The University of Southampton

Novel Glass and Fibre

The Novel Glass Group plays a central role in a broad spectrum of ORC activities, providing the next generation of optoelectronic materials, with a particular strength in chalcogenide glasses. Unlike traditional glasses made from silica and oxides, these unusual materials are formed from sulphur. Believe it or not, these glasses already find use as the active layer in rewritable DVDs, high efficiency solar cells, next generation FLASH memory, as well as more traditional infrared optics. 

Our group’s mission is to explore all aspects of new types of glass for application in cutting edge optoelectronic devices. It is an active group collaborating with many other ORC research groups as well as university and industry worldwide. This strength is reflected in the hundreds of publications, large number of patents, state of the art glass making facilities and the career paths which our students follow after a post graduate degree with us.

Group webpage

PhD Projects:

Large area 2D materials and devices

Supervisor: Ioannis Zeimpekis

The miniaturisation of electronics and photonics has reached a point that demands for new more advanced materials to maintain the performance evolution. 2D materials have been overtaking traditional semiconducting materials due to their atomic scale and properties such as direct bangap, high carrier mobility, short-channel effects immunity, and ideal subthreshold swings. Our group has extensive experience in growing these materials as thin films and monolayers directly on a variety of substrates by Atomic layer Deposition.

This project focuses on the large area growth of 2D materials and their optimisation for specific applications. Together we will expand our material portfolio and demonstrate performance through the fabrication of TFTs, diodes, logic circuits, memories, and photodetectors. The best material and device candidates will be integrated with out phase change integrated photonics platform to enhance its functionality through control of the light modulation but also through coupling to the electronic domain.

The successful candidate will work closely with a high multidisciplinary team that will give them valued experience, the opportunity for collaborations and high impact publications. 

Wearable thermoelectric generators using advanced materials

Supervisor: Dr Katrina Morgan

Wearable technologies are revolutionising our daily lives. Everyday objects are being transformed into smart-devices, integrated into our clothes, accessories and even our bodies. Virtual-reality contact lenses, electronic skin or yoga trousers that can correct our posture are all products we may see in the future. However, all these things share one thing in common; they need to be powered.

Today’s wearable power supplies are often rigid or require overnight charging, severely limiting the potential of wearables. This can be overcome by utilising an ideal renewable energy source; ourselves. Using our body’s heat, thermoelectric generators can provide uninterrupted constant power, removing the need for overnight charging.

The successful candidate will work with our highly multi-disciplinary team to develop next generation thermoelectric generators for the wearable sector. The candidate will work in a cleanroom environment to develop and optimise new materials, using state-of-the-art equipment such as atomic layer deposition, Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy. The candidate will then integrate these materials in an array of device designs and use electrical testing to identify the most promising device. Finally, the candidate will assess the commercial compatibility by working with academic and industrial collaborators to consider up-scaling manufacturability and integration with end-user wearables. 

The successful candidate will have scope to mould the PhD project’s direction with guidance of an experienced supervisory team and will gain a wide variety of technical and professional skills whilst also having the opportunity to collaborate, present at conferences and publish high impact work. 

 Research costs are funded by: 

EU Project 825143 Smart and Flexible Energy Supply Platform for Wearable Electronics

Investigation of wafer-scale 2D transition metal di-chalcogenides monolayers for quantum light emission application

Supervisor: Dr Kevin Huang

Two dimensional (2D) monolayer transition metal di-chalcogenide semiconductor materials are emerging as revolutionary components in nanophotonics. Recently, defects and strains in 2D materials have attracted considerable interest as they can be engineered to realize quantum light emission, such as single-photon emitters, a crucial element for the development of quantum information technologies.

Here we propose a revolutionary approach based on wafer-scale 2D monolayers grown by Van der Waals Epitaxy. Unlike the current 2D flakes (typically few tenths of micrometers) prepared by various chemical vapour deposition or exfoliation processes, our wafer-scale 2D monolayers are compatible with the current CMOS process, hence it would be much easier to control the defects and strains at ideal locations over a large-scale fabrication process. This innovative strategy will open up a full control of the light-matter interaction without compromising the possibility of locating and manipulating defects/strains in the 2D monolayers.

In addition, waveguides and resonators/photonic crystals can be further integrated on the surface of 2DM by nanofabrication process to enhance and control of light emission in order to move towards room-temperature operation of multipurpose scalable quantum devices.

The successful candidate will work with a multidisciplinary team to gain a wide variety of technical and professional skills and will have the opportunity to collaborate and publish high impact work.

Research costs are fully funded by:
EP/N00762X/1 National Hub in High Value Photonic Manufacturing

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