PhD Position – Ion-Photon Entanglement

University of Sussex - Department of Physics & Astronomy

A fully funded 3.5 year PhD position is available in the Ion Trap Cavity-QED and Molecular Physics (ITCM) Group in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Sussex. The project is within the Networked Quantum Information Technologies Hub and in collaboration with Dr Peter Horak (University of Southampton).

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 the 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 an efficient quantum interface between ions and photons, mapping ionic to photonic quantum states and vice versa. To maximise fidelity and the success rate of the scheme, the interaction of ions and photons must take place in an optical cavity with high finesse, a technology in which the Ion Trap Cavity-QED and Molecular Physics group in Sussex has a leading role. The aim of this project is to investigate, optimise and evaluate schemes to generate entangled states between trapped ions and photons in different implementations such as polarisation, time bin or phase decoding. For this, cavity assisted Raman transitions will be employed to transfer the ion’s state onto the photon in a deterministic way. The project is mainly experimental and will be conducted in the research labs in Sussex, the theoretical study of the schemes and possible developments of novel schemes will be pursued in collaboration with Peter Horak, University of Southampton.

Award Amount

£14,553 (2017/18) per annum tax-free bursary and waiver of UK/EU fees each year for 3.5 years, as well as funding for research training and travel. Additional funding may also be available to support placements with outside partners for a further period of six months in total.


Applicants should hold, or expect to hold, a UK undergraduate degree in physics or a related subject. Due to funding restrictions, the studentship is open to UK and EU resident students only. However, we also welcome applications from self-funded non-EU students


Online applications at:

State in the Funding section of the application form that you are applying for the "PhD Studentships in Experimental Atomic Physics."


Application deadline: 1st March 2018

Early application is advised. The studentship will be allocated as soon as a suitable candidate is found.

Start date at Sussex: September 2018

Further information

The award includes an additional training grant of £1650 p.a. for short courses, books, travel, conferences etc.

Contact details

For further information about the project, please get in touch with Prof Matthias Keller.

For practical questions about the application process and/or eligibility for funding, please contact:

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