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Bio-inspired quantum-enhanced light harvesting (EPS2020/22)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, February 28, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Bio-inspired nanostructures are ideal candidates for quantum-engineered antennae. This project aims to identify ways of harnessing the interplay of quantum effects and dissipation to underpin next-generation technologies for light-harvesting.

Harvesting and distributing energy are two of the major challenges faced by society. In Nature, these processes are crucial for all forms of life, and have been fine-tuned within living organisms for hundreds of millions of years. On the atomic scale, energy is quantised, e.g. as a photon of light, and its behaviour is governed by quantum mechanics. Taking inspiration from the ingenious solutions found in Nature, in this project you will explore novel ways of harnessing quantum effects in artificial, quantum-engineered molecular devices. This will involve applying and deriving suitable open quantum systems approaches for modelling the properties of quantum many body systems in realistic condensed matter environments.

This project aims to contribute to the quest of realising highly efficient energy harvesters to replace state-of-the-art photovoltaics and offer a versatile and sustainable platform for generating green energy. See http://qtt.eps.hw.ac.uk for more information.


All applicants must have or expect to have a 1st class MChem, MPhys, MSci, MEng or equivalent degree by Autumn 2020. Selection will be based on academic excellence and research potential, and all short-listed applicants will be interviewed (in person or by Skype). This scholarship is only open to UK/EU applicants who meet UK residency requirements set out by EPSRC.

Closing Date

All applications must be received by 28th February 2020. All successful candidates should usually expect to start in September/October 2020.

How to Apply

Apply Online - https://hwacuk.elluciancrmrecruit.com/Admissions/Pages/Login.aspx

When applying through the Heriot-Watt on-line system please ensure you provide the following information:
(a) in ‘Study Option’
You will need to select ‘Edinburgh’ and ‘Postgraduate Research’. ‘Programme’ presents you with a drop-down menu. Choose Physics PhD and select September 2020 for study option (this can be updated at a later date if required)
(b) in ‘Research Project Information’

You will be provided with a free text box for details of your research project. Enter Title and Reference number of the project for which you are applying and also enter the supervisor’s name.

This information will greatly assist us in tracking your application.

Please note that once you have submitted your application, it will not be considered until you have uploaded your CV and transcripts.

Funding Notes

The annual stipend will be approx. £15k and full fees will be paid for a period of 3.5 years.

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