PhD Positions in Quantum Optics and Quantum Technologies

We have a number of interesting projects available in Quantum Technologies, ranging from fundamental science to applications.

For more information about our industrial PhD opportunities, click here.

Open Positions


Heriot-Watt University

Satellite quantum photonics

Quantum communication enables the secure distribution of keys between communicating parties. Terrestrial key exchange in optical fibre is limited to distances of the order of hundred kilometers, due to fibre loss. The leading solution to truly global quantum networks is therefore the distribution of quantum light from satellites to optical ground stations. In this project, you will co-develop an entangled photon source for deployment on a UK cube sat mission which is scheduled to be launched within the lifetime of the PhD project. It will be carried out under the umbrella of the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Communications, an EPSRC funded £20M consortium of university and industry partners. There will be ample opportunities for travel, collaboration with partners within and beyond the hub, as well as outreach activities.

Contact: Prof. Alessandro Fedrizzi, Heriot-Watt University – A.Fedrizzi@hw.ac.uk 

Satellite quantum photonics (Heriot-Watt University)

Experimental quantum networking

The Edinburgh Mostly Quantum Lab (EMQL) offers a PhD position in photonic quantum networking with photonic telecom cluster states. The focus will be on experimental demonstrations in a range of multi-party quantum communication scenarios, including conference key distribution, all-optical repeaters, quantum network coding, and more. Our work is primarily experimental but a theory component is optional. The PhD project will be carried out under the umbrella of the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Communications, an EPSRC funded £20M consortium of university and industry partners. There will be ample opportunities for travel, collaboration with partners within and beyond the hub, as well as outreach activities.

Contact: Prof. Alessandro Fedrizzi, Heriot-Watt University – A.Fedrizzi@hw.ac.uk 

Experimental quantum networking (Heriot-Watt University)

A Scalable and Coherent Semiconductor Spin-Photon Interface

Scalability is an outstanding challenge in semiconductor quantum technologies. This project aims to address this by realizing small nodes of coherent spin-photon interfaces.

Coherent spin-photon interfaces underpin many applications in quantum information science. Self-assembled quantum dots offer a promising platform to realize this: single spins can easily be manipulated and entangled with indistinguishable single photons. Unfortunately, the random nature of self-assembly creates challenges for scalability. This project aims to tackle this challenge using both on-chip and off-chip strategies to realize small-scale nodes of coherent spin-photon interfaces.

Contact: Prof. Brian D Gerardot, Heriot-Watt University – B.D.Gerardot@hw.ac.uk

A Scalable and Coherent Semiconductor Spin-Photon Interface (Heriot-Watt University)

SiC devices for quantum networking

Scalability is an outstanding challenge in semiconductor quantum technologies. This project aims to address this by realizing small nodes of coherent spin-photon interfaces.

Coherent spin-photon interfaces underpin many applications in quantum information science. Self-assembled quantum dots offer a promising platform to realize this: single spins can easily be manipulated and entangled with indistinguishable single photons. Unfortunately, the random nature of self-assembly creates challenges for scalability. This project aims to tackle this challenge using both on-chip and off-chip strategies to realize small-scale nodes of coherent spin-photon interfaces.

Contact: Prof. Cristian Bonato, Heriot-Watt University – C.Bonato@hw.ac.uk

SiC devices for quantum networking (Heriot-Watt University)

Adaptive learning for quantum-enhanced sensing

This project will build on recent experimental and theoretical work showing, respectively, that spin sensors can detect the tiny magnetic field of isolated proximal nuclear spins and that their precision is boosted by quantum effects . This constitutes an exciting new frontier in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), a phenomenon that has found numerous applications across science and medicine, most notably MRI scanning. Developing optimised control approaches and sensing protocols will be tackled through a number of techniques including e.g. genetic algorithms, Bayesian approaches, machine learning, and “Hamiltonian learning”.

This project is a collaboration between an experimental group (led by Cristian Bonato at the Quantum Photonics Lab, https://qpl.eps.hw.ac.uk) and the Quantum Theory Team (led by Erik Gauger,  http://qtt.eps.hw.ac.uk) at Heriot-Watt. We have projects available for two students on this topic, to work in a mix between theory and experiments (depending on the interests and skills of each individual student).

The PhD studentships will be funded by EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) for 3.5 years.  All applicants must have or expect to have a 1st class MChem, MPhys, MSci, MEng or equivalent degree by Autumn 2020.

Application enquiries can be sent to Cristian Bonato (c.bonato@hw.ac.uk) and Erik Gauger (e.gauger@hw.ac.uk), Heriot-Watt University.

Adaptive learning for quantum-enhanced sensing (Heriot-Watt University)

Theoretical quantum communication and quantum information science

A PhD studentship is available for work on quantum communications, as part of The EPSRC Quantum Communications Hub based at Heriot-Watt’s campus in Edinburgh. The Quantum Communications Hub is a partnership universities and companies (www.quantumcommshub.net) which have formed a collaboration with the overall aim of developing a range of new secure quantum communications technologies.

