PhD Studentship: Quantum Networking with Atomic Ions

University of Sussex - Department of Physics & Astronomy

A PhD position is available in the Ion Trap Cavity-QED and Molecular Physics Group in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Sussex and the National Physical Laboratory.

The project unites two distinct areas of quantum information processing, single ions stored in radio-frequency traps, and single photons in optical fibres. In both fields, there have been spectacular advances recently. Strings of ions are presently the most successful implementation of quantum computing, with elementary quantum algorithms and quantum simulations realized. Photons are used to distribute entanglement over ever increasing distances. The principal challenge in the field is to enhance quantum processing power by scaling up current devices to larger quantum systems. We are pursuing one of the most promising strategies, distributed quantum computation, in which multiple small-scale ion processors are interlinked by exchanging photonic quantum bits via optical fibres. It requires a coherent quantum interface between ions and photons, mapping ionic to photonic quantum states and vice versa. To maximise fidelity and success rate of the scheme, the interaction of ions and photons must take place in a microscopic optical cavity with high finesse, a technology in which the Ion Trap Cavity-QED and Molecular Physics group in Sussex has a leading international role. To achieve ultra-small trap and cavity volumes, we use the fibre ends as cavity mirrors and tightly integrate them into the ion trap structure.

The project is within the Quantum Technology Hub for Networked Quantum Information Technologies and in collaboration with the National Physical Laboratory.

The first year of the project is located at the NPL in London to set up and test a novel ion trap design which is based on micro-fabricated structures. In years two and three, the ion tap structure will be combined with laser machined fibre cavities and the ion-cavity coupling will be employed to demonstrate a high fidelity ion-photon entanglement at the University of Sussex. The project provides hands-on training from the construction of state-of-the-art ion trap quantum computing systems through to the implementation of quantum state transfers and entanglement generation.

£14,296 per annum tax-free bursary and waiver of UK/EU fees for 3 years.
The award includes an additional training grant of £1250 p.a. for short courses, books, travel, conferences etc.

Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, a UK Bachelor degree in Physics at first or upper second class, and/or a UK Master's degree in Physics, or equivalent non-UK qualifications. A good standard of written and spoken English is essential.

The costs covered are for UK/ EU student fees only of £4121 p.a. Overseas (ex-EU) students can apply but must have a plan for raising the additional sums required for the higher fees of £18300 p.a

Application: Apply through the Sussex on-line system
State in the Funding Information section of the application form that you would like to apply for this studentship.

Timetable: Early application is advised. The very latest we can accept an application is 29th January 2017, but the position is likely to be filled before this date. Start date at Sussex: May 2017

Contact Informal enquiries should be sent to Dr Matthias Keller (
Enquiries about your eligibility, the progress of your application and admission to Sussex, should be sent to Rebecca Foster:

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