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PhD Studentship: Developing Silicon Microchips for Ion Trap Quantum Computers

University of Sussex - Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Falmer
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,296
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 15th April 2019
Closes: 26th May 2019

A 3.5 year PhD position is available in in the Ion Quantum Technology Group in the Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Sussex. Ideally you should be able to start in early 2019. The position is part of the UK National Quantum Technologies programme. The position consists of current UK/EU fees and a yearly stipend of £ £14296 which can be supplemented by tutoring. The position also includes an annual travel allowance. You should have a physics, or related degree.

Ion microchips are the core of any trapped-ion quantum computer. We recently published the blueprint for constructing a large scale quantum computer including specialized design specifications for microchips. The group produces state-of-the-art microchips and holds the world record for a number of chip specifications. You will further develop, together with industrial partners, ion microchips for the quantum computing demonstrators at Oxford and Sussex. In particular, you will develop microchips featuring arrays of ion traps giving rise to x-junctions and as well as geometries suited for superior optical access. In addition, this work will include the development of through silicon vertical interconnects, through holes for high optical access and on-chip features such as photon detectors, and integrated digital-to-analogue converters. This project involves designing, fabricating, characterizing and operating complex quantum microchips to be used in trapped-ion quantum computing, simulation and sensing quantum devices. The work will focus on silicon manufacturing. 

The Ion Quantum Technology Group is one of the world’s leading centres for the implementation of trapped-ion quantum computing and simulation. The group is part of the UK Quantum Technology Hub on Networked Quantum Technologies and the UK Quantum Technology Hub for Sensors and Metrology. The group currently spans 5 staff scientists, 2 electronics engineers, 14 PhD students and 6 undergraduate students.

The city of Brighton & Hove has everything - sun, sea, brilliant clubs, great places to eat, fabulous shops, a truly cosmopolitan vibe and is located only 50min from central London. Located on the beach, Brighton boasts beautiful seaside views and beaches, boating, sports and beach activities. The South Downs provide breathtaking views, tranquil walks and plenty of opportunities for mountain biking, hiking or picnics.

You can find out more about the group at:

Some recent media coverage about the group’s work can be found here: The Telegraph, Nature, Financial Times, PC Authority, BBC, Sky News Tonight With Dermot Murnaghan, VICE, and Daily Mail

For more information, please email the head of group,

Prof Winfried Hensinger

(Professor of Quantum Technologies)


To apply please email a CV, and your degree results as soon as possible or the latest by 26/5/19 to the email address above. Note in order to qualify for this position you must have resided in the UK for three years prior to the start of the position. If you are from outside the UK, you may apply for a non-funded position in the group, however, you will need to have a funding source for tuition fees and living expenses.

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