The student will work in Heriot-Watt’s quantum information theory group, led by Professor Erika Andersson. The exact topic is to be determined in discussions with suitable candidates, but could encompass work on quantum measurements or topics in quantum communication. Our current work includes devising practical schemes for quantum oblivious transfer, and finding optimal quantum state elimination measurements. Previously, the group has introduced practical ways of realising quantum signatures, including measurement-device-independent quantum signatures. Experiments related to our work on quantum communication have been performed at Heriot-Watt and elsewhere, and there are excellent opportunities to work together with experimentalists.

Interest in quantum information, excellent mathematical and theoretical skills, as well as interest and knowledge of quantum mechanics are essential for the role. An excellent Masters degree in physics or a related mathematical or computer science discipline (for UK applicants, 1st class) is also essential.

Inquiries should be addressed to Prof. Erika Andersson: E.Andersson@hw.ac.uk.

Theoretical quantum communication and quantum information science (Heriot-Watt University)

Novel platforms for integrated quantum devices based on rare earth doped insulating materials

We offer a 3.5 years PhD position for a talented, proactive, and strongly motivated candidate who will contribute building a new setup with potential for ground breaking scientific research in the field of solid-state quantum memories for quantum communication applications.

Rare earth ion doped crystals are particularly attractive as materials for quantum memory implementations because they are ensembles of optically active ions naturally trapped in inert media. As such, they offer unique quantum information multiplexing opportunities, beside excellent coherence properties and efficient addressability with both optical and RF fields.

This project aims at the development of new telecom-compatible platforms for integrated quantum devices based on rare earth ion doped materials. This will involve

  • the investigation of the mechanisms affecting the optical and spin coherence properties of new materials
  • the implementation of quantum storage devices
  • the design of confined structure with the aim of achieving improved performances due to the strong light matter interaction and facilitating the coupling with other integrated quantum technologies as quantum light sources or detectors.

The research will be carried out in the Quantum Photonics Lab at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh (https://www.hw.ac.uk/), under the supervision of Dr Margherita Mazzera. The Quantum Photonics Lab (qpl.eps.hw.ac.uk) works on quantum devices in different material platforms (as rare earth ion doped crystals, diamond, SiC, “beyond graphene” 2D materials and III-V semiconductors). The lab hosts state-of-the-art facilities, including several cryostats, superconducting single-photon detectors, lasers and radio-frequency equipment for high-fidelity spin manipulation.

The field of coherent information processing with rare earth ion doped solids has experienced in the last two decades a very exciting and promising development, and the present project opens the possibility to work in close contact and friendly collaboration with the most important and prolific international research groups active in this field.

Additionally, the outlined work-plan will allow developing numerous hands-on skills as optical spectroscopy, light manipulation and characterization, quantum and non-linear optics, vacuum, cryogenics and photon counting techniques.

Applicants must have or expect to have a first class degree or equivalent in physics, or other relevant subject in the physical sciences. A background in experimental physics is desirable.

The PhD project is available for 3.5 years for UK or EU nationals. This funding includes a stipend of £15k per year.

If interested, please send your CV, academic transcripts and a cover letter explaining your motivation/interest in this project, to Dr Margherita Mazzera (m.mazzera@hw.ac.uk, +44 (0)131 451 8220, https://qpl.eps.hw.ac.uk/).

Novel platforms for integrated quantum devices based on rare earth doped insulating materials (Heriot-Watt University)

Data fusion approaches for high-speed imaging in highly scattering media

This PhD project’s aim is to develop a low-power consumption, light-weight video imaging system that can measure in 3D continuously at speeds greater than 1000 frames per second.  The goal is a system that can see through scattering media at high frames rates.   The system will take advantage of the very latest developments in CMOS single-photon detector arrays and the very latest data fusion and non-local image processing algorithms.  This unique combination hardware and processing will enable us to record high-resolution and continuous 3D images at frame rates greater than 1000 frames per second.  The single photon sensitivity of the system will enable visualisation in degraded environments, e.g. fog, smoke, and snow.  The high-frame rates and resolution that our system provides will lead to a transformation in three-dimensional imaging, opening applications in a wide range of sectors.  Applications of the technology in the defence sector span, 3D ballistics testing, safety testing, tracking, simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), autonomous vehicles, surveillance, land surveys, robotics, atmospheric monitoring, and prototyping and manufacturing.

The student should have a strong background in physics, engineering, or related subject.  This is an experimental PhD with a strong requirement for skills in engineering and data processing.  The student will be responsible for the development of the system and the and the implementation of the latest signal processing algorithms. Significant time in the PhD will be dedicated to field trials to test the system in real-life scenarios.

