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Centre for Doctoral Training in Photonic Integration and Advance Data Storage

Research Profile

Serene Pauly 

Educational Background and experience: B.Tech in Biomedical Engineering from Calicut University, Kerala, MSc in Biomedical Engineering from Glasgow University
CDT EngD Project: Direct nanoscale mapping of plasmonic heating in nanostructures for HAMR
Supervisors: Dr.Amit Kumar ; Dr. Donald McLaren, Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland  

Project description:
This project aims to combine nanoscale scanning thermal miscroscopy with laser enabled plasmonic excitation on materials and nanostructures of prime interest for HAMR. It involves different elements of thermal plasmonics by developing an experiment methodology that directly links the light-mediated plasmonic heating in nanostructures with scanning thermal microscopy. The experiments will be in connection with COMSOL-based simulation as well as thermal response to develop a predictive framework for materials of interest. The materials for this study will be chosen from two families : (a) conventional deposited thin films (Au, Pt, TiN etc.) and fabricated nanostructures (FIB nanostructures, nanorods, selected geometries); and (b) Metal nanoparticles on 2D materials with plasmonic coupling. The results will focus on the arising temperatures in chosen material systems as a function of selected wavelength, light intensity. We will also aim to investigate the role of interfaces (grain boundaries, defects) in mediating the spatially resolved thermal response. The role of thermal diffusion in mediating the plasmonic heating response will also be assessed. The nanoscale experiments will be combined with macroscopic measurements to then develop a holistic perspective on how the plasmonic heating can be best optimised for HAMR applications. The capacity to measure temperature distribution of plasmonic structures at the nanoscale should also be useful for thermal plasmonic applications such as thermal photovoltaics, nanochemistry and nanolithography.

General Research/Science Interests:

CDT Involvement:
For conclave 2020, I was part of the finance team which includes budget planning, record-keeping, and managing incoming and outgoing funds. In addition, I was also part of the branding team where we designed delegate boxes which was used to represent PIADS and the event partners. The teams goal was to offer something back to attendees in the form of useful, niche products, and energetic snacks to help keep them engaged during the Conclave. 

I have taken part in entrepreneurial programs such as ‘Lean Student Launch’ and “Explorer” in collaboration with Tyndall National Institute to bring brain diagnostic devices to the medical market.  

Impact Activity: 
I am a member of the green team that works with the Queen’s University staff and other members to bring about green initiatives in the school. I am also a treasurer for SeaCadets a charity organisation, where I oversees all financial transactions and fundraising efforts going in or out of the organising committee. In addition I also volunteer as a student contributor to write articles for physics world.  

Contact me: LinkedIn:; Twitter: @SerenePauly 

PIADS as given me platform to develop myself as a holistic researcher. I have had immense support through my academic journey and have learned key skills such as project management, leadership skills and many more through the courses that PIADS provides. 

Queen's University Belfast Crest

University of Glasgow Crest