PhD Studentship: Hollow beam lasers and laser processing

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Southampton, ENGLAND
Deadline: 31 Aug 2017

Optoelectronics Research Centre

Highfield Campus

Closing Date:  

Thursday 31 August 2017



Supervisor:               Prof. Andy Clarkson
Co-supervisors:        Dr Jacob Mackenzie, Dr Peter Shardlow

Laser modes with a doughnut-shaped beam profile can have many unique properties, including axially-symmetric polarisation (azimuthal or radial) or orbital angular momentum. As a result, these beams have found use in a diverse range of applications from ‘laser tweezers’ to laser processing of materials. This project will explore novel approaches for generating hollow laser beams in fibre, bulk and planar laser formats exploiting recent advances in cladding-pumped fibre laser technology and solid-state laser technology.

Our approach will target the two-micron wavelength band and routes to very high average power levels with flexibility in mode of operation.

The project will investigate the underlying physics of hollow-beam generation and the fundamental limits. Particular emphasis will be directed pulsed mode of operation, and the generation of high peak powers and high pulse energies where there is a wealth of exciting applications. The project will then explore the potential benefits that these sources can yield in a range of different laser processing applications using our in-house laser processing facility.

A fully funded PhD place on this project is available for UK applicants supported by an EPSRC Studentship.  The project will benefit from close links with laser manufacturers.  The studentship comes with an enhanced stipend of £18,000 (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 and will benefit from the many opportunities to interact with the wider community of PhD students across the Southampton Campus.

The ORC is one of the world’s leading research institutes in laser science and photonics. Its researchers invented the fibre amplifiers that power the internet and 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. Our research papers, patents and spin-off companies place Southampton amongst the top institutes worldwide.

Key facts

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

Closing date : Applications should be received no later than 31 August 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 £18,000 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

Start date: Typically September / October 2017


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