Paul Hill


Heterogeneous integration of diamond photonic devices on non-native substrates

Supervised by

Personal Statement

PhD Student

Institute of Photonics


99 George St.

Technology and Innovation Centre,

University of Strathclyde,


G1 1RD


Telephone: 0141 444 7000 ext: 4672

PhD Overview

Diamond photonics is an exciting field where quantum computing applications could be realised through efficient collection and manipulation of emissions from diamond defect centres such as the nitrogen vacancy centre (NV). Limited dimensions in available optical grade diamond hinder its integration with current photonic technologies. On-chip optical devices can be realised however by hybridising ultra-thin diamond membranes "on-demand" with other currently established photonic materials allowing for example defect centres to evanescently couple with resonator structures that enhance the defects emission by the Purcell effect.
Integration of diamond with other planar waveguide technologies has been achieved using a liquid assisted capillary bonding method with low losses (< 0.4 dB) soon to be reported in a manuscript that is currently submitted for review. Micro-assembly fabrication processes will be developed that allow for accurate sub-micrometre bonding of diamond membranes "on-demand" over specific on-chip devices improving on the work we have achieved currently. Extensive research has been conducted into the plasma etching and handling of thin diamond plates and we have successfully achieved the fabrication of ultra-thin (< 1m) single crystal diamond membranes. Future work will look to the fabrication and characterisation of GaN mirco-ring/disk and waveguiding structures interfaced with diamond.
Thanks is given to EPSRC and Fraunhofer UK who sponsor and support this research.
Skills learned
My PhD thus far has awarded me a great many opportunities to learn and hone several invaluable techniques or skills that will benefit my planned career moving forwards. Some of the most noteworthy of these skills I have listed below:
1. Fabrication and handling of ultra-thin sub-micrometre diamond membranes.

2. Integration of diamond membranes with planar waveguide optical technologies with low added losses of < 0.4 dB.

3. Development of a custom lithography pattern generation tool. Creating mask files to GDSII and UV laser lithography systems.

4. Simulations of heterogeneous coupling between diamond ridge waveguides and secondary waveguide structures (e.g. GaN).

5. Microfabrication of visible light waveguiding structures. 

6. Characterisation of linear losses and material parameters of fabricated waveguides (e.g. group index).

7. Etching of diamond microstructures and thin films.I have also gained much experience in poster preparation, report writing, and giving presentations of research to an audience of my peers.


Research highlights


Most recently I have submitted a manuscript for peer review detailing the work I have done in the fabrication and integration of a 1 μm thick single crystal diamond membrane with a Si photonic chip.


The successful fabrication of ultra-thin diamond membranes on a distributed bragg reflector (DBR) is a result that we are excited about in our collaborative efforts with Oxford Universities materials department. The prepared diamond membrane on the DBR mirror will be inserted into a free-space tunable cavity and light collected by a fibre to observe Purcell enhancement of diamond defect centres.  The samples were smoothed over time to a sample thickness of less than a micrometre with a surface roughness r.m.s. value of approximately 0.4 nm. The samples used in this work were ordered from Element 6 and are single crystal diamond (SCD) of an electronic grade and dimensions 4 x 4 x 0.2 mm.  


Conferences and Publications

Publication, Diamond & Related Materials, "Thin film diamond membranes bonded on-demand with SOI ring resonators" - Submitted for peer review.


Integrated Photonics Research, Zurich Conference, Oral presentation, "Hybridisation of diamond with silicon photonic resonators." - Registered to present July 2018

DeBeers Diamond conference, University of Warwick, poster presentation, "Hybrid integration of diamond membranes with GaN waveguides" - July 2017

1st Year Physics Ph.D talks, Ross Priory, University of Strathclyde. Conference presentation "Heterogeneous integration of diamond photonic devices on non-native substrates" August 2016. PRIZE: Best Talk

Symposium on Quantum Information, Simulation and Metrology, University of Strathclyde. Poster presentation "Microfabrication of thin lm diamond optical devices" - June 2016.





  1. Ross Priory 1st Year Ph.D.Talks

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

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Paul Hill

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