Learning through Research Internship available

A student experience intership is available in the group for a period of 8 weeks over summer 2021. This paid position is available to any Manchester undergraduate student who is not currently in their final year. They are designed to provide experience of academic research to undergraduates who are considering this as a career choice, and will involve a real research project working alongside PhD and postdoctoral level researchers.

This project “Making Nanomaterial Data Public: An Open-Source Toolbox” will build on our new nanomaterials database to explore how to best make this data open-source, to be used for materials research or data-science applications. It would suit students interested in data science and nanotechnology and with some ability in python/jupyter.

For more information including an application pack, see https://careerconnect.manchester.ac.uk/leap/jobSearch.html?id=1715&service=Careers+Service

Welcoming back returning MPhys students

The group welcomes back our returning MPhys students who will continue on their projects this semester. This includes:

Big-data for nano-electronics – development of machine-learning tools for analysis of imaging and spectroscopic data for nanotechnology
Rafe Whitehead, Thomas Blackmore, Jonathan Ryding
Earth’s-field NMR – design and construction of an NMR system to operate in the Earth’s magnetic field
Luis Pedro Martins Mestre, Alexander O’Sullivan, James Overend, Ewan Kilpatrick
i-TCSPC analytics – studying single photon sources with inteferometric single-photon counting
Jake Manning

MPhys projects 2018 – Welcome

The group welcomes four undergraduate MPhys students who will spend the semester working on their final year project:

  • Lily Shepherd and Rachel Clark return to work on compressive sensing applications for future photovoltaic characterization.
  • Jade Clarke and Eadie Weston will start a new project on open-science, looking to create 3D printable optomechanical actuators.

Rank Prize Internship – Edoardo Altamura

Over Summer 2018, Edoardo Altamura has worked as a Rank Prize Optoelectronics Intern on developing techniques for photovoltaic characterisation. He describes his research:

Photovoltaic energy proved to play a decisive role in a variety of areas, from everyday life power consumption to space satellites. Assessing the efficiency of devices capable of producing such energy is crucial for exploiting their properties at maximum performance, and even seeking new technologies for pushing them beyond the current standards. 

The focus of my internship was on a particular technique for measuring the energy-production efficiency across solar cells, in order to study how manufacturing defects or other forms of impurities affect the overall performance of the device. Using the results obtained by previous MPhys students, I started developing a system capable of projecting random light patterns and reconstructing the efficiency map using Compressed Sensing algorithms. 

Such research has been a great opportunity to learn about defects in semicondutor devices, as well as methods for probing them. Moreover, the effort dedicated into optimising custom software and ensuring its scalability gives me reasons to hope for further development of this project, which may result in some useful applications in semiconductor and solar energy industry.

Thanks again to Edoardo for all of his work over the summer!

Welcome to MPhys students!

Welcome to Max Kahan, Pedro Trula, Michael Thorpe and Tom Thirlwell who join the group as MPhys students.

Max and Pedro will work on the application of machine learning approaches to studying large scale spectroscopic and imaging data produced by our nanowire characterisation tool.

Michael and Tom will work on developing a compressive imaging approach to photovoltaics characterisation.

A warm welcome to all.

Rank Prize Funds – a view from Conor

Conor, a UoM 4th year undergraduate has spent the summer working in the lab (see here for details). He has been kind enough to describe working on a long summer project in the group:

This summer, I spent ten weeks designing, building, and testing a terahertz time domain spectroscopy system that utilised optical laser diodes rather than the standard technique involving femtosecond lasers.  The aim of this system was that it would be significantly cheaper while still retaining the quality of previous systems.

These ten weeks was a huge opportunity to learn in depth about experimental physics and all the struggles and challenges behind the scenes of every journal paper.  Dealing with limited resources, liaising with other members of the PSI, and deciding how to approach and deal with various obstacles to your progress were all vital experiences I went through that helped me develop an understanding of the processes involved in taking on real physical research.

In terms of the experiment itself, I handled the taking of measurements by using electronics and analysed data computationally, as well as designing a number of custom parts for use in the experiment.  I was also able to use relatively low-tech skills I hadn’t expected would be necessary, such as soldering, to build parts, while simultaneously getting to grips with the electron beam lithography technique used to print antennas on semiconductor substrates.

If you are interested in this research or want to know more about research in the group, please contact Patrick.

Goodbye and thanks to Conor!

Over the past 10 weeks, Conor Wilman (a UoM undergraduate) has been working with the group developing a low-cost and easy method of doing terahertz spectroscopy, known as terahertz quasi-time-domain-spectroscopy. His work, funded by the Rank Prize Funds Summer Studentship has been in trying to replicate this technique in the Manchester labs.

While the final spectrometer unfortunately did not work out, he produced a number of interesting findings and new designs along the way.

Thanks to Conor!