Photonic Crystal Fibres for Chemical Sensing and Photochemistry

Supervisor: Professor Anita Jones

School of Chemistry, The University of Edinburgh This PhD project is offered in association with the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrative Sensing and Measurement (joint between the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow) 

Photonic crystal fibre is a novel type of optical fibre in which light can be efficiently coupled into nanolitres of a solution-phase sample, contained within the hollow core of the fibre. This extraordinary optofluidic platform, in which light and chemical samples strongly interact, over extended path-lengths, is ideal for quantitative, ultrasensitive spectroscopic analysis or photo-activation.

This project will exploit the unique properties of photonic crystal fibre for applications in chemical sensing and photochemistry, including development of a PCF-based system for evaluating the performance of photo-activated drugs in response to two-photon excitation, in the context of photodynamic cancer therapy. This project will build on our pioneering studies on intra-fibre excitation of solution-phase samples, which have started to reveal the potential of PCF for chemical sensing and photochemical applications (see publications below) and will involve collaboration with Prof Philip Russell, inventor of the PCF and Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL) at Erlangen, and Prof Sandy MacRobert at the National Medical laser Centre, University College Hospital, London.


1. Photonic crystal fibre as an optofluidic reactor for the measurement of photochemical kinetics with sub-picomole sensitivity.Gareth O. S. Williams , Jocelyn S. Y. Chen , Tijmen G. Euser , Philip St.J. Russell and Anita C. Jones, Lab. Chip, 2012,12, 3356–3361.

2. Photonic crystal fibres for chemical sensing and photochemistry. Ana M. Cubillas, Sarah Unterkofler, Tijmen G. Euser, Bastian J. M. Etzold, Anita C. Jones, Peter J. Sadler, Peter Wasserscheid and Philip St.J. Russell, Chem. Soc. Rev. 2013, 42, 8629-8648 Taking

3. Two-Photon Excitation to Exceptional Path-Lengths in Photonic Crystal Fiber, Gareth O. S. Williams, Tijmen G. Euser, Jochen Arlt, Philip St.J. Russell and Anita C. Jones, ACS Photonics 2014, 1, 790-793.

How to apply: For further information and informal enquiries please contact Prof. Anita Jones

Formal application procedure Submit an application for a 4-year PhD with Integrated Study at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrative Sensing and Measurement by sending your CV and a covering letter as soon as possible to Prof Andy Harvey at

In your covering letter, identify this project as your chosen one. For details of eligibility and funding see

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