Cardiff School of Physics and Astronomy: Semiconductor laser based bio detection (PhD Studentship)
Reference Number: R736
Key Studentship Information
Photon interrogation of biological matter is an increasingly important diagnostic tool in clinical and laboratory medicine. Making tailored, compact, semiconductor lasers that are capable of detection at the few parts per billion level, and integrating them into their own microfluidic analyte handling system, is a challenge. The objective of this project is to produce a robust convenient chip that will be able to rapidly analyse liquids that contain biologically important material (such as pre-tagged cells or samples from environmental contamination). The advantages of such an integrated approach are the potential sensitivity and speed of detection in a compact low power portable system.
The threshold current of a semiconductor laser is acutely sensitive to any disruption of the lasing cavity. Small perturbations to the gain medium within the cavity can have a superlinear effect on the device current, and so can act as a sensitive method of detection. The concept is greatly enhanced by the potential for discriminatory detection by using a distribution of wavelengths/modes to attain a unique spectroscopic like signature of the analyte.
The lasers will be made from InP/GaAs based Stranski-Krastanov semiconductor quantum dot material supplied by external partners. Device fabrication will be done by the student at Cardiff using high resolution electron-beam lithography and standard semiconductor processing techniques. Device test and measurement will be performed by the student within the established Photon and Matter group. Study of the laser physics including the interaction with the liquid flow within the microchannel cavity will give an understanding of the system and will be used to evolve the device design.
This project will also be in collaboration with external partners, who will use Cardiff devices to test a range of potential medical and commercial applications. This activity will provide feedback to device and material design.
This award includes full UK/EU tuition fees plus a doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum for eligible applicants (£13,590 p.a. for 2012/13, updated each year). UK Research Council conditions apply.
Studentship funding will be allocated on a competitive basis from applications received for all available projects. Not all projects will be allocated studentship funding.
Number of Awards Available: 1
Academic Criteria: Applicants must have a First Class Honours degree or a 2.1 plus a postgraduate Masters degree (or their equivalents) in a relevant subject
Residency: Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to all eligible UK or EU students.
How to Apply
Applicants should submit a University application for a PhD in using the Online Application Service:
1. Select your school (Physics and Astronomy), Programme Name (PhD) and start date.
2. In the Research Proposal section, applicants should indicate the title of the project.
3. In the 'Funding' section, at the item: ‘I will be applying for a scholarship/grant’ applicants should state the name of the funding award.
Application Deadline: This project is open to applications - to be considered on a rolling basis