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  Developing novel Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Methods for Pulsed Dipolar Spectroscopy and Quantum Information Processing


   Department of Chemistry

  , , ,  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

In the last decade significant improvements in the hardware available for Electron Paramagnetic Resonance measurements. The introduction of Arbitrary Waveform Generators that are used to allow extended and specific excitation profiles have expanded both the number of EPR experiments and the type of systems that can be studied.

However, EPR is still limited by the bandwidth of the resonator used and also the sensitivity of the spectrometer. In this project we will explore combining microwave (mw) pulses with radiofrequency (rf) pulses, generated at high rf frequencies of up to 1 GHz to excite off resonance transitions. Calculations have already shown how such methods could be implementable in Quantum Information Processing (QIP) algorithms and thus an aim of this work is to implement such methodologies.

We also aim to work outside the confines of the resonator bandwidth by utilizing light pulses; integrating laser pulsed into the EPR experiments to generate EPR active optically excited states, building on work looking at excited triplet states for measuring the relative positions of paramagnetic centres using light induced pulse dipolar spectroscopy methods to provide information on molecular structures (Methods in Enzymology, 2022, 666, 171-231). These methods are applicable to both biological and macromolecular chemical systems (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2023, 145, 1, 455–464) and could also be built on for implementation into QIP methods.

Finally, to improve the sensitivity of the experimental system we will implement cryogenic amplifiers. Experiments will be conducted and optimised at a range of frequencies, enabling the frequency offset between different EPR signatures to be controlled, which is an important parameter for potential QIP methods.

The techniques developed in this project will be applied to a range of different systems from molecular magnets systems that are candidate molecules for implementing QIP to biological systems that can only be produced in low concentrations or volumes which will benefit from enhancements in signal to noise gained through the use of cryogenic amplifiers.

This project is funded in part by the Royal Society and will involve collaborations with the University of Parma and Vilnius University in Lithuania.

The direction of the project can be driven by the interests of the student appointed and it will suit a student with interests in spectroscopy, analytical and physical methods with a background in Chemistry, Physics, Engineering or Natural Sciences.

The University of Manchester is a fantastic location for EPR research, with unique state-of-the-art facilities. Within the Photon Science Institute is housed the EPSRC funded National Research Facility for EPR (https://www.chemistry.manchester.ac.uk/epr/), of which Dr Bowen is a member. In addition, this project will be a collaboration with the University of Manchester Molecular Magnets Group (https://www.molmag.manchester.ac.uk/)

Information on the supervisory team can be found here:

Dr Alice Bowen: https://research.manchester.ac.uk/en/persons/alice.bowen

Prof. Eric McInnes

https://research.manchester.ac.uk/en/persons/eric.mcinnes

Prof. David Collison

https://research.manchester.ac.uk/en/persons/david.collison

Prof. Richard Winpenny

https://research.manchester.ac.uk/en/persons/richard.winpenny

Informal enquiries should be addressed to .

The duration of the PhD is 4 years and the proposed start date is 1st October 2023. Successful candidates may start as early as 18th September if they wish to attend the welcome week.

Eligibility

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2.1 honours degree or a master’s in a relevant science or engineering related discipline.

Before you apply

Please contact for informal discussions before you apply with a curriculum vitae.

This position will be advertised until the position is filled, so please apply at your earliest convenience.

How to apply

To be considered formally for this project you’ll need to complete a formal application through our online application portal.

When applying, you’ll need to specify the full name of this project, the name of your supervisor, details of your previous study, and names and contact details of two referees.

Your application will not be processed without all of the required documents submitted at the time of application, and we cannot accept responsibility for late or missed deadlines. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

If you have any questions about making an application, please contact our admissions team by emailing .

For more information, visit our funding page or search our funding database for specific scholarships, studentships and awards you may be eligible for. 

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact.

We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status 

We also support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles. We consider offering flexible study arrangements (including part-time subject to the agreement of the funder).

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Biological Sciences (4) Chemistry (6) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

This 4 year PhD project is fully funded for UK students with a stipend payable at the UKRI rate. Funded by the Royal Society and one year is funded by The Department of Chemistry as part Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship extension for Dr Bowen.
However, the University of Manchester has a range of additional scholarships, studentships and awards at university, faculty and department level, to support both UK and overseas postgraduate researchers. If you are an overseas student interested in this project or a similar project, please contact for informal discussions about other potential sources of funding.

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