An electron beam passing close to a metal grating would induce an image charges on the grating metal and that would result in giving off electromagnetic radiation or Smith Persil radiation, discovered first by Smith and Persil. It is proposed to achieve this effect in a solid-state semiconductor devices like planar Gunn diode to sense. A planar Gunn diode is a slab of semiconductor with two electrodes on either end of it, called Anode and Cathode. The project is to design and development of this sensor system would enable future low cost sensor systems in autonomous machines and vehicles.
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Design a new sensor and its applications for range of emerging applications and then develop the experimental processes to manufacture the sensors using Nano fabrication techniques.

Cranfield Defence and Security (CDS) provide unique educational opportunities to the Defence and security sectors of both public and private sector organisations.

Based at the UK Defence Academy at Shrivenham in Oxfordshire and at Cranfield University in Bedfordshire, CDS is the academic provider to the UK Ministry of Defence for postgraduate education at the Defence Academy, training in engineering, science, acquisition, management and leadership.

As the project develops, we expect a significant intellectual property development leading to patents and high impact publications. 

It is expected that all of the results will be published in high impact conferences and peer reviewed journals. This would allow several opportunities to present our work at conferences, workshops and exhibitions. Also there will be some travel would be required to do specialist experiments at other locations in UK. 

This PhD program will enable you to develop a new concept to deliver the needs of emerging markets and in that way it is very much rooted in developing new technologies with potential for spin out company from academia to business

At a glance

  • Application deadlineOngoing
  • Award type(s)PhD
  • Duration of award3 years full-time / 6 years part-time
  • EligibilityEU, UK
  • Reference numberPHDEWIC04

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline, such as engineering, chemistry or physics. The ideal candidate should have some understanding in the area of programming, design, experimental skills and industrial service delivery. The candidate should be self-motivated, have good communication skills for regular interaction with other stakeholders, with an interest for industrial research.

EU candidates require suitable IELTS (or related qualifications) scores to be eligible for this role.


This is a self-funded PhD opportunity. 

About the sponsor

This higher research degree is associated with Cranfield’s Thematic Doctoral Community which provides a focal point for engagement and academic discussion for all students involved in research at Cranfield University. It aims to encourage an effective and vibrant research culture, founded upon the diversity of activities and knowledge. A tailored programme of seminars and events alongside our Doctoral Researchers Core Development programme, provide those studying a research degree with a wealth of social and networking opportunities with Cranfield’s wider research community.

How to apply

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form. Please quote the following title and reference number PhD in design of a new senor using Smith-Persil mm-wave solid state device in Compound Semiconductor materials systems with reference number PHDEWIC04. In addition to the application form, please attach a covering or motivational letter as well as a CV.

For further information contact us today:
CDS Admissions office
T: 44 (0) 1793 785220