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2D materials and meta-materials in the quantum regime.

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Daniele Faccio
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Meta-materials and in general 2D materials (for example graphene and transition metal dichalcogenide mono-layers) have been applied in may areas of exciting research over the past years, pushing the boundaries of our knowledge of the behaviour of matter at the microscopic scale. There is also significant interest in their nonlinear optical properties, which are naturally also determined and defined by the 2D geometry. Most studies have been limited to harmonic generation but there are significant opportunities also at the interface with quantum optics. Examples are fundamental studies of the so-called “dynamical Casimir effect” (the generation of light from the vacuum state due to an oscillating surface) or analogue gravity studies where these materials can be used to create artificial space-time geometries and then study the behaviour of quantum states in these curved geometries.
This project is strictly experimental and will involve using lasers and light to modulate, control and probe the properties of a range of 2D materials that are available at our facility.

Please see our research group website for more information and recent publications:

We will consider student with good undergraduate with a Physics background. Prospective students should also have a recent interest in experimental research. All tuition fees are paid and we offer an enhanced stipend for 3.5 years. Funding restrictions mean that only UK (or EU citizens that have carried out the last 3 years of their studies in the UK) can be considered.

Heriot-Watt’s Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences is a thriving environment for PhD research, having a total of 160 academics, postdocs, PhD and EngD students working full-time in the general photonics field. Heriot-Watt is based in a modern environment on the outskirts of Edinburgh, with excellent transport links to the centre of one of Europe’s most exciting cities. Heriot-Watt was recently awarded (November 2013) an EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Applied Photonics, cementing Heriot-Watt’s reputation as a centre of excellence in photonics, and providing PhD students with an even more attractive environment for study, as well as enhanced training opportunities. IPaQS is one of the main partners in the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) whose Graduate School provides added value to PhD student education in Scottish Physics Departments, principally in terms of inter-University video-linked taught courses and transferable skills tuition.

Funding Notes

All tuition fees are paid and we offer an enhanced stipend for 3.5 years. Funding restrictions mean that only UK citizens (or EU citizens that have carried out the last 3 years of their studies in the UK) are eligible to be considered.


Please supply 2 reference letters or 2 reference contact names.

How good is research at Heriot-Watt University in Physics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 20.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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