PhD studentship: Development of flexible polymer diffractive optical components for Augmented Reali

 Project description

Seeking a high quality, highly motivated student for a prestigious industrially sponsored PhD I-CASE position in the school of Electronics and Computer Science.

This experimental PhD project aims to develop new micro-fabrication process technologies as well as novel designs for nano-structured optical components for applications in visual imaging systems such as Head Up Displays for cars and aircraft, and head mounted Virtual reality vision systems. This project will focus on development of new manufacturing processes utilising bespoke equipment at Southampton Nanofabrication Centre for advanced plastic photonic sub-systems, incorporating high-k dielectric materials deposited directly onto polymer substrates to create optical waveguide light delivery systems and nano-scale diffractive optic elements.

This project will be hosted by Prof Martin Charlton in the school of Electronics and Computer Science, and builds on the groups background in diffractive optics, nano-structured optical materials, and micro/nano semiconductor device fabrication. Work will be undertaken in the world class cleanroom facilities, and optical test laboratories at Southampton, and will involve periodic visits to the industrial partner sites in the UK. In particular new nano-imprint fabrication processes will be developed to create flexible optical circuitry on polymer substrates as opposed to glass or silicon as is mostly the case today.


About Southampton

The School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) is a leading UK establishment with an international reputation for education, research and enterprise working at the leading edge of technological development. The Southampton Nanofabrication Centre (SNC) is a state of the art cleanroom facility and laboratory complex for manufacture and test of semiconductor and optical devices. As the premiere cleanrooms in Europe and the UK, the centre provides a uniquely broad range of micro/nano fabrication technologies. The facilities allow a wide range of devices to be developed in diverse fields such as photonics, electronics, nanotechnology and bio-nanotechnology. 

The center has extensive collaboration with UK and international industry providing prototype development test and R&D capabilities.


Candidate requirements:

Applications are welcome from UK candidates with a good BSc or MEng degree (2.1 or better) in Physics or Electronics or a Masters degree in an appropriate subject area. As this is an experimental phd project working in cleanrooms and optics labs, applicants are expected to have a good level of manual dexterity, and general experimental skills. The ideal candidate may also have some Matlab, Labview and C/C++ programming experience.

This PhD project is sponsored through a highly prestigious EPSRC I-Case award with an enhanced annual stipend of £18k/year for 4 years, plus generous annual allowance to cover attendance at international conferences and an industrial placement with the partner company. This post is open to UK citizens only.


How to Apply

Informal enquiries may be directed via Laila Ridley (, Tel 02380 592733 

To apply for this studentship please submit an application for a PhD in Electronics and Electrical Engineering, mentioning the project and project supervisor 

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