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Research Studentship in Quantum Technologies

University of Oxford - Department of Engineering Science

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Oxford
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: £17,668 stipend (tax-free maintenance grant)
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 29th September 2022
Closes: 9th December 2022
Reference: 23ENGEL_DG

3.5-year D.Phil. studentship 

Project: Solid-state spin qubits for nonlinear quantum optics

Supervisors: Prof Dorian Gangloff

Arrays of individually controllable qubits, such as atoms, interacting via activated electric dipole forces are amongst the most promising programmable quantum many-body systems. It is a natural platform to simulate intractable spin models and, by leveraging its programmability, to reach near-term quantum advantage for practical problems in computer science, machine learning, and sampling. It is also a platform for quantum nonlinear optics and optical quantum computing, where the long-range dipolar interactions between spin-based light matter nodes can be used to engineer quantum gates between spatially distinct photon busses, and non-trivial collective quantum states of qubit arrays.

Large-radius Rydberg states exhibit long-range van der Waals forces generating the interaction strength required for multi-qubit gates over several microns, whilst comfortably retaining optical addressability of individual qubits. Single neutral atoms in optical tweezers are a pioneering implementation of this idea. This is owing to the intrinsic versatility of a design based on optically controlled qubits in reconfigurable arrays, with quantum logic implemented via on-demand and tuneable Rydberg-blockade interactions. This project aims to implement this architecture in the solid-state by investigating a promising material platform.

High-purity crystal growth facilities, recent pioneering work on Rydberg excitons, and the quantum system engineering developed around solid-state spin-photon interfaces will coalesce to create this leap forward. This project will focus on the characterisation of synthetic crystals to achieve the largest possible Rydberg states by leveraging high-precision measurements from a state-of-the-art low-temperature spectroscopy facility. With crystal microfabrication, the project will develop localisation of excitons in microstructures, which can be engineered into arrays. Towards photonic and spin quantum bits, it will establish strong coupling of Rydberg excitons to microcavities and coherent control of long-lived exciton states.

This project offers the opportunity to undertake fundamental research in the field of quantum information science and engineering, involving elements of quantum optics, quantum control, materials science, and nanophotonics.

Eligibility

This studentship is funded through the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Training Partnership and is open to Home students (full award – home fees plus stipend). Full details of the eligibility requirements can be found on the UK Research and Innovation website.

Award Value

Course fees are covered at the level set for Home students (c. £8,965 p.a.). The stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) is c. £17,668 p.a. for the first year, and at least this amount for a further two and a half years.

Candidate Requirements

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • A first class honours degree in Engineering, Physics or Materials Science
  • Excellent English written and spoken communication skills

The following skills are also highly desirable:

  • Knowledge of Quantum Mechanics, Optics, and Solid-State Physics (at the advanced undergraduate level)
  • Programming experience (i.e. Matlab, Python, etc.)
  • Strong laboratory-based skills

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Prof Dorian Gangloff (dorian.gangloff@eng.ox.ac.uk).

Candidates must submit a graduate application form and are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria.  Details are available on the course page of the University website.

Please quote 23ENGEL_DG in all correspondence and in your graduate application.

Application deadline: noon on 9 December 2022

Start date: October 2023

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