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PIADS Centre for Doctoral Training PhD Studentships

PMO-30B PIADS Centre for Doctoral Training PhD Studentships

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term  

We have 3 prestigious PIADS PhD positions available. Students will join an exciting and well-established Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) hosted by IPIC (the Irish Photonics Integration Centre) in the Republic of Ireland (ROI), and in partnership with Queens University Belfast and the University of Glasgow.

Graduating PIADS doctoral students are equipped with the highest level of scientific and engineering research skills needed to address the challenges of developing new integrated photonic technologies for diverse applications, as well as with the entrepreneurial, leadership and teamwork capabilities needed to lead and operate at the highest levels in industry.  The programme is a gateway to a vast array of career paths from data storage, semiconductors, telecommunications, biophotonics, medical technologies and more.

You will be based at one of the following IPIC academic partners; Tyndall National Institute, Dublin City University, Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork, and will have access to an advanced structured training programme, to world class facilities and academic expertise that spans the partners above and University of Glasgow and Queen's University in Belfast.

Why Apply?

As a student on the programme you will join a vibrant, supportive and engaging cohort of over 40 students and will have the chance to travel and attend a bespoke week long induction programme with students from all three partners, an annual Winter & Summer School and have access to advanced training courses in areas such as semiconductor fabrication, packaging, biophotonics and entrepreneurship. In addition, IPIC and PIADS have many industry partners that will open up many research and career opportunities.

You can apply to one of the following studentships (further details below):

  • Hybrid Integration of Lasers to Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs). Supervisor Peter O’Brien, Tyndall National Institute 
  • Integrated Photonics Time of Flight tools for next generation wearable biomedical applications. Supervisors: Sanathana Konugolu Venkata Sekar and Stefan Andersson-Engels, Tyndall National Institute and UK Co-Supervisor: Robert Henderson, University of Edinburgh
  • Coexistence of digital and analogue optical transmission over converged access/metro architectures through intelligent control plane and signal adaptation. Supervisors: Marco Ruffini, Liam Barry, Colm Browning, Joint Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University

Project details

Hybrid Integration of Lasers to Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs). Major technical challenges to be overcome in the PhD project include design of the PIC chip for integration with the laser on carrier, simulation of the optical coupling between laser and PIC to ensure maximum alignment tolerances, simulation and design of the laser carrier and mounting on the PIC chip to maximise heat dissipation, and development of a packaging process which is compatible with future automated packaging equipment. The project will conclude with development of a working demonstrator to showcase the packaging technology in a user-case application such as Biophotonics or Quantum. The project will advance state-of-the-art by developing a novel approach to the active alignment of lasers to PIC chips. Current active Hybrid Integration processes are based on grating couplers, not edge couplers and this project, for the first time, will showcase a novel approach to edge coupling between laser and PIC chips, bringing advantages such as polarisation and wavelength in-sensitivity.

Integrated Photonics Time of Flight tools for next generation wearable biomedical applications. The past two decades have seen great advances in the field of biophotonics, with numerous devices being developed that exploit the high penetration depth and low attenuation of light in biological tissues in the visible to near-infrared (NIR) wavelength range (600-1100 nm) for medical and healthcare applications including, but not limited to, monitoring heart rate, respiration rate, and blood/tissue oxygen level (oximeters). Improved data analysis methods and continued miniaturisation of light sources and detectors in this wavelength range, as well as associated processing circuitry, has paved the way for the development of not only clinical devices, but also personal wearable biophotonic devices that are now commonplace in the sports/performance/lifestyle and healthcare markets, such as smartwatches, smart bands, and many other types, with various health monitoring functionalities.

This area is mainly dominated by continuous wave (CW) source wearables, as they are compact, affordable, and widely available. However, there are numerous errors associated with CW measurements due to skin pigment, motion artefact, low blood perfusion conditions. Time of Flight (ToF) has various advantages over the CW technique, however it needs further development which will be explored in this project, such as higher count rate. If achieved it is a potential game-changer that can enable ToF to do fast measurements to track physiological changes, perform artefact correction etc.

Coexistence of digital and analogue optical transmission over converged access/metro architectures through intelligent control plane and signal adaptation. The target area is that of access/metro optical network integration, supporting next generation of services for 5G and beyond. While the proposal focuses on the optical networking aspect, its realisation is key to support the much needed integration between next generation wireless systems and edge/cloud computing, as such technology has been steadily evolving towards Cloud-RAN (i.e., software-based) type of services. Specifically, today’s fronthaul services are already stressing the network, as data rates and latency required by 5G cells are costly to deliver on access networks and are already hindering network densification, which was supposed to be a key feature for 5G. 6G is only going to exacerbate these issues with even higher rates and densification requirements. Solutions have been proposed across a wide range of architectures. For example, integrated optical-wireless schedulers (Cooperative DBA) have been designed for PONs to minimise upstream transmission latency. However, there are still capacity issues, as the high capacity requirement of fronthaul services means a PON can only support a few, which reduces the PON statistical multiplexing advantages. Other solutions considered analogue Radio over Fibre transmission, which reduces the bandwidth requirement of fronthaul transmission considerably. While many transmission tests have been carried out, these were mostly based on point-to-point links, which offer poor cost efficiency.

Commencing: September 2022

Closing date : 8th July, 2022

Further details can be found at: https://www.ipic.ie/piads/

Any queries relating to this position can be forwarded to Elisabeth Wintersteller by email elisabeth.wintersteller@tyndall.ie

What we offer: A fully-funded PhD position that includes a stipend of €18,500/year for up to four years and full coverage of academic fees.

Application Instructions

Step 1 – Click here to download the Application form and indicate the Job Reference PMO-30B.

Step 2 - Return the completed Application form, together with your CV and motivation letter, indicating your preferred research theme to careers@tyndall.ie. Please ensure that your motivation letter, cv and application letter are submitted in pdf format.

Postgraduate applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency as per UCC regulations (https://www.ucc.ie/en/study/comparison/english/postgraduate/). Certificates should be valid (usually less than 2 years old) and should be uploaded with their application. In special circumstances the panel may consider a prior degree in English (e.g. Master thesis written in English) as evidence of English language proficiency.

Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.

Please note that an appointment to posts advertised will be dependent on University approval, together with the terms of the employment control framework for the higher education sector.