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 groupís 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:


Novel CVD grown 2D materials for optoelectronic applications

Supervisor: Prof Dan Hewak 
Co-supervisor: Dr Kevin Chung-Che Huang

Graphene, the well-publicised and now famous two-dimensional carbon allotrope, is as versatile a material as any discovered on Earth. Its amazing properties as the lightest and strongest material, compared with its ability to conduct heat and electricity better than anything else, mean that it can be integrated into a huge number of applications.

Initially this will mean that graphene is used to help improve the performance and efficiency of current materials and substances, but in the future it will also be developed in conjunction with other two-dimensional (2D) materials, such as MoS2, to create some even more amazing compounds to suit an even wider range of applications. We have been routinely fabricating mono-layer graphene and single crystalline MoS2 thin films with our novel CVD technology. In this project, we will be focusing on turning these CVD grown 2D materials into optoelectronic devices with nanofabrication techniques.

Research costs are fully funded by:
EP/M008487/1 Chalcogenide Photonic Technologies
EP/N00762X/1 National Hub in High Value Photonic Manufacturing
EP/N020278/1 Development and Application of Non-Equilibrium Doping in Amorphous Chalcogenides

To discuss your application, please contact Prof Dan Hewak

 


Next Generation Active Mid-Infrared Optical Fibres

Supervisor: Prof Dan Hewak 

The project, funded by EPSRC to address manufacturing research challenges, is in collaboration with four UK Universities and over 15 industrial partners. It will address new methods for the fabrication and evaluation of rare earth doped optical fibre from novel glasses such as chalcogenides, and work directly with industrial partners, developing optical fibre lasers, amplifers and superfluoresncent sources, enabling new applications for aerospace, medical, sensing and infrared imaging applications from these materials.

Unlike traditional optical fibre, these new materials open up fibre transmission far into the infrared. There are many challenges that remain including improving glass purity and developing new fibre drawing methods therefore this project will provide a unique opportunity to gain a broad range of skills in material science, photonics and engineering.

You will work closely with an established team, including technical support, doing research to improve glass quality and develop novel fibre drawing methods. There could be opportunities to spend time at partner institutions and industrial partner laboratories resulting in a solid foundation for future career development after graduation.

Research costs are fully funded by:
EP/M015130/1 Manufacturing and Application of Next Generation Chalcogenides 

To discuss your application, please contact Prof Dan Hewak

 



State of the art transition metal di-chalcogenide nanowires for electronic and biosensing applications

Supervisor: Prof Dan Hewak
Co-supervisors:  Ioannis Zeimpekis, Kevin Huang

2D Transition metal dichalchogenides (TMDCs) are emerging as the next generation semiconductor materials as they offer a direct bangap and therefore high on/off ratios, relatively high mobility, short-channel effects immunity, and near ideal subthreshold swings. Our group has extensive experience in growing these materials as thin films and monolayers directly on a variety of substrates by atmospheric pressure chemical vapour deposition (APCVD).

This project focuses on the fabrication and characterisation of TMDC nanowires for electronic and sensing applications. The project accommodates the fabrication of nanowires composed, but not restricted to the range of materials already developed in the group. The devices will be electrically characterised and categorised based on their merits. The best transistors created from this process will be used to develop a state of the art biosensor based on TMDC nanowires.

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

Funded research programmes
EP/M008487/1  Chalcogenide Photonic Technologies
EP/N00762X/1 National Hub in High Value Photonic Manufacturing 
EP/N020278/1 Development and Application of Non-Equilibrium Doping in Amorphous Chalcogenides

 

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Next Generation Composite Fibres for Biological Sensing

Supervisor: Prof Dan Hewak 
Co-supervisor: Andreas Schaefer (UCL/The Francis Crick Institute)

The project, funded in part by the NIH BRAIN initiative, is a collaboration between the University of Southampton, the Francis Crick Institute and University College London. It will address the development of novel glass-metal composite electrodes for electrical recording and stimulation in the brain. The Southampton partner will supervise the development of glass-metal electrodes and the UCL/Francis Crick Institute partner will supervise their application to the biological recording environment.The Francis Crick Institute partner has developed a novel way of enabling large-scale recordings from neurons in the brain, relying on the combination of high-speed CMOS amplifier arrays and bundles of glass-ensheathed microwires. To enable high density at the same time as minimally invasive recordings, glass wire bundles need to be reduced in diameter through etching and thermal drawing and ordered to match the pitch of the CMOS array.

There are several challenges that need to be tackled, notably developing glass combinations with matching thermal but different chemical properties as well as devising thermal drawing conditions to allow for gradual thinning with continuous core conductivity.

You will work closely with an established team, including technical support, doing research to improve glass quality and develop novel fibre drawing methods.There will be opportunities to spend time at partner institutions in London and possibly industrial partner laboratories resulting in a solid foundation for future career development after graduation.

Research costs are fully funded by:
Faculty Studentship allocated to this grant through EP/M015130/1

NIH 1-U01-NS094248-01 Massive scale electrical neural recordings in vivo using commercial ROIC chipsEP/M015130/1 Manufacturing and Application of Next Generation Chalcogenides

To discuss your application, please contact Prof Dan Hewak

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