A radical approach to temperature insensitive photonic materials and devices

Research Group
Experimental, Theoretical

This project will involve collaborations with other universities and companies based in Europe and North America

Techniques used

The project will largely involve simulating the properties of semiconductors computationally using both bespoke and commercial software. The outputs will be:

  • Models of the semiconductor bandstructure
  • Determination of the temperature dependence of key properties, e.g. band gap, effective mass, band offsets
  • Prediction of device properties based upon these materials
Student will require

Potential students should have a strong interest in modelling the physics of semiconductors whilst keeping in mind device applications


The aims of this project are to take a radical look at alloy physics and the extent to which mixed semiconductors encompassing the II-VIs, III-Vs and II-IVs may be used to produce semiconductors with good photonic and electronic properties that are also temperature stable. The project will principally be theoretical, but as the project progresses the aim will be to produce some real material and devices.

Project description

One of principal problems with all modern electronic and optoelectronic/photonic devices is the fact that the semiconductors on which they are based change their properties as the ambient temperature varies. For example, as an LED or laser heats-up, its band gap changes meaning that the emission wavelength changes. This is particularly problematic if one wishes to make a stable high efficiency light source, or for example, sending information down an optical fibre at a particular wavelength. In electronics, properties such as the effective mass are linked to the band gap and changes in mass change the transport of electrons through the material (i.e. change its resistivity - important in electronics). This means that temperature stabilisation electronic are often required to maintain a constant temperature. Such systems typically demand 10x more energy than the devices themselves. There are therefore considerable energy savings to be made by producing temperature insensitive semiconductors, with consequent positive environmental and economic benefits.

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