PhD (2017) - Building nano-scale optical components using DNA-origami

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. Key to the further development of metamaterial research and its use in real-world scenarios are new, scalable strategies for large-area fabrication of nano-structured optical systems. Using DNA-directed self-assembly to achieve this could unlock a new level of fabrication complexity, with resolution, alignment, speed and scalability attributes that outstrip traditional techniques, providing a route between the current state-of-the-art and the next-generation of optical devices.

This PhD project will investigate the use of DNA-origami to form complex arrangements of optical nanoparticles on surfaces for the first time. Acting as ultra-high-resolution, programmable scaffolds for nanoparticle attachment, the DNA-origami will self-assemble into well-defined, pre-engineered networks covering large surface areas. The student will investigate all aspects of the system, from design of the DNA-origami to the subsequent construction of novel nano-optical devices.

The student will form part of a vibrant multidisciplinary team spanning nano-optics, DNA-engineering, advanced micro/nano lithography, and synthetic biology. Using a variety of cutting-edge tools housed within Glasgow’s world-leading James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (JWNC), the student will have the opportunity to develop the aforementioned technology and explore its use as a new biological toolset for materials engineering and optics. As such, 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 (2017) - Developing nano-photonic sensors for aerodynamic testing

The efficiency of fluid dynamic control components is of increasing importance as we attempt to decrease our reliability on fossil fuel technologies. Whether it be in energy-harvesting technologies like wind and water turbines, the internal components of jet-engines, or the wings of commercial aircraft, gains in aerodynamic efficiency will lead, directly or indirectly, to positive environmental impact. To better understand the performance of industrial components exposed to fluid flows it is essential that we develop high-resolution monitoring technologies that can bridge the current gap between numerical simulations and wind-tunnel testing.

In this research project, the student will develop a novel nano-photonic sensor surface for measuring the unsteady pressure and friction forces on the surface of fluid dynamic components. The student will use Glasgow’s world-leading James Watt Nanofabrication Centre to develop novel nano-photonic sensor sheets based on the extraordinary optical properties of nano-scale metal structures. The student will then test and develop these systems at Glasgow’s state-of-the-art wind-tunnel facilities.

As part of a vibrant multidisciplinary team spanning nano-optics, advanced micro/nano lithography, and aerodynamic testing, the student will have the unique opportunity to develop the first nano-scale optical sensing tool for measuring macro-scale pressure gradients. As such, this multidisciplinary project represents an excellent opportunity for a student with a background in engineering, physics or chemistry to work at the forefront of nanotechnology research.

To apply, please contact Dr. Clark: 

Alasdair.clark@glasgow.ac.uk