Location University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology
App. deadline 30/09/2019
  • Scholarship available
Eligibility Australian residents only

Droplet Lasers

Some of the first lasers to be developed were based on spherical resonators and an idea called ‘whispering gallery resonances’ in which light can enter the sphere and then, through total internal reflection, can propagate around the inside of the sphere. This allows a high intracavity light field to be generated, sufficient to provide laser action.

With the development of alternative, and more practical laser resonator designs, the spherical resonator never really caught on. Renewed interest has come in recent years with the development of a very different kind of laser: the droplet laser. These devices are made of liquid, with a laser gain material dissolved inside. They are typically microscopic in size, emit tiny amounts of light, and due to their interaction with the environment can be tuned through growth and evaporation.

In this project the goal will be to explore the use of droplet lasers in two forms:

  • Airborne lasers that can be localised and held using a technique called optical tweezers. This will allow a number of studies to be undertaken making use of a single droplet laser that can be repeatedly probed. These will include applied studies such as comparison between the sensitivity of a droplet laser to measure interactions with the surrounding environment and a conventional droplet cavity, and more fundamental studies exploring optical coupling between droplets and fibres, in particular exploring the trapping stability limits needed for such experiments.
  • To develop a different class of droplet laser based on liquid crystal droplets. These make use of Bragg reflection rather than whispering gallery modes to confine the light within the cavity, and as they have more mechanical stability that liquids such as water, they offer a broader range of applications in media other than air. This part of the project will focus on the basic properties of such lasers, coupling mechanisms and sensing applications, especially in bioanalytical devices.

The project may also offer the opportunity to explore biological droplet laser systems and explore the practicality of developing sensors in these devices.

This project is available in the group of Prof. David McGloin, whose group at UTS aims to develop new optical instrumentation with applications in light-matter interactions, aerosol science, biophotonics and imaging.

Scholarships are tax-free and valued at $27,082 pa (indexed annually) for 3 years. Top-up scholarships, up to a maximum value of $12,000pa (for 3 years), may also be allocated to exceptional domestic candidates awarded competitive scholarships.

The ideal candidate will have a strong honours degree or equivalent in an area such as physics, photonics, physical chemistry, electronic engineering or other related backgrounds.

For information about any of the projects and details on how to apply please contact David McGloin david.mcgloin@uts.edu.au

Closing dates: Australian Domestic students: 30th September 

Please Note: Should this listing mention details of an available scholarship, it is your responsibility to confirm the specifics with the university / institute prior to applyiing. Terms and conditions are in some cases subject to change and are not always reflected immediately within listings.

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Further Information / Application Enquiries

Prof David McGloin
+61 (02) 9514 2696