PhD Studentship: Capacity and Energy Efficiency of Topological Metasurface Waveguides

University of Birmingham

Topological metamaterials have recently emerged as a new way to control the propagation of electromagnetic waves along surfaces and structures. Importantly, these metamaterials support topologically protected surface states, which produce strongly bound surface waves with no radiation even in the presence of sharp corners and discontinuities along the structure that can be exploited for reliable communication and sensing applications. In the context of communications, even with state-of-the-art topological metasurfaces, any foreseen application will struggle to deliver the expected impact due to the lack of system analysis in terms of their capacity (measured in bps) and energy efficiency (measured in J/bit).

This PhD project will focus on providing the limits of capacity and energy efficiency of the most promising topological metasurfaces and to propose a strategy to optimise topological protection, field confinement and high system performance in terms of capacity and energy efficiency. The project is primarily computational, but limited measurements will be also carried out.

The PhD candidate should have completed (or about to complete) their undergraduate degree in engineering or physics (preferably with first class honours or equivalent). The PhD candidate is expected to have a keen interest in electromagnetism and communication systems analysis.

The School of Physics and Astronomy is an Institute of Physics Juno Champion since 2014 and holder of the Athena SWAN Silver Award. Both initiatives recognise the School’s commitment to promote diversity and equality, and to encourage better practice for all members of the community, whilst also working towards developing an equitable working culture in which all students and staff can achieve their full potential. We welcome applications from all qualified applicants, and encourage applications from traditionally under-represented groups in physics and astronomy including, but not limited to, women and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic.

The research programme will take place in the an interdisciplinary environment of the Metamaterials and Nanophotonics group (https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/physics/quantum/metamaterials/index.aspx ) and the Communication and Sensing group (https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/eese/communications-sensing/communications-sensing.aspx ), which will substantially favour collaboration opportunities within University of Birmingham and afield.

You can apply here: https://sits.bham.ac.uk/lpages/EPS005.htm (physics programme) or https://sits.bham.ac.uk/lpages/EPS019.htm (engineering programme) clearly stating the title of the project and the name of the supervisor (Dr. Miguel Navarro-Cía)

Funding notes:

Applications are sought from highly motivated students graduating with first degree (2:1 or higher) in engineering or physics (and preferably a Meng/MSci degree).
Funding will be awarded on a competitive basis, depending on the strength of the applicant. The funding will be only available to UK or EU nationals with (pre-)settled status, and it will cover tuition fees and provide a stipend for 3 years.

International students: If you have the correct qualifications and access to your own funding, either from your home country or your own finances, your application to work on this project will be considered

For details of the funding available and advice on making your application, please contact: [email protected]

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