The PhD will be funded by DSTL (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) and will be placed in the Experimental Quantum Optics group at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

This group is led by Dr. Jonathan Leach.

More information: hwquatum.org

Application enquiries can be sent to Jonathan Leach, Heriot-Watt University j.leach@hw.ac.uk

References

Data fusion approaches for high-speed imaging in highly scattering media (Heriot-Watt University)

High-dimensional measurement-device-independent quantum systems

In recent years, device-independent systems have become of significant interest in quantum technology.  A system that is device independent provides the highest level of security for quantum protocols.  This PhD project’s aim is to design and build such systems for secure quantum communication and networking.   Our aim is to increase the bandwidth of quantum information protocol, such as teleportation, entanglement swapping, and quantum key distribution, by exploiting the high-dimensional nature of photonic states of light.  All of the work relates to the fundamental science of quantum technology.

This is an experimental PhD, where we will make use of the very latest in quantum technology to generate, manipulate, and measure high-dimensional entangled states of light.  We will make use of ultra-fast lasers, non-linear optics, spatial light modulators, and superconducting single-photon detectors.

The student should have a strong background in experimental physics, engineering, or related subject.  This is an experimental PhD with a strong requirement for the development of skills in single-photon optics. The student will be responsible for the development of both the hardware and the software of the system.

This is a 3.5 year PhD studentship.  The PhD will be funded by EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council ) and will be placed in the Experimental Quantum Optics group at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

This group is led by Dr. Jonathan Leach.

More information: hwquatum.org

Application enquiries can be sent to Jonathan Leach, Heriot-Watt University j.leach@hw.ac.uk

References

High-dimensional measurement-device-independent quantum systems (Heriot-Watt University)

Practical free-space quantum communications

Applied research exploring free-space quantum communications from short-range “last-mile” links up to long-distance satellite links. The researcher will investigate the practical design and implementation for free-space quantum communications. The work will feed into a range of projects, from funded short range industrial demos to satellite missions.

Supervisor name: Dr Ross Donaldson

Supervisor HWU email address: R.Donaldson@hw.ac.uk

Practical free-space quantum communications (Heriot-Watt University)

Novel optical beam steering for quantum communications

Applied research exploring novel devices and techniques for optical beam steering and adaptive optics. The work is primarily aimed at quantum communication applications, but has broader context in long distance laser communications, e.g. deep space. The project will involve simulations, hands-on lab work, and experimental field trials. Previous experience with optoelectronic devices is essential. The candidate would join a research team with extensive research infrastructure and collaborative links to industry.

Supervisor name: Dr Ross Donaldson

Supervisor HWU email address: R.Donaldson@hw.ac.uk

Novel optical beam steering for quantum communications (Heriot-Watt University)


University of Glasgow

Biphotons for nonlinear imaging

We are looking for a talented and passion-driven candidate to fulfil a 3.5-years PhD Scholarship at the University of Glasgow. The ideal candidate is a Physics or Engineering graduate, with 2:1 or higher (or equivalent) degree. The PhD student will work in the UNO (Ultrafast Nonlinear Optics) group, led by Dr Clerici, will have access to state-of-the-art research infrastructures, and will enjoy the active student life of the Glasgow West End.

Nonlinear imaging delivered transformative results to our science and technology. One example is multiphoton microscopy, which is used to study biological structures with 3D resolution. Now, quantum optics may deliver yet another improvement to our ability to look at the microscopic world.

With this PhD you will discover how biphoton fields can enhance nonlinear imaging. It has been predicted that the temporal correlations between twin photons generated by parametric downconversion can significantly increase the two-photon absorption cross-section. In the presence of a resonant nonlinearity, such as two-photon absorption in a fluorophore or a semiconductor, biphoton states are absorbed with a cross-section orders of magnitude higher than classical radiation at the same wavelength. This concept is currently being tested experimentally and is one of the most exciting topics in quantum imaging also due to the possibility it entails of improving bioimaging. This PhD project expands on such concept exploring the impact of biphotons on the real, rather than the imaginary part of optical nonlinearities. The down-converted field is composed only of photon pairs (biphotons) that are strongly correlated in space and time. For this reason, under proper conditions, they effectively behave as a single particle for the light-matter interaction. As a consequence, they can be absorbed with a cross-section approaching that of one-photon processes yet being in a transparent spectral region of the material. The very same concept is expected to hold also for other two-photon processes, such as those underpinning parametric interactions in third-order nonlinear media, such as self and cross-phase modulation, parametric amplification, and Raman scattering. With this PhD project you will investigate the biphoton induced enhancement of Kerr nonlinearities for nonlinear imaging applications.

