Nanofabrication of Optical Semiconductor Devices for use in Quantum Sensors

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Physics & Astronomy


This PhD project is aimed at developing photonic components adapted for specific quantum sensor systems. Photonic devices based on semiconductor waveguides will be designed and nanofabricated for use in the optical magnetometry sensors using atomic sources of thermal Rubidium atoms (wavelength 780 nm) in magneto-encephalography measurements and for optical switches necessary for a compact Bose-Einstein Condensate microscope based on cold atoms of Potassium (wavelength either 767 nm or 770 nm). This will develop expertise in semiconductor materials characterisation and nanofabrication. Access to optical simulation software will allow the design of suitable epitaxial structures and multimode interference devices. Following successful optical insertion loss measurements of bare die, samples will be mounted in commercial opto-electronic packages. The devices will then be used in the atomic sensor and the magnetic detection performance compared with existing data. The project involves the full transformation of semiconductor material to a systems component and provides sound expertise in future innovation in UK Quantum Technologies.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509590/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1965736 Studentship EP/N509590/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021 Bruce Saleeb-Mousa
Description We have designed and tested an optical switch for manipulating light in the wavelength range 890-904nm using carrier-induced refractive index changes. We have also designed and are currently fabricating devices which are intended to work at 767nm and 780nm.
Exploitation Route These switching devices would be useful for improving the portability of quantum sensor which involve spectroscopy of rubidium, caesium and strontium. If an appropriate package is designed for the devices, they will help drive forward the commercialisation of quantum sensors by reducing the footprint and energy consumption of the technologies which enable these devices to function. Quantum sensors have their use in a number of different sectors.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Construction,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Transport

Description Pre-A-level Quantum Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The workshop took place in the summer of 2018 and was aimed at students leaving secondary school, preparing for the start of their a-levels. The intention of the workshop was to engage and educate the students about quantum technologies and some of the fundamental physics which govern them. The students took part in three separate mini experiments which demonstrated some common quantum mechanical phenomena.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018