Available student project - Whispering Gallery Mode Resonators for Ultra-Sensitive Magnetometry

Research fields

  • Photonics, Lasers and Nonlinear Optics
  • Quantum Devices and Technology
Centimetre scaled WGM resonator for magnetometry

Project details

The fast pace of technological development in many scientific fields, such as time measurement, single particle detection, temperature or pressure sensing, requires increasingly sensitive sensors. Amongst the different types of metrological devices, optical sensors are particularly interesting due to their versatility and high sensitivity.

Most optical sensors work by coupling the physical quantity of interest to a change in the phase or amplitude of a laser beam, that can be subsequently detected using interferometric techniques. Typical interferometers are able to detect phase changes of the order of a fraction of the optical wavelength. Their sensitivity can be further improved using optical resonators, which can enhance the phase sensitivity by orders of magnitude. Amongst the most promising resonator geometries are the family of Whispering Gallery Mode (WGM) resonators.

WGMs are a family of eigen-modes supported by monolithic circular resonators. These modes are confined inside the cavity through total internal reflection, potentially leading to very high Q factors. Q factors as high as 10^10 have been reported in the literature. Moreover WGM resonators enable much higher power densities than the Gaussian modes carried by more traditional free space systems. WGM based mechanical sensors have been developed to measure forces and pressure as well as temperature and magnetic fields.

This project will focus on the development and characterization of a magnetometer based on WGM. An optical resonator will be combined with a magnetostrictive material such as Terfenol-D that will enable ultra-precision sensing of magnetic fields using fully optical techniques.

Non-Physics supervisors:

  • Dr. Jiri Janousek CECS, ANU
  • A/Prof. Warwick Bowen, Physics, University of Queensland

Required background

Student will develop skills in:

  • Mechanical and optical design of laser cavities
  • Quantum control of laser cavities
  • Characterization of laser cavities
  • Machining of WGM resonators
  • Data analysis and interpretation

Project suitability

This research project can be tailored to suit students of the following type(s)
  • 3rd year special project
  • Honours project
  • Phd or Masters

Contact supervisor

Lam, Ping Koy profile
CQC2T Node Director

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