Hi everyone,
I'm Kapil. This is my first post. Presently I'm applying to univ's for a PhD admission. I would like your comments on my SOP (mainly a a statemnet of reasearch as the univ's want).


Statement of Research Interest and Career Goal

I am an M.Tech. student in thePhysics Dept. of (my univ). During the course of my graduate study, I have developed a keen and active interest in the fields of Photonics. I wish to pursue a Ph.D. in the above fields because I think, with my determination and capabilities, I can benefit and contribute to the department's research activities while studying for a Ph.D. at name of the university.

During the nascent stage of my career, an inherent interest towards physics and mathematics encouraged me to take Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering as my undergraduate study at (Undergraduate univ). During my undergraduate study, the amazing phenomena of light-matter interaction intrigued me. Introduction to the fields of optoelectronic devices, optical fibers gave an impetuous to my inquisitive mind to delve into these fields. My interest in these fields and a desire to involve myself in an active research in the same fields grew stronger during the tenure of my lectureship. To fulfil my desire I opted for Applied Optics for my postgraduate study at (my univ), after being among top 1% successful candidates in (Entrance exam). The world class education along with the interaction with eminent professors helped me to strengthen my knowledge in the fields of Applied Physics.

The excellent academic and research environment of the Physics Department at (my univ) revealed to me the different horizons of Optics in general and Photonics in particular. The flexible course study at (my univ) allowed me to expand my knowledge in my desired field of research. Courses like ‘Semiconductor optoelectronics’, ‘Optics and lasers’, ‘Laser systems and applications’ helped me to gain in depth knowledge in the respective fields. In the second semester I opted for the course ‘Optical Electronics’ under Prof. X. During this course I first came across the field of nonlinear optics. His profound knowledge and the lucidity of his teaching helped us to build a vivid concept in this field.

The major factor that has reinforced my aspiration towards a research career in the field of photonics is my encounter with Prof. Y. His interest in me and his inspiration have played a vital role in my research career and my life as well. I was first introduced to the fields of ‘Metamaterials’ and ‘Photonic Crystals’ by him.

First time, when Prof. Y explained to me the ‘apparently impossible’ phenomena occurring in metamaterials, I found it contradictory to the existing laws of nature. But after a few discussions with him, I felt crave for knowing the subject in details. And I was fortunate enough to be allowed to opt for the course ‘Negative Refraction Metamaterials’ as an independent study under his supervision. My rigorous study and regular discussions with him about the physics, fabrication and application of metamaterial structures showed me a complete different perspective of electromagnetism and the light-matter interaction.

I am also privileged to work under Prof. Y on my one year M.Tech. project titled ‘Fabrication of Photonic Crystal Structures Using Holographic Lithography’. Our interest in this project includes fabrication and characterization of photonic crystal structures. After a thorough literature survey I found that the existing technologies lack the possibility for mass production of photonic crystal structures. To reduce the system complexity and to introduce flexibility we have been using Spatial Light Modulators (SLM). Presently we are working on the fabrication of photonic structures with defects. Our interest in this project also includes studying the anomalous dispersion as well as negative refraction present in the photonic crystal structures.

For a given opportunity to join a world class institution, where I can be trained to become an excellent researcher, I would like to work on projects where I can be exposed to the experimental and modelling aspects of research work. My interests would include the following topics:
  1. Fabrication and characterization of Photonic Crystal Structures.
  2. Device modelling with Photonic Crystals.
  3. Study of nonlinear phenomena and negative refraction in Photonic Crystal Structures.
After attaining substantial knowledge in the above mentioned fields now I feel the need for an association with a research group completely dedicated to these fields. This, together with my longing desire of being able to contribute something innovative and of significance to this field and the society, has inspired me to pursue a PhD study. I am confident that I have the drive, intellectual competence and preparation to succeed in a demanding PhD Program.

Kapil Debnath
I work for an online editing and proofreading site which handles a fair number of personal statements and motivation letters for postgraduate students. Please see my profile for more info. I won't do your whole letter here, but I will show you how I would revise your first two paragraphs which I have combined into one.

I am a student in the physics department of (my univ). During the course of my graduate study, I have developed a keen interest in photonics and wish to pursue a Ph.D.in that field.
I studied electronics and telecommunication engineering as an undergraduate at (Undergraduate univ) where the phenomena of light-matter interaction first caught my attention. My introduction to optoelectronic devices and optical fibers made me want to delve deeper into their study. My ambition to involve myself in active research in the field grew stronger during the tenure of my lectureship. I opted to concentrate on applied optics for my postgraduate study at (my univ), where I scored in the top one percent in (Entrance exam). My studies and the interaction I have had with eminent professors has helped me to thrive in the field of applied physics.

I don't know what an "M.Tech." is, so I dropped it. If you use the term please don't abbreviate.
I also took out the unnecessary capitalization of different fields of study. Also, photonics is, at least in my brief internet search, considered to be one field (even though there can be different sub-divisions of that field) so I have revised your use of "fields" to describe it. I made the same change from "fields" to "field" in relation to "applied physics". I also excised some superfluous adjectives and rephrased and simplified your sentences. Usually the direct way is the best way to communicate, especially in a Statement of Purpose. My preference would also be that the last sentence of your first paragraph emphasize your interest in photonics, the study that you want to pursue. Your career in applied physics is relevant but shouldn't be the last sentence of the introductory paragraph. Good luck and take care.
Thanks a lot Mr. Ferpectedit