Up-conversion detectors based on PPLN waveguides (Miniaturising quantum components for imaging in low light)

This project aims to develop a new class of quantum optical detectors for imaging in low-light environments, such as LIDAR for driverless cars and environmental monitoring of greenhouse gases. This will be achieved by up-converting photons from the 2-5 micron region to shorter wavelengths enabling detection by standard silicon based photodiodes and cameras. The project will utilise our proprietary technology in periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN) with specific objectives:

  • to develop optical systems for up-conversion and efficient measurement of single photons
  • to build modules for operation with single mode fibres using PPLN waveguides
  • to find ways to miniaturise the pump laser requirements for low Size, Weight, and Power (SWAP) aiming at <10W power consumption

The project will be laboratory focused, working with lasers and optical systems and our extensive cleanroom and machining facilities. The PhD is funded by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), as part of the UK’s Quantum Technology programme. As such the student will also benefit from regular interaction and site visits with Dstl staff.