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Research Studentship in Quantum Technologies

Research Studentship in Quantum Technologies

Project: Quantum interface engineering with solid-state spins and photons

3.5-year D.Phil. studentship 

Supervisors: Dr Dorian Gangloff

Engineered nanoscale systems that provide access to the microscopic — quantum — properties of matter are heralding a revolution in physics and technology. Control over single quantum objects, such as a single electron or a single photon, and over interactions between them provides the means to engineer the correlations that make quantum technologies a revolutionary advance over their current counterparts. Indeed, exploiting quantum correlations as a technological resource looks set to improve the efficacy and efficiency of information technologies with epoch-changing significance for sensing & measurement, computing, and communication. Within this context, interfaces between material and optical quantum bits will play a critical role in forming the inter-connects that allow for quantum correlations to be used on the scale that will make them useful.


Leading candidates for such interfaces include solid-state light emitters, such as semiconductor nanostructures (e.g. quantum dots) and point-defects in wide bandgap materials (e.g. diamond colour centers). Fabrication within waveguides or optical cavities places them as the brightest source of single photons of any physical system, while preserving state-of-the-art optical coherence properties. Furthermore, they are nanostructures where a single trapped electron can be manipulated by laser pulses and so act as perfect hosts to manipulate quantum information optically, and to entangle photonic and spin degrees of freedom. This single electron further interacts with a nuclear register within the host semiconductor lattice. The electron can thus serve as a coherent proxy to exchange quantum information between photons and nuclei: a tripartite coherent interface that constitutes a quantum link between high-energy optical photons and low-energy nuclear excitations, which combines the advantages of fast manipulation available in the optical domain for processing with the coherence of the nuclear domain for memory. This combined capability is key to reaching scalable quantum networking tasks, such as realising a quantum repeater.

This project will investigate a new generation of semiconductor quantum dots based lattice-matched growth techniques that promise a major improvement in spin quantum bit coherence properties. The overall research objective is to demonstrate that these quantum dots can serve as a quantum networking node, which requires showing simultaneously: high-efficiency photon collection, spin qubit control, and a nuclear quantum memory. The project then aims to deliver benchmarking results on a multitude of quantum protocols forming the backbone of a quantum communication and computing network, such as deterministic photon-photon quantum gates, and distribution and storage of entanglement.

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.


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. £8620 p.a.). The stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) is c. £15,609 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 (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 Dr Dorian Gangloff (

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 22ENGSQT_DG in all correspondence and in your graduate application.

Application deadline: noon on 3rd December 2021 (In line with the December admissions deadline, set by the University)

Start date: October 2022