Iain Crowe

  1. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) based imaging systems on a silicon chip
  2. Strain engineered germanium-on-silicon for CMOS compatible LASER/photo-detector devices
  3. Impurity co-doped core-shell silicon quantum dots for fluorescence imaging, spectroscopy and renewable energy applications

Supervisor: Mark Dickinson

  1. Advanced imaging, such as photo-acoustics
  2. Using mobile devices for patient self-monitoring of disease progression
  3. Functional imaging of the microvasculature

Supervisor: Thomas Waigh

  1. Super-resolution fluorescence imaging of bacterial biofilms
  2. Optical coherence tomography to study the fluid mechanics of opaque solutions of DNA
  3. Active cell movement in live tissue

Photon science and applications

Supervisor: Wendy Flavell

  1. Degradation and surface passivation of halide perovskite light harvesters
  2. Surface properties of quantum dots for next generation solar cells
  3. Ultrafast measurements of charge transport in nanoparticles for solar nanocells

Supervisor: Andrew Murray

  1. Electron impact ionization and excitation of atoms and molecules
  2. Looking for quantum interface in two-colour photoionization pathways
  3. Studying highly excited Rydberg atoms to produce q-bits

Supervisor: Louise Natrajan

  1. New and improved formulations for pressure sensitive paints (EPSRC iCASE studentship)
  2. Evaluation of Uranium Retention in Geological Minerals at the Sub-Micron Level (NDA studentship)
  3. Photon Upconversion Probes with Lanthanide Containing Biomolecules

Supervisor: Alex Walton

  1. In-situ characterisation of battery materials
  2. Correlative spectroscopy of carbon-based catalysts
  3. 2-D electrocatalysts: a model system approach

Photonic materials and devices

Supervisor: David Binks

  1. Carrier recombination in cubic phase GaN
  2. Polarised light emitting quantum wells for 3D displays
  3. Micro-spatial variation of photoluminescence in InGaN/GaN quantum wells

Supervisor: Jessica Boland

  1. Exposing the ultrafast dynamics of 2D materials and Dirac systems via terahertz spectroscopy
  2. Near-field terahertz microscopy of 2D materials and topological insulators
  3. Terahertz spectroscopy and near-field terahertz microscopy of III-V and silicon nanostructures for device applications

Supervisor: Subhasish Chakraborty

  1. GRAPHIQ: Graphene plasmonic on-chip quantum computation
  2. Quantum Cascade Laser for Ultra-fast Communication (QCLUC)
  3. Graphene-based Laser Architecture featuring Dynamic Smart Terahertz OptoplasmonNic Elements (GLADSTONE)

Supervisor: Richard Curry

  1. Nanoparticle-enhanced X-ray detector technologies
  2. Doped amorphous semiconductors for photonic applications
  3. Photonic studies of doped nitride semiconductor nanocrystals

Supervisor: Tim Echtermeyer

  1. 2D-material based optoelectronics
  2. Micro- and Nano-opto-electro-mechanical systems (M/NOEMS)
  3. 2D-Nano-/Micromachines

Supervisor: Darren Graham

  1. Terahertz spintronics: Enabling the exploitation of electron spin
  2. Gallium Nitride: A miracle material for exploiting the full spectrum of light
  3. Terahertz driven linac: Shrinking the size and cost of particle accelerators

Supervisor: Matthew Halsall

  1. Frequency modulation spectroscopy of Light emitting diode materials
  2. The limitations of silicon solar cell efficiency
  3. Spectroscopy of perovskite materials

Supervisor: Patrick Parkinson

  1. Statistical approaches for nanotechnology (large measurement ensembles)
  2. Single photon techniques (optical, SPAD and software development with novel materials)
  3. Silicon integrable nanolaser structures

Photon Science Institute Studentship

The PSI is offering a studentship for each of the PhD projects listed above. There is 1 studentship per project with 2 for home students and 2 for international students.

For information about each project including the required backgrounds for applicants, please click on the project title below:

Khadisha Zahra

I think that PhD students at the PSI come out with more than just a doctorate but with a great deal of ambition. Working with these researchers really makes you want to strive to reach your full potential.

Khadisha Zahra / Former PhD student