Postgraduate research opportunities

Nano-assembly of 3D photonic integrated circuits on-a-chip

This project will develop nano-assembly techniques for the creation of 3D photonic integrated circuits for applications from molecular sensing to quantum optics.

Number of places



Home fee, Stipend


1 December 2018


31 March 2019


3.5 years


UK and EU nationals only

Project Details

Chip scale photonic systems have seen a rapid uptake in a wide range of applications from lab-on-a-chip biosensors to ultra-high speed micro-displays and photonic integrated circuitry.  This explosion of new functionalities has been enabled by the availability of mature chip scale platforms, including III-V’s, silicon, organics and glass.  The commercialization of the material platforms, and the leveraging of existing fabrication technologies, notably from the integrated electronics community, has enabled researchers to explore large scale integration of optoelectronic devices. 

Nevertheless, it is becoming increasingly clear that no one single material platform can provide the full functionality required by the application areas targeted.  For example III-V quantum cascade lasers are efficient emitters of mid-infrared light, while Silicon\Germanium waveguide platforms provide the low loss, high optical confinement suitable for sensitive metrology applications.  This project targets the next generation of systems created through the direct printing of nanoscale building blocks from a wide range of material systems on a single chip.

At the Institute of Photonics we have developed a method by which optoelectronic devices can be physically printed onto different substrates, for example transferring colour converting thin-films onto LEDs to enable high speed, full colour displays at the micron scale.  This project will develop the next generation of 3D optoelectronic devices, created by a direct, multilayer transfer printing.  The student will pioneer device engineering through printing at the nanoscale, targeting demonstrators such high efficiency mid-infrared laser sources, high sensitivity sensors and quantum optical systems.  Particular research challenges will include the development of multi-layer assembly of membrane devices, scaling of micro transfer printing by use of selective area pick-up and deposition and nanoscale accurate alignment of membrane components.

The student will gain expertise in a wide range of micro-fabrication technologies, seeing their work transfer from design through to characterisation in the laboratory.  In addition to micro-fabrication the student will also be involved in the design and simulation of devices, measurement and characterisation and numerical processing of results.  Research findings will be published in high impact journals with the opportunity to present at an international conference. 

Institute of Photonics:

The Institute of Photonics (IoP), part of the Department of Physics, is a centre of excellence in applications-oriented research at the University of Strathclyde - the Times Higher Education UK University of the Year 2012/13 and UK Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2013/14. The Institute’s key objective is to bridge the gap between academic research and industrial applications and development in the area of photonics. The IoP is located in the £100M Technology and Innovation Centre on Strathclyde’s Glasgow city centre campus, where it is co-located with the UK’s first Fraunhofer Research Centre.  Researchers at the IoP are active in a broad range of photonics fields under the areas of Photonic Devices, Advanced Lasers and Neurophotonics, please see:

How to apply

To enter our PhD programme applicants require an upper-second or first class BSc Honours degree, or a Masters qualification of equal or higher standard, in Physics, Engineering or a related discipline.  Full funding, covering fees and stipend, is available for UK and EU nationals only.

Applicants should send a CV to

Online application form