PhD (2019): 

Nano-photonic Metasurfaces for Optical Communication

Engineered metal nanostructures bridge the gap between far-field optical radiation and near-field quantum phenomena, enabling the manipulation of light below the diffraction limit. Recent advances in the production of these nanostructures has led to a new generation of photonic components known as metamaterials, which exhibit previously unattainable, non-natural optical properties.  

This PhD project will investigate the use of cutting-edge nano fabrication processes to create a new types metasurfaces for applications in optical communications. The student will form part of a vibrant multidisciplinary team spanning nano-engineering, structured photonics, plasmonics, and communication. This project represents an excellent opportunity for a student with a background in physics or engineering to work at the forefront of nanotechnology research on an industrially-relevant application area.

To apply, please contact Dr. Clark:

Alasdair.clark@glasgow.ac.uk

 

PhD (2019): 

Reconfigurable metasurfaces

Engineered metal nanostructures bridge the gap between far-field optical radiation and near-field quantum phenomena, enabling the manipulation of light below the diffraction limit. Recent advances in the production of these nanostructures has led to a new generation of photonic components known as metamaterials, which exhibit previously unattainable, non-natural optical properties. One of the key challenges in meta-surface research is the realisation of reconfigurable devices; metasurfaces whose individual nano-components can be geometrically manipulated to produce new surface designs with new optical properties. 

This PhD project will investigate the use of chemical and bio-chemical manipulation in order to create a truly reconfigurable metasurface. The student will form part of a vibrant multidisciplinary team spanning nano-optics, biochemically controlled nano-engineering, and advanced micro/nano lithography. This multidisciplinary project represents an excellent opportunity for a student with a background in either engineering, physics, chemistry or biology to work at the forefront of nanotechnology research.

To apply, please contact Dr. Clark:

Alasdair.clark@glasgow.ac.uk

 

PhD (2019): 

Plasmonics for Security Labelling

The ability to effectively separate discrete colors from white-light lies at the heart of how we record and view optical information. Recently, color filters based on engineered plasmonic materials have emerged as an appealing alternative to absorptive dyes. Plasmonic pixels hold several advantages over traditional dyes, primarily their subwavelength dimensions (leading to ultra-dense, ultra-thin pixel arrays), and their long-term environmental stability (they do not degrade or fade over time). In 2017 we demonstrated unique, dual-color pixels for encoding 2 polarisation-selective, full-color dat sets (images & codes) into the same micro-scale area. With an effective PPI value exceeding 200,000, this technology holds promise for high-res printing applications and counterfeit-prevention measures.
This project will concentrate on developing flexible versions of this technology for the inclusion in bank-notes as a security feature.  

Plasmonic security website.jpg

To apply, please contact Dr. Clark:

Alasdair.clark@glasgow.ac.uk

 

PhD (2019): 

Bio-inspired Photosynthetic Materials for Solar Energy Harvesting

The demand for sustainable, renewable sources of energy in the 21st century is one of the most important societal and scientific challenges faced by humanity. Of the various renewable energy sources available, solar energy is by far the largest and is one which is most effectively utilised in Nature via the processes of photosynthesis. Photosynthetic organisms capture solar energy using arrays of Light Harvesting (LH) proteins assembled within cell membranes.  These organisms - particularly those that reside in light-challenged environments - are faced with a formidable energy problem: How to capture sufficient energy to drive their cellular metabolism? This energy conundrum is elegantly addressed by stacking two-dimensional arrays of LH proteins within multiple thylakoid membranes housed in chloroplasts.  An exquisite example of self-assembly, the 3D protein ordering found in these photosynthetic organisms therefore provides the fundamental design principles to develop artificial photosynthetic materials.

This research programme seeks to design and construct a new generation of DNA-programmed light-harvesting assemblies for the future applications in energy harvesting surfaces and advanced photovoltaic devices that fuse biomolecular, electrical and material components. To do so we will use DNA-Origami to direct the placement of light harvesting proteins with nano-scale precision onto engineered surfaces. This bio-inspired platform methodology merges the principles of "bottom up" DNA nanotechnology with "top down" nanolithography and would provide the means to control, for the first time, the location of each photosynthetic protein module, inter-module distance and their relative orientation in both 2D and 3D along surfaces. This new design lexicon will provide a framework to correlate how these parameters influence overall light harvesting efficiency for the production of a new class of bio-enabled solar energy harvesting surfaces and materials. 

Alasdair PhD 2018 Figure for website.jpg

The student will work within an established research team to investigate all aspects of the system, from design of the DNA-origami, to the capture of the proteins, to the subsequent construction of novel light-harvesting materials. This multidisciplinary project represents an excellent opportunity for a student with a background in either bio-engineering, physics, chemistry or biology to work at the forefront of nanotechnology research.

To apply, please contact Dr. Clark: 

Alasdair.clark@glasgow.ac.uk