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PhD Studentship: Quantum Visualisation with Single Photon Emitters: Theory and Experimentation

Queen's University Belfast

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Belfast
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: £18,622 annual stipend + full-time tuition fees + support grant for travel and attending conferences
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 5th March 2024
Expires: 4th May 2024

Quantum information encoding, manipulation, transmission, and detection rely on 'quantum emitters', which emit individual quanta of light energy called photons. These emitters, typically microscopic systems such as atoms, ions, and molecules, can also appear as atomic impurities within solid-state materials like diamond, termed vacancy centres, which undergo transitions between different energy levels, emitting photons in the process. Solid-state quantum emitters are crucial for developing compact and scalable devices that excel in speed, size, energy efficiency, and environmental footprint. However, they face challenges such as dephasing, inhomogeneous broadening, and non-radiative decay caused by local disruptions within the solid-state host. These challenges hinder quantum coherence and limit scalability for quantum technology applications.

This PhD project aims to harness the capabilities of solid-state emitters for integration with photonic devices and connecting them through an optical channel known as a waveguide. When coupled with the waveguide, emitters can interact with guided electromagnetic modes, exchanging energy and information. The term ‘cooperativity’ signifies the extent of their interaction with the guided mode and the mode’s capability to mediate interactions between distant individual emitters [1-3]. The research objective is to investigate the degree to which cooperative interactions among waveguide-coupled emitters enable them to withstand external decoherence effects in solid-state hosts. This investigation aims to enhance entanglement generation between solid-state qubits, enabling scalable quantum networking. Additionally, it seeks to facilitate interaction among individual emitters for synchronized emission events, providing benefits in quantum sensing and metrology. This includes developing experimental and computational tools tailored for the seamless integration of single emitters into nanoscale optical waveguides. It also involves consideration of quantum emitters such as vacancy centres in nanodiamonds, two-dimensional materials, and semiconductor nanocrystals, as well as architectures for chip integration.

The PhD project offers a distinctive opportunity to acquire a diverse range of experiences in a cutting-edge research environment and develop expertise in quantum and nanoscale optics including nanophotonic design, modelling, and characterisation of quantum optical systems, as well as low-temperature spectroscopy, single photon measurements, nanofabrication, and laser scanning confocal microscopy. The research is multi-disciplinary, involving quantum optics, solid-state physics, materials science, and quantum information processing.

The project aligns with Smart Nano NI and aims to promote industry engagement, potentially collaborating with companies such as Causeway Sensors, Cirdan, Seagate, and Yelo to explore intersections between fundamental research and industry applications.

For informal inquiries, please feel free to contact Dr. Hamidreza Siampour (h.siampour@qub.ac.uk) and Prof. Mauro Paternostro (m.paternostro@qub.ac.uk) at the Centre for Quantum Materials & Technologies, School of Mathematics & Physics, Queen’s University Belfast.

How to apply

Please submit your application via the Direct Applications Portal.

Funding Information

A fully funded PhD studentship (£18,622 annual stipend + full-time tuition fees + support grant for travel and attending conferences) is available for UK residents.

References

  1. Siampour, H. et al. Light: Science & Applications 7, 61 (2018).
  2. Cardenas-Lopez, S. et al. Physical Review Letters 131, 033605 (2023).
  3. Siampour, H. et al. npj Quantum Information 9, 15 (2023).
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