Modulated retro-reflector line of sight communications systems give significant power and weight advantages for one end of the communications link since the laser, gimbaled telescope and accurate alignment mechanisms are absent from the remote “transmitter”. We will focus on the design and implementation of monolithic integration of arrays of pixellated electroabsorption modulators, that can also be operated as photodiodes, and control electronics to maximise operating frequency while minimising power consumption and for the lowest possible weight in such systems. The student will model a number of novel approaches taking account of the full design space, e.g including maximum data rate, energy efficiency and manufacturing yield, including type II structure and highly doped quantum dot materials. The student will design suitable structures and fabricate integrated arrays from structures grown in Cardiff, CSC and Manufacturing Hub partners. The student will characterise devices and perform full system tests in close cooperation with Airbus.
We will examine a number of epitaxial design approaches to maximise performance while also considering efficiencies to be gained by extracting power from the incoming light. In the limit one can imagine a system powered by the unused parts of the incoming laser beam, where the multimodal capability of the compound semiconductor devices are exploited. Here each pixel will be used as a modulator, laser detection system and for energy harvesting under integrated control electronics.
This project is funded by the EPSRC Future Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing Hub PhD studentship award through Cardiff University. Full awards (tuition fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements. For more information contact us. We reserve the right to close applications should sufficient applications be received.