Application. The Scholarship covers the student fees for UK residents (see EPSRC definition) and provides a stipend at the UKRI/EPSRC rate (https://www.ukri.org/skills/funding-for-researchtraining/) for 3.5 years. To apply, please send your CV and a brief personal statement to matteo.clerici@glasgow.ac.uk. After a pre-selection, successful applicants will be interviewed (either in person or via conference call). The Scholarship is available from January 1st, 2021. We encourage you to get in contact with us as soon as possible.

This is an exciting opportunity to develop complementary skills in optics and photonics sponsored by QuantIC, the Quantum Hub for Imaging (https://quantic.ac.uk/).

For further information visit the group page at www.glasgow.ac.uk/uno.

Biphotons for nonlinear imaging (University of Glasgow)

Experimental realization of many-body coupling schemes with superconducting quantum hardware

Superconducting quantum circuits are one of the forerunners in the worldwide race to create commercially sustainable quantum processors able to solve real-world problems. Small (3-20 qubits) processors can solve problems such as finding the spectra of small molecules such as H2 and LiH or the binding energy of small nuclei such as deuterium. State-of-the-art circuits have ~50 qubits and are reaching a computational complexity at the limit of today’s high-performance data centres.

Superconducting circuits are an ideal choice as they can be easily integrated and scaled up to large numbers and offer -in principal- a variety of coupling schemes (longitudinal, orthogonal to one or more qubits). While two-qubit coupling schemes have been chosen for the first generation of processors, many-body interactions enable the execution of multi-qubit gates in a single step and will thus greatly reduce the circuit depth of near-term quantum computations.

The student will design a new generation of integrated circuit networks where the couplings between qubits and/or resonators are not implemented conventionally, i.e. via capacitances and inductances, but realised by non-linear circuit elements. In this way, we will experimentally demonstrate a highly versatile platform of many-body coupled qubits, and address some of today’s most significant challenges in scaling quantum technology.

Contact: Prof. Martin Weides, University of Glasgow – martin.weides@glasgow.ac.uk

Experimental realization of many-body coupling schemes with superconducting quantum hardware (University of Glasgow)

Multi-layer technology for superconducting quantum processors

Superconducting technology is one of the main challengers in the race to develop quantum computers. Currently, state-of-the-art circuits include a few tens of qubits (quantum supremacy was demonstrated using a 53-qubit processor) and are made using a single-layer process; but we need to move to at least two layers to enable further scaling to ~1000 qubits and beyond. One way to achieve this is to use so-called through-silicone-vias (TSVs). TSVs are already in use in the semiconductor industry but the standard process is not compatible with high-quality qubits.

The main objective of this project is to develop superconducting, low-loss, TSVs compatible with superconducting qubits. The work will be done within collaboration with three partners: National Physical Laboratory (NPL), University of Glasgow and Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology (OIPT). A new fabrication process will be established in the James Watt Nanotechnology Centre (JWNC) at Glasgow https://www.gla.ac.uk/research/az/jwnc/ in collaboration with OIP; the resulting TSVs will be characterised using the measurement facilities at NPL.

The challenge is to make TSVs that both have low-loss low loss at millikelvin temperatures and do not introduce any additional decoherence mechanisms (due to e.g. material defects) that would degrade the performance of the qubits. The level of scientific ambition in this project can be scaled as appropriate: from simple test structures to multi-qubit circuits.

As a student you will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and be supported by world-leading experts.  You will gain expertise will be in modelling and fabrication of quantum circuits, measurement using advanced microwave setups, data processing, cryogenics, and quantum technologies.

The funding is for a full EPSRC studentship for 4 years. The studentships are open to UK and EU residents, see student eligibility:  https://epsrc.ukri.org/skills/students/guidance-on-epsrc-studentships/eligibility/

Contact: Tobias Lindstrom at National Physical Laboratory – Tobias.Lindstrom@npl.co.uk or Prof. Martin Weides, University of Glasgow – martin.weides@glasgow.ac.uk

Multi-layer technology for superconducting quantum processors (NPL/University of Glasgow)


University of Strathclyde

Ultra-precise atomic magnetometry

This PhD project on measurement of magnetic fields has begun at the University of Strathclyde, which will push the attainable sensitive below the femtoTesla level (ten orders of magnitude below the Earth’s magnetic field.) Using compact, room temperature, atomic samples the new lab will compete directly with superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) based systems that require prohibitively expensive cryogenic environments. The outcomes of the project will be immediately applied to measurement of real-world systems, including bio-magnetic fields such as those produced by the neuronal electrical activity of the human brain. — Contact: Prof Erling Riis, University of Strathclyde – e.riis@strath.ac.uk

Ultraprecise atomic magnetometry (University of Strathclyde)

Atomic clocks

Laser cooling of atoms has revolutionised measurement science. The primary frequency and time standard is now based on ultra-cold caesium atoms in an atomic fountain – i.e. weakly interacting atoms freely falling in gravity. The increase in accuracy afforded by this technology, however, comes at a cost in terms of size, complexity and power consumption. In stark contrast to this are the chip-scale atomic clocks (CSAC), which are compact and have low power consumption, but much inferior accuracy. With the present project we seek to integrate the technique for cold atom production based on micro-fabricated optical elements with established techniques for driving the atomic clock transition in order to achieve a compact setup with good long-term stability.

