School of Chemistry & Physics

With his family by his side, Dr Sanele Dlamini graduated with his PhD in Physics.

PhD Graduate Tackles Surface Plasmons in Metallic Nanowires

Dr Sanele Dlamini graduated with a PhD in Physics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He studied the decoherence of surface plasmon polaritons in metallic waveguides in the quantum regime and the first-order and second-order correlation functions for surface plasmon polaritons in metallic nanowire emitted by fluorescence from cold atoms.

Dlamini said ‘the results of the work on nanowires and nanofibers would be useful in studying and manufacturing new nanoscale photonic devices that were high quality and high performance and suitable for future hybrid quantum devices based on atom and photon behaviour. The devices that are constructed using the sub-wavelength diameter nanowires may have important applications for developing quantum networks’.

Dlamini holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Applied Physics, BSc Honors and Masters in Physics. He said the more he continued doing physics, the more interesting he found it to be.

Dlamini said there were times when he felt demotivated when the experiments did not work out. ‘Aligning yourself with people who are positive and supportive, keep pushing you and never giving up no matter how difficult the problem is, is what made me overcome the struggles,’ said Dlamini.

He advised undergraduate students ‘to remain focused and study wisely.’

Dlamini attributed his successes to the guidance of his supervisors, Professor Francesco Petruccione, Professor Mark Tame and Professor Sile Nic Chormaic. He thanks his wife and family for their loving support.

‘I supervised Sanele during his MSc and PhD studies. It was a pleasure to see him grow as a human being and as a scientist. He never lost focus of completing an excellent PhD. I am sure he will achieve further ambitious goals, without losing his gentle, generous and humble character,’ said Petruccione.

When asked what inspiring greatness meant to him, Dlamini said: ‘Becoming the best I can be and for people to look at what I have achieved, and be motivated to further their studies.’

Words: Zolile Duma