PhD Studentship: High power mid-infrared lasers

Updated: 5 days ago
Location: Southampton, ENGLAND
Deadline: 31 Jul 2017

Optoelectronics Research Centre

Highfield Campus

Closing Date:  

Monday 31 July 2017



Supervisor:               Prof. Andy Clarkson
Co-supervisor:          Dr Peter Shardlow

There is increasing demand for high power laser sources emitting in the mid-infrared spectral region to serve the needs of a growing number of applications in areas such as laser processing of materials, medicine, sensing and defence. The standard method of accessing the mid-infrared wavelength region is via nonlinear frequency conversion of near-infrared solid-state lasers.  Unfortunately, this approach has a number of shortcomings as power levels are increased, due to the effects of waste heat generated in the laser medium, and, as a consequence, power levels are limited.  This project will explore a different strategy which combines the power-scaling advantages of cladding-pumped thulium and holmium fibre lasers operating in the two-micron band with novel nonlinear frequency converters to generate mid-infrared output at very high power levels in both continuous-wave and pulsed operating regimes. The project will involve a detailed study into the physics of two-micron fibre lasers and mid-infrared sources operated at very high power levels to establish a power scaling strategy and an understanding of the fundamental limits. The overall ambition of the project will be a new generation of mid-infrared sources boasting levels of performance well beyond the current state-of-the-art.

A fully funded PhD place on this project is available for UK applicants supported by an EPSRC CASE Studentship.  The project will involve close collaboration with one of the world’s leading manufacturers of lasers for defence applications (Leonardo Airborne and Space Systems based in the UK).  The studentship comes with an enhanced stipend (including an additional industrial bursary) of up to £21,000 (tax-free) and with fees paid. A visit to meet us is recommended and phone / Skype interviews are also possible if necessary. Please contact Prof. Andy Clarkson (email: ) for further details. 

The PhD programme

The Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) PhD programme comprises a solid education for a research career. The structured first year involves attending our training programme running in parallel with carrying out your research project. This provides a smooth transition from your degree course towards the more open-ended research that takes place in the following years under the guidance of your project supervisors. We expect the vast majority of our students to present their work at international conferences and to write papers in leading academic journals as their research progresses. Students will emerge from the PhD with skills at the forefront of future laser and nonlinear optics research.

The ORC is one of the world’s leading research institutes in laser science and photonics. Its researchers have made pioneering advances in the high power fibre lasers and solid-state lasers that currently have widespread industrial applications. A PhD here has enabled our past graduates to make successful careers in academia, in national scientific laboratories, and as scientists or business leaders in industry.

Key facts

Entry requirements: First or upper second-class degree or equivalent

Closing date : Applications should be received no later than 31 July 2017 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Duration: Typically 3.5 years (full-time)

Funding: Full tuition plus, for UK students, an enhanced stipend of up to £21,000 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

Start date: Typically September / October 2017


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