Contact: Dr Paul Griffin, University of Strathclyde – paul.griffin@strath.ac.uk

Atomic clocks (University of Strathclyde)

Atom interferometry

If an atomic vapour (of bosons) is sufficiently cold and dense a phase transition occurs and all of the atoms coalesce into the same (lowest energy) quantum state. Such a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC), in which all of the atoms share the same wavefunction and behave in essentially the same way, is thus the atomic analogue of a laser – an atom laser. This opens the possibility of replicating many of the traditional interferometry experiments from optics with atomic waves. Contrary to photons, though, atoms are sensitive to their environment, and so this provides the basis for new generations of devices for measuring quantities such as gravity, acceleration and rotation. As the de Broglie wavelength of the atoms now define the sensitivity this represents a potentially vast increase in measurement sensitivity.

Contact: Dr Paul Griffin, University of Strathclyde – paul.griffin@strath.ac.uk

Atom interferometry (University of Strathclyde)

Magnetometers in the field

The ongoing development of sensing modalities and capabilities of atomic magnetometers operating in earth field will enable enhanced abilities in remote sensing. The present project seeks to develop the measurement capabilities of miniaturised optically pumped atomic magnetometers, that will ultimately be capable of field deployment. This project involves the development and integration of the individual components required to realise reliable and autonomous measurement devises with applications ranging from geophysical surveying, to cardiology, to high throughput industrial inspection.

Contact: Dr Paul Griffin, University of Strathclyde – paul.griffin@strath.ac.uk

Magnetometers in the field (University of Strathclyde)

Integrated control electronics for semiconductor quantum devices

For practical applications a quantum computer would need to host millions of quantum bits (qubits) with a high degree of inter-qubit connectivity. At present, rudimentary solid-state quantum processors operate in dilution refrigerators at sub-kelvin temperature and are controlled by general-purpose classical electronics at room temperature [1]. In order to enable large-scale quantum hardware, the main hurdle is in envisaging efficient interconnect approaches between classical and quantum electronics [2]. To this end, semiconductor-based quantum computers [3-4] could be advantageous because both the control electronics and the qubits could be integrated on the same chip, overcoming the wiring bottleneck.

This project will address some of the challenges to make this approach viable. Firstly, there will be a need to design a control electronics layer with extremely modest power consumption to avoid heating the quantum hardware to the detriment of its fragile quantum states. Secondly, the choice of the semiconductor material for the quantum layer will need to be carefully considered. The obvious choice may be silicon for its compatibility with integrated CMOS electronics, but other commercial semiconductors, such as silicon carbide and germanium will be also explored. This will entail characterisation of different quantum devices in typical operating conditions, such as microwave frequency drive and multiplexed radiofrequency readout, as well as in a range of temperatures and external magnetic fields.

The research activities will balance integrated circuit (IC) design and modelling, hands-on cleanroom fabrication, as well as experimental measurements at cryogenic temperatures. The student will be involved in making and characterising electronic devices in a range of semiconductor materials.

This is an exciting opportunity to develop technical skills of relevance to both the academic job market and the nascent quantum technology industry. On the one hand, the successful candidate will be involved in establishing a new academic quantum laboratory, which will feature Strathclyde’s very first dilution refrigerator! On the other hand, the project will provide industrial exposure through our corporate partners, i.e. the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and Hitachi Europe.

RESPONSIBILITIES

• Design and fabricate quantum devices in a cleanroom environment.

• Design IC electronics to drive and read quantum hardware.

• Perform low-temperature experiments and device characterisation.

• Analyse experimental data with appropriate software (e.g. Matlab, Python etc.).

• Prepare manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed journals.

• Travel domestically across collaborating institutions to carry out part of the project’s activities.

HOST INSTITUTION(S)

This project is part of a long-standing collaboration between the Quantum Technology Department at the National Physical Laboratory (Teddington) and the Physics Department at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow). The student is expected to carry out most of the research activities at Strathclyde and will join the Semiconductor & Spectroscopy Group (https://ssd.phys.strath.ac.uk).

Short stays at our industrial partners will be needed and encouraged throughout the project’s lifespan. Funding for travel expenses is readily available.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

For inquiries about the studentship and/or applications, please contact directly Dr Alessandro Rossi: alessandro.rossi@strath.ac.uk

Application documents: CV, recent transcript, and 1-page statement of interest.

Funding Notes

This studentship is for 3.5 years, fully funded (fees and stipend).
UKRI studentship eligibility criteria apply.

