Computational Nonlinear Optics

The Computational Nonlinear Optics group is developing theoretical and numerical models for a wide range of photonics systems, from single-quantum interactions in optical resonators to high-power laser propagation in fibres. 

This work is supporting various experimental and fabrication activities across the ORC with the aim to identify and explore underlying nonlinear and quantum optical phenomena as well as material and structural effects. The results find applications in novel and improved short-pulse lasers, frequency converters, sensors, microstructured fibres, telecom systems, and even quantum logic circuits.

Group webpage

PhD Projects:

Design and simulation of single-photon memory devices

Supervisor: Dr Peter Horak
Co-supervisor: Prof Peter Smith

State of the art quantum information technology relies mainly on trapped single atoms or ions for quantum information storage and processing, while data transfer is achieved through the exchange of single photons. One function that would be highly desirable but has not yet been successfully integrated is trapping, storage, and release of single photons on demand.

In this project we will focus on the theoretical and numerical investigation of planar photonic and optical fibre devices that allow us to delay single photons, to capture them, and to release them. To this end we will look, for example, at slow light, electromagnetically induced transparency, Bragg gratings and hollow fibres, and will analyse and optimise their performance as single photon memories for practical quantum technology applications.

This project is aligned to our work within the Quantum Technology Hubs led by the Universities of Oxford (EPSRC grant EP/M013243/1) and Birmingham (EPSRC grant EP/M013294/1), Dec 2014-Dec 2019


Design and simulation of multi-hollow core microstructured fibres

Supervisor: Dr Peter Horak
Co-supervisor: Dr Natalie Wheeler

Hollow core optical fibres, in which light is guided in an air core surrounded by a glass structure containing up to several hundred smaller air holes, present exciting possibilities for a new generation of both active and passive optical fibre devices by enabling optical properties that simply cannot be realised with conventional fibre types.

In this project we will develop a new class of hollow core fibres that add novel functionality to this state-of-the-art fibre technology: fibre couplers and splitters, as well as wavelength, mode and polarisation selectors that operate across the near-infrared but also crucially in the mid-infrared where conventional silica fibre devices do not operate. These new fibres will be based on multi-hollow core designs (the world’s first prototype has recently been fabricated in the group) and will also have applications in high power laser delivery, quantum optics and gas sensing.

While the project is focused on the design and simulation of such fibres, it will be performed in close collaboration with other members of the Microstructured Optical Fibre group. Depending on the interests of the student, a joint theoretical and experimental project, including fibre characterisation and fabrication in a state-of-the-art cleanroom, is also possible.


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