Postdoctoral Research Fellow

University of Exeter - Physics

College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

The College wishes to recruit a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to support the work of Prof Saverio Russo (Physics) and Prof Monica F. Craciun (Engineering). This post is available for 36 months from 01/02/2017 to 01/02/2020. The aim of this project is to pioneer room temperature quantum electrical analogues of optical elements and circuits in atomically thin materials such as graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides.

The birth of quantum mechanics in physics was marked by the revolutionary concept that elementary quantum particles such as electrons also exhibit properties intrinsic to waves. The particle-wave duality was first captured by the work of de Broglie (Nobel Prize in Physics 1929) where characteristic parameters of a wave such as wavelength and frequency are related to the classical momentum and energy of a particle. This dual nature was confirmed experimentally by the observation of the apparent bending of particles travelling in free space around small obstacles. This diffraction of waves is a phenomenon commonly experienced in daily life for example when the sea waves appear to warp around obstacles or jetties, or when the diffraction of light off the fibres of deli meat results in iridescent colouration of its surface. Presently the ability to bend, guide, focus and more generally to manipulate waves such as light has marked a paradigm shift in fundamental science enabling the fast and secure exchange of information and communication as shown by the first quantum-secure bank transfer demonstrated in 2004 in Vienna (Austria).

Despite the cutting-edge advances on optical circuits and on the fundamental understanding of quantum mechanics, no electrical analogues to the diffraction or interference of waves have ever been demonstrated at room temperature in a table top experiment. In contrast, nowadays electronic devices are fully governed by the laws of classical physics known to give slow processing speed. Therefore, the observation of room temperature quantum mechanical processes such as quantum interference and diffraction of the electron waves would open a new research field finally leading to more efficient and secure quantum-protected manipulation and exchange of information. Demonstrating room temperature quantum electrical analogues of optical elements and circuits is the breakthrough sought by this project.

The post will include research duties ranging from fabrication to characterization of devices and co-supervision of undergraduate students with the lead academics.  The successful applicant will be able to present information on research progress and outcomes, communicate complex information, orally, in writing and electronically and prepare proposals and applications to external bodies.

Applicants will possess a relevant PhD and be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in the discipline and of research methods and techniques to work within established research programmes.

The starting salary will be from £33,943 up to £38,183 on Grade F, depending on qualifications and experience

For further information please contact Prof Saverio Russo, s.russo@exeter.ac.uk  or telephone +44-01392 725195.

For more information and to apply online please go to our website.

The College is working towards department Silver Athena SWAN awards as a commitment to providing equality of opportunity and advancing the representation of women in STEM/M subjects: science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

The University of Exeter is an equal opportunity employer which is 'Positive about Disabled People'. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented in the workforce.

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