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  CDT-QTE: Optical micro-resonator design for enhanced quantum processing


   Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

   Saturday, August 31, 2024  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Supervisory Team: Dr Peter Horak, Dr James Gates

Project description: This project is part of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantum Technology Engineering at the University of Southampton. In addition to the research project outlined below you will receive substantial training in scientific, technical, and commercial skills.

We are looking for a PhD student to join our interdisciplinary team of students, postdocs, and senior researchers developing micro-optical devices for advancing quantum technologies.

Many quantum technologies, such as quantum computing, quantum communication, and quantum sensing, often rely on micro-optical components to couple the internal quantum states of matter (e.g. atoms or ions) to photons for the preparation, transmission, and read-out of quantum information. This matter-light interaction can be enhanced by optical resonators where light is trapped between two spherical mirrors. We have recently shown that using specially designed, non-spherical mirrors can significantly enhance the performance of such resonators, leading to faster quantum information processing, higher bit rates, or enhanced quantum sensing.

In this project you will help to advance this new paradigm of non-spherical micro-optics towards a practical quantum technology. You will perform computer modelling and simulations in close collaboration with fabricators and experimentalists. Potential areas of research include:

Design and simulation of optical resonators that focus single photons into microscale spots for strong interaction with single atoms or ions.

Optimisation of such designs for strong performance even when allowing for realistic fabrication tolerances.

Freeform micro-optical lenses and mirrors to efficiently couple photons emitted from a particle into a single-mode optical fibre.

Investigation of machine learning tools for micro-optics design.

If you have an interest in photonics, quantum technology, and computer-based modelling, you would be highly suitable for this project. You will benefit from our world-leading expertise in these fields and enjoy working in a highly supportive environment in our group and collaboration with partner groups across the University of Southampton and around the country.

If you are interested, please contact the supervisor for more information: Peter Horak 

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: 31 August 2024.

Applications will be considered in the order that they are received, the position will be considered filled when a suitable candidate has been identified.

Funding: We offer a range of funding opportunities for both UK and international students, including Bursaries and Scholarships. For more information please visit PhD Scholarships | Doctoral College | University of Southampton Funding will be awarded on a rolling basis, so apply early for the best opportunity to be considered.

How To Apply

Apply online: HERE Select programme type (Research), Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, next page select “PhD Quantum Tech Eng”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor.

Applications should include:

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts/Certificates to date

For further information please contact: 


Computer Science (8) Physics (29)

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