References

[1] F. Arute et al., Nature 574, 505 (2019)
[2] L. M. K. Vandersypen et al., npj Quantum Inf. 3, 34 (2017)
[3] T. F. Watson et al., Nature 555, 633 (2018)
[4] N. Hendrickx et al., Nature 577, 487 (2020)

Integrated control electronics for semiconductor quantum devices (University of Strathclyde)


Closed positions

Satellite Quantum Key Distribution and Communication [Position Closed]

Secure quantum communication over long distances may be enabled by the development of satellite platforms for the distribution of quantum states and entanglement from space. The Chinese satellite Micius has demonstrated the technical feasibility of satellite quantum communication and there are many international efforts to achieve similar capability. Quantum Key Distribution is the prime application but such space systems may be able to support new and novel protocols even more challenging to perform with terrestrial fibre networks.

This project will look at providing the theoretical underpinnings to support the ongoing development of space quantum communication technologies and their applications. It will investigate the development, analysis, and optimisation of space-based quantum communication and key distribution protocols.

The candidate should have a background in quantum information theory or related subjects and possess strong analytic and numerical skills. Computational modelling experience is advantageous. The candidate will work closely with experimentalists and engineers hence should have the ability to effectively work and communicate across disciplines.

The student will join the Computational Nonlinear and Quantum Optics group within the Optics Division of the Department of Physics at Strathclyde. The project will interface with ongoing efforts towards launch of a satellite quantum communication in-orbit demonstration mission.

Funding Notes

Scholarships (fees and stipend) available on a competitive basis for UK/EU students, please contact supervisor, Dr Daniel Oi, for details.

Satellite Quantum Key Distribution and Communication (University of Strathclyde)

Quantum Simulation in optical lattices with single-atom access

Ultracold atoms in optical lattices at temperatures close to absolute zero give the unique opportunity to study quantum many-body phenomena in the laboratory under controlled conditions. We use a quantum-gas microscope to image atoms trapped in an optical lattice atom by atom, lattice site by lattice site.

Contact: Prof Stefan Kuhr, University of Strathclyde – stefan.kuhr@strath.ac.uk

Quantum Simulation in optical lattices with single-atom access (University of Strathclyde)

Theory of quantum simulation with atoms and ions

The last few years have seen substantial progress in the development of quantum simulation with cold atom platforms (including atoms in optical lattices, and Rydberg arrays), and trapped ions. In this project, we will (1) explore fundamental aspects of out-of-equilibrium dynamics in these systems, (2) investigate means to use measurements of these dynamics to benchmark regimes where quantum advantage over classical computations can be demonstrated, and (3) investigate potential applications of these devices towards computational problems of interest beyond quantum physics. This project will involve the application and further development of analytical and numerical methods, including recently developed matrix product operator methods and time-dependent density matrix renormalisation group techniques.   These theoretical studies are directly related to ongoing experiments, including work being performed in the photonics groups at the University of Strathclyde, relevant to the EPSRC programme grant on Designing out-of-equilibrium many-body quantum systems (http://desoeq.phys.strath.ac.uk) and the EU Quantum Technologies Flagship Quantum Simulation project PASQuanS (https://pasquans.eu/).

Contact: Prof. Andrew Daley,  University of Strathclyde – andrew.daley@strath.ac.uk

Theory of quantum simulation with atoms and ions (University of Strathclyde)

Quantum-enhanced multiphoton fluorescence microscopy

The generation and manipulation of quantum states of light will be used to overcome some of the main limitations of multiphoton fluorescence microscopy, such has the extremely low cross sections and the need of intense ultrashort lasers. The student will study and set up the appropriate quantum light source for enhancing multiphoton fluorescence microscopy of biological samples. The project will encompass a combination of nonlinear and quantum optics, as well as imaging. The PhD student will work on the design and realisation of optical systems, nonlinear frequency conversion, the generation and characterisation of quantum states (e.g. entangled photons), software coding and microscopy. They will have access to state-of-the-art optical laboratories, laser sources and photon detectors. The studentship is co-funded by Fraunhofer UK, giving access to their prototyping facilities and promoting collaborative work with technology users. – Contact: Dr Lucia Caspani, University of Strathclyde – lucia.caspani@strath.ac.uk

Quantum-enhanced multiphoton fluorescence microscopy (University of Strathclyde)

Phase transitions in open quantum systems

Developing accurate simulations of quantum mechanical systems unavoidably involves taking into account coupling to the outside world. Such modelling is important for a wide range of physical systems, whose quantum properties are now routinely measured in the lab. These include arrays of superconducting qubits[1], cold atoms in optical cavities[2] and semiconductor heterostructures[3]. In these systems fascinatingly complex behaviour occurs due to the competition between the many-body coherent effects and dissipative dynamics. This competition leads to the ability to engineer states which are difficult to realise by any other means. There are also regions of parameter space where, by careful tuning, it is possible for there to be sudden, dramatic changes in behaviour for very small changes in the control parameter realising dissipative phase transitions[4,5].

