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Novel energy delivery techniques for laser additive manufacturing from metal powders

Industrial supply of additively manufactured medical components currently falls behind the market demand. This project is geared towards improving the production rate of specific additive parts by adapting the laser delivery to optimise for that particular part by avoiding inherent physical process limitations.

High power laser system with built-in dynamic beam shaping capabilities

The PhD project investigated a method with which the power handling capacities of the modern spatial light modulators can be bypassed. The basic concept revolved around using the spatial light modulator to pre-shape the laser beam which is then to be amplified to a much higher level. In the final design, the spatial light modulator injects a phase modulated signal into an array of high power fibre amplifiers. This arrangement is already widely used in a scheme called coherent beam combining; here, the optical phases are synchronized and the beams from each source combine into a single powerful coherent beam. In this project, it is shown that by carefully selecting the phase distribution the spot shape can be arbitrarily selected.

Laser processing of carbon nanotube fibers and films

This project aims to develop a scalable manufacturing route for reliable field emission cathodes. By using state of the art and innovative processes, field emission has increased by over 400%. The latest device design has been manufactured and is currently being tested at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Ultra precision hybrid laser-FIB platform

The integration of ultrafast lasers with metrology systems allows for closed-loop machining to occur. This allows for a sample of unknown properties to be taken inspected, machined, evaluated, and corrected in a single process which increase precision and reduces manufacturing time.

High speed mask-less laser controlled precision additive manufacture

This PhD project has been initiated to develop a laser-based precision additive manufacturing route for the CIM-UP platform at the University of Cambridge.

Holography as a consumer display solution

The outcomes of this project have led to development of new strategies enabling significant increases in material deposition rate in a scanning regime, and methods of implementation have been proposed. Feasibility studies on disruptive technologies have also been performed, which will form the basis of further research by subsequent students.

Design and development of solid state additive manufacturing department

The aim of this research project is the investigation of how cold spray, a process used to create metal coatings, can be applied to 3D structuring, and the development of a manufacturing process for the creation of bulk, high fidelity surfaces.

An inkjet/ultrafast laser hybrid for digital fabrication of biomedical sensors

The project focuses on developing a novel manufacturing method for high resolution digital patterning of functional materials for low volume manufacture of sensors using inkjet printing and laser ablation. The manufacturing challenges and future capability of the hybrid technology will also be researched.

Ordered Nanomaterials for Electron Field Emission

Field emission describes the emission of electrons into vacuum under an applied electric field. Current x-ray sources are energy intensive and cumbersome. Clare’s project focusses on using carbon nanotubes and field emission to replace and improve current x-ray technologies.

Precision Engineering of Advanced Air Bearing Systems

 
Microwave generated plasma figuring for ultra precision engineering of optics for aerospace & defence

New optical technologies increase the demands on the engineering specifications of optical surfaces, with manufacturing specifications of up to 1nm RMS form accuracy and 0.1nm RMS surface finish. To achieve these fabrication requirements novel ultra-precision methods must be developed. The proposed solution is microwave generated activate plasma figuring.

Precision metrology for large freeform non-specular surfaces

There is no standard method for measuring a metre–scale non-specular freeform surface in the ‘ultra-precise’ measurement regime. This project aims to produce a measurement system to enable ultra-precise measurement of these surfaces. The system involves a number of laser trackers to measure the position of a probe as it moves over a surface to be measured.

Display motion error reduction through novel binary dithering schemes

This project is an investigation into display motion performance. Experiments using a prototype and computer modelling have demonstrated that fast switching binary displays can potentially display colour images at over 500Hz using novel techniques, greatly benefiting applications such as virtual reality by reducing latency and blurring.

Development and optimisation of an optofluidic nano tweezers system for trapping nanometre crystals for synchrotron x-ray diffraction experiments

This project investigates optofluidic technology and evanescent field optical tweezing as more efficient and biologically compatible sample loading solution for micro and nano protein crystals, in synchrotron and free electron lasers (X-FELS) x-ray crystallography beamlines. The project is both sponsored and in collaboration with the Diamond light source national synchrotron.

Anode materials for vacuum electronics devices

The project focuses on eliminating the anode’s contribution to outgassing and plasma formation caused by the near surface ionization of the outgassed neutral atoms by the desorbed electrons, thus increasing the lowest achievable pressure in vacuum electronics devices improving their efficiency.

Design, fabrication and characterisation of hierarchical branching vascular networks

The main challenge in the research of artificially engineered tissue is the vascularization of tissue. The focus of the project is to develop, with an algorithm, realistic vascular networks in a given three-dimensional space, and the experimental fabrication and study of flow within the networks.

Development of non-contact methods for measuring the outside geometry of AM parts

Additive manufacturing is rapidly growing with more and more industries incorporating it in their manufacturing processes. However, before it can be widely adopted in the manufacturing industry, purpose built metrology systems must be designed to ensure tight tolerances and traceability are provided. The aim will be to develop an optical metrology system for measuring the complex outside form of AM parts.

Development of a precision fibre optic CO2 sensor for the potential use in healthcare/environmental assessment

 
Development of a precision fibre optic CO2 sensor for the potential use in healthcare assessment

This PhD project is focussed on fabricating a carbon dioxide sensor for healthcare monitoring. The use of optical fibre modulations and CO2 sensitive coatings will allow precise measurements to be determined.

Real-time metrology of micro-targets for high power laser systems operating at high repetition rates

Microtargets irradiated by high power lasers (HPL) enable experimental study of a wide range of objects and materials under extreme conditions, for example, ion production for potential future oncology techniques, laboratory astrophysics and ‘inertial fusion energy’.

Development of camera-based systems for micro-coordinate metrology

New camera-based 3D measurement systems for high-precision coordinate metrology will be developed. Techniques to be considered include photogrammetry and fringe projection, including hybrid designs. A number of case study components will be measured using the techniques to demonstrate their performance with different geometries, materials and surface textures.

Spatial light modulators and its application in computer generated holograms

Holographic displays have attracted more and more attention in these days, and there is a huge market for relevant products. The research is focused on Optically Addressed Spatial Light Modulators (OASLMs), in comparison to Electrically Addressed Spatial Light Modulators (EASLMs).

Figure1HybridTechnologyCombiningDropletDepositionandUltrafastLaserAblation.png

 
Ultrafast machining of high temperature superconductor nanostructures for novel mesoscale physics

High temperature superconductors (HTS) are novel materials that are becoming more and more important in electrical power transmission applications.

A method of consolidating powder layers in a single exposure using shaped intensity profiles of light

This work centres on the development of new procedures for consolidating powder layers using lasers for application in additive manufacturing.

Novel plasma diagnostics for light-matter interactions

A main objective of the programme is to develop and implement a novel integrated plasma diagnostics tool by combining nN force measurements with high speed pulsed digital holography, laser-induced fluorescence and volumetric ion current analysis within a thermal vacuum chamber. The proposed system will be used to increase our understanding of new and existing energy transfer mechanisms where plasmas are concerned e.g. studying phenomena in laser-matter interactions.

Developing in-situ monitoring, analysis and control systems for the floating catalyst carbon nanotube fibre production process

This project aims to improve the process control and production stability of large carbon nanotube fibres through the addition of new sensors and better handling of sensor outputs and control input.