Quantitative photoluminescence imaging of compound semiconductors (iCASE project)

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Start date

1 October 2019


Up to four years

Application deadline

Funding source

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Funding information

The studentship is fully-funded for UK applicants through an EPSRC iCASE award, covering the University fees and attracts a student stipend of approximately £18,000 per annum for eligible students. For EU applicants, the award covers the University fees only.


We seek a candidate to work on the development of novel metrology for spatial characterisation of compound semiconductor materials, through an iCASE studentship (industrial Cooperative Awards in Science and Technology). The candidate will be enrolled at University of Surrey for a PhD and the research will primarily be conducted at NPL (National Physical Laboratory). The studentship is supported by the Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC) who will provide direct contact with the compound semiconductor industry in the UK. 

The performance, reliability, and yield of compound semiconductor devices is critically dependent on the quality of the starting material. Quantitative and reliable measurements for quality control of semiconductor wafers at a production line can increase productivity and reduce waste. Key indicators of the quality of a semiconductor material are the band gap and charge carrier lifetime, which can both be probed using photoluminescence spectroscopy. The successful candidate will work towards the development of a system that will enable fast spatial and spectral characterisation of semiconductor materials for in-line metrology through spectrally resolved, and time-resolved photoluminescence mapping. The demonstration of this prototype will introduce a new generation of in-line contactless tools for quantitative material characterisation. 

The position requires hands-on work with complex optical systems, highly advanced characterisation techniques and close interaction with both academic and industrial partners.

The successful applicant will register for a PhD with the University of Surrey, within the Advanced Technology Institute and Department of Physics. They will be primarily based at NPL and are expected to spend approximately 3 months at CSC or related industrial organisations.

The project will commence in October 2019 and is funded for up to four years.

Eligibility criteria

This project is suitable for students with an interest in semiconductor technology, photonics and metrology.

A First Class (or a high 2:1) in all previous degrees (Bachelors and, if applicable, Masters) in a relevant discipline such as Physics or Electronic Engineering. 

Although not a requirement, preference will be given for candidates with some experience in at least one of the following: optical systems, semiconductor physics, photoluminescence methods (imaging, spectroscopy, etc.), LabVIEW, MATLAB (or similar).

IELTS Academic: Non-native speakers of English will be required to have IELTS 6.5 or above (or equivalent).

Further eligibility information.

How to apply

Formal applications must be made through the online application process under the apply tab on the Physics PhD course page.

Physics PhD

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Application deadline

Contact details

Stephen Sweeney
E-mail: s.sweeney@surrey.ac.uk

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