In some very specific cases these phase transitions are well understood[4,6]. These models are usually amenable to mean-field theory and the resulting transitions are very similar to their equilibrium counterparts. Recently, we have shown that this is not always the case[7] and transitions with very different characteristics can arise. In this project we will use state-of-the-art numerical techniques based on matrix product operators and neural networks to examine the kinds of physics which it is possible to realise in more complex lattice models.

Informal enquiries can be sent to Dr. Peter Kirton, University of Strathclyde – peter.kirton@strath.ac.uk

For more information on our recent research see https://www.peterkirton.com/

Funding Notes

The studentship is fully funded (including fees + stipend) for 3.5 years, and UKRI eligibility criteria apply see View Website for more information.

References

[1] Fitzpatrick et al. PRX 7, 011016 (2017)
[2] Baumann et al Nature 464, 1301 (2010)
[3] Rodriguez et al PRL 118, 247402 (2017)
[4] Kessler et al PRA 86, 012116 (2012)
[5] Minganti et al PRA 98, 042118 (2018)
[6] Kirton et al Adv. Quant. Tech. 2, 1800043 (2019)
[7] Huber et al arXiv1908.02290 (2019)

Phase transitions in open quantum systems (University of Strathclyde)

Scalable Qubit Arrays for Quantum Computation and Optimisation

Quantum computation offers a revolutionary approach to information processing, providing a route to efficiently solve classically hard problems such as factorisation and optimisation as well as unlocking new applications in material science and quantum chemistry that could in future be scaled up to accelerate drug design or optimised materials for aerospace and manufacturing. Whilst large-scale applications will require thousands of qubits, in the near-term small (100 qubit) quantum processors will reach a regime in which the quantum hardware is able to solve problems not accessible even on the largest available conventional supercomputers.

This project will develop a new platform for quantum computing based on scalable arrays of neutral atoms that is able to overcome the challenges to scaling of competing technologies. We will develop new hardware to cool and trap arrays of over 100 qubits that will be used to perform both analogue and digital quantum simulation by exploiting the strong long-range interactions of highly excited Rydberg atoms. Together with the quantum software team lead by Prof. Andrew Daley, we will design new analogue and digital algorithms tailored for the neutral-atom platform to target industrially-relevant computation and optimisation problems.

Contact: Dr Jonathan Pritchard, University of Strathclyde – jonathan.pritchard@strath.ac.uk

Scalable Qubit Arrays for Quantum Computation and Optimisation (University of Strathclyde)

Atom-interferometry for inertial sensing of rotation

The possibility of using interference of coherent matter-waves offer tantalising levels of potential accuracy for measurement devices. A particular application of interest is that of rotation sensing with applications in quantum-based, autonomous navigation devices. The student will join an research programmes in BEC interferometry at Strathclyde in the development of a Bose-Einstein condensate atom interferometer device. A key aim is the demonstration of an integrated optics and BEC interferometry. This project would ultimately inform the translation of chip-based BEC technology into a practical navigation tool. — Contact: Dr Aidan Arnold, University of Strathclyde – aidan.arnold@strath.ac.uk

Atom-interferometry for inertial sensing of rotation (University of Strathclyde)

PhD in Experimental Quantum Networking

The Edinburgh Mostly Quantum Lab (EMQL) offers a PhD position in photonic quantum networking with photonic telecom cluster states. The focus will be on experimental demonstrations in a range of multi-party quantum communication scenarios, including conference key distribution, all-optical repeaters, quantum network coding, and more. Our work is primarily experimental but a theory component is optional. The PhD project will be carried out under the umbrella of the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Communications, an EPSRC funded £20M consortium of university and industry partners. There will be ample opportunities for travel, collaboration with partners within and beyond the hub, as well as outreach activities.

The EMQL was established at Heriot-Watt in 2015, and has now grown to an enthusiastic group of 3 postdocs and 6 PhD students. Our labs are part of the HWU quantum technology facilities, a shared state-of-the-art space that combines photonic quantum technology research with a range of physical architectures such as solid-state photonics, downconversion, integrated photonics, and fabrication. Our research spans all areas of photonic quantum information processing, from foundations to communications, computing and metrology, and there is freedom to explore areas beyond quantum networking.

All applicants must have or expect to have a 1st class MChem, MPhys, MSci, MEng or equivalent degree by Autumn 2020.  Selection will be based on academic excellence and research potential, and all short-listed applicants will be interviewed (in person or by Skype).  DTP’s are only open to UK/EU applicants. DTP Studentships are only available for students who meet residency requirements set out by EPSRC

All applications accepted until 30/6/2020.

Apply Online here.

