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New postgraduates begin research at Institute

15 November 2016

Two postgraduates have joined the Institute for Compound Semiconductors to begin PhD programmes. Akshay Balgarkashi and Geraint Gough joined the University last month to begin research in semiconductor photodetectors and photonic integrated circuits, respectively.

Akshay Balgarkashi joins the University from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, where he was a postgraduate in electrical engineering following his undergraduate degree in the same discipline at the University of Mumbai.

Here in Cardiff, Akshay will be focusing on high-quantum efficiency semiconductor photodetectors, including nanowires and planar heterostructures, under the supervision of Professor Diana Huffaker, Director of the Institute. Over the next few months Akshay will travel to Professor Huffaker’s laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles, to train in nanowire research, and to McGill University in Montreal, Canada to train in nitride epitaxy.

Akshay said: "It feels great to be a PhD student at such a big innovation-driven platform, giving me a chance to work under the esteemed guidance of expert faculty and researchers at Cardiff University and make a contribution to compound semiconductor research."

Fellow new postgraduate Geraint Gough joins Cardiff from Swansea University, where he studied physics. In his PhD, Geraint will be using the semiconductor gallium phosphide to create photonic integrated circuits.

“I like the idea of using light for quantum computing”, says Geraint. “Everyone seems to go towards silicon instead of looking at different materials, so I liked the option of using gallium phosphide as an alternative”.

Geraint plans to develop computer simulations to find dimensions for waveguides, to ensure light is best captured and used, before fabricating these guides in gallium phosphide.

Geraint will be working under the supervision of fellow new staff member, lecturer Dr Daryl Beggs. Geraint and Daryl have previously worked together on quantum photonics and engineering at the University of Bristol.

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