When applying through the Heriot-Watt on-line system please ensure you provide the following information:

(a) in ‘Study Option’

You will need to select ‘Edinburgh’ and ‘Postgraduate Research’.  ‘Programme’ presents you with a drop-down menu.  Choose Bio-Engineering & Bio-Science PhD, Chemistry PhD, Physics PhD, Chemical Engineering PhD, Mechanical Engineering PhD or Electrical PhD as appropriate and select October 2019 for study option (this can be updated at a later date if required)

(b) in ‘Research Project Information’

You will be provided with a free text box for details of your research project.  Enter Title and Reference number of the project for which you are applying and also enter the supervisor’s name.

This information will greatly assist us in tracking your application.

Please note that once you have submitted your application, it will not be considered until you have uploaded your CV and transcripts.

Funding Notes

The annual stipend will be approx. £14,777 and full fees will be paid, for 3.5 years.

Application enquiries:

Enquiries should be directed to A. Fedrizzi, www.mostlyquantum.org, +44 131 451 3649.

PhD in Experimental Quantum Networking (Heriot-Watt University)

Twisted Quantum Heterostructures

Two-dimensional moiré spin and exciton lattices will be engineered and investigated for applications in quantum simulators and quantum photonics.

Two-dimensional semiconductors, which can be easily combined to create entirely new materials, offer completely unique opportunities to design the electronic and optical properties of individual particles at the quantum level and engineer strong interactions between the particles. This project aims to design, fabricate, and characterise novel quantum devices based on the two-dimensional semiconductor platform with a particular goal of engineering and coherently controlling single spins and excitons in moiré superlattices to control their quantum interactions.

Contact: Prof. Brian D Gerardot, Heriot-Watt University – B.D.Gerardot@hw.ac.uk

Twisted Quantum Heterostructures (Heriot-Watt University)

Quantum theory of chiral light matter interactions

We are looking for a motivated student interested in working on the quantum mechanics of light matter interaction, in particular chiral matter.

Matter can be chiral, that is showing a lack of symmetry in its structure. Molecules in particular can exist in two forms which are mirror images of one another, and yet differ fundamentally in their chemical or biological function. The natural handedness of circularly polarised light can be used for probing and trapping molecules in a manner that distinguishes the mirror image forms. Even atoms, which are naturally not chiral, can be rendered susceptible to the handedness of light, making light a widely applicable tool when studying the effects of handedness in matter. On a more fundamental level, chirality is related to parity violation and hence the weak force. This is an interdisciplinary field of research which has seen much interest in recent years from chemists, biologists as well as theoretical and experimental physicists.

This project will explore signatures of chirality in light matter interaction by tailoring the structure of the light field. It is possible to create chiral optical lattices where neighbouring lattice sites interact differently with chiral matter. This promises to be an ideal tool to study chiral effects in many body physics and thermodynamics. The successful student will therefore have the opportunity to work on a range of topics on in quantum mechanics related to chiral light-matter interactions.

Contact: Dr. Jörg Götte (Joerg.Goette@glasgow.ac.uk) or Prof. Steve Barnett (Stephen.Barnett@glasgow.ac.uk)

Quantum theory of chiral light matter interactions (University of Glasgow)

Atomic spin-polarisations in vector light fields – building a portable magnetometer

The Optics Group at the University of Glasgow in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics offers a 3.5 year PhD studentship.  In this project you will develop and investigate inertial sensing with cold atoms, enhanced by vector vortex illumination.  The studentship benefits from the combine expertise offered by the Optics Group – a diverse and exciting research environment with focus on structured light, quantum and computational imaging, metamaterials and atom trapping, and Fraunhofer CAP – not-for-profit company specialising in application-oriented research with strong links to the photonics industry. In this PhD project you will build a “Portable one-shot magnetometer.” The unprecedented precision and reproducibility of atomic quantum states makes them ideal inertial sensors.  This project will use the precession of atomic spin polarisation to measure the magnitude and alignment of an external magnetic field.  Unlike conventional atomic magnetometers which require the time-dependent detection of this precession, we will illuminate an atomic vapour with vector vortex light to obtain a spatially varying signal from which we can determine the magnetic field. The project combines exploration of fundamental vectorial light-matter interaction, state-of-the-art light shaping and the development of a compact quantum technological instrument.  You will join a friendly and enthusiastic team working.

Applicants should have a first class Honours/Bachelor’s or an upper second class Master’s degree in Physics or Engineering. We will interview candidates as soon as they apply.

Please apply online via our Physics and Astronomy Graduate School https://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/physics/research/postgraduate/.

Contact: Dr Sonja Franke-Arnold, University of Glasgow – sonja.franke-arnold@glasgow.ac.uk

Atomic spin-polarisations in vector light fields - building a portable magnetometer (University of Glasgow)


Interested in applying? Email: physics-igsqt@strath.ac.uk