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EPSRC DTP PhD Studentship in Creating an artificial optical material to filter single photon states for quantum technologies

   Cardiff School of Physics and Astronomy

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  Dr SS Oh, Dr A Bennett, Dr John Hadden  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The School of Physics and Astronomy at Cardiff University are delighted to offer fully funded EPSRC studentships starting in October 2023. 

Project Summary

This exciting project is to develop a new way of integrating quantum optic elements using artificial materials called metasurfaces. The successful applicant will work in an interdisciplinary team including physicists and engineers to design, fabricate and characterise novel optical devices for emerging quantum photonic technologies. The student will acquire valuable skills in numerical simulation, fabrication and quantum technologies during the project.

 In particular, this project will focus on building a new type of interferometer based on topological metasurfaces to manipulate the modes of photons. For practical implementations of the metasurfaces, dielectric materials such as Silica and Titanium Oxide will be used. This interferometer will be used to demonstrate the two-photon quantum interference, which causes pairs of identical photons to leave the interferometer together, despite the fact there is no interaction between photons. This apparent interaction - termed Hong-Ou-Mandel interference is at the heart of proposals for linear optical quantum computing and photonic networking.

 Despite the splendid advances in quantum optics in recent years, there remain many challenges for quantum optical networks. One key challenge is to scale down complex and bulky optical elements to miniaturised integrated optical devices while keeping the same functionalities or developing new ones. Metasurfaces present an exciting opportunity in this area, having already been successfully used in flat lenses sensing the chirality (handedness) of light and are now entering the field of quantum optics by realizing multiply entangled quantum states.

 In this project, the student will build a metasurface-based Hong-Ou-Mandel interferometer that will enable the control of this important quantum effect within an ultra-thin structure. This will also allow for a higher degree of freedom in controlling and implementing multiple functions such as polarization changes or phase shifts. Further, coupling between elements of the metasurface will use novel topological effects such as edge modes to allow new way of measuring single photons in far-field optical imaging.

 Research Environment

The student will join the group of Dr Sang Soon Oh and will work closely with the groups of Prof Anthony J. Bennett and Dr John P Hadden. The simulations and design will be supported by our industrial partner PhotonDesigns Ltd with their electromagnetic wave simulations tools. The student will join a cohort of students entering the Quantum Materials and Technologies Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Hub (QuMaT IDTH) and will benefit from bespoke cohort-level training activities, supervision and mentorship, as well as the cross-disciplinary working relationships fostered by the hub. The QuMaT IDTH is a centre for the convergence of developing quantum technologies in which the student will benefit from opportunities for professional development and networking.

How to apply: 

Applications should be received no later than 24/02/23. We reserve the right to close this advert before the deadline should sufficient applications be received. All applications should be submitted via the online application portal, SIMS: 

Applicants should apply for postgraduate study via the Cardiff University webpages including: 

• your academic CV 

• a personal statement/covering letter 

• two references, at least one of which should be academic 

• Your degree certificates and transcripts to date. 

In the "Research Proposal" section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project. 

In the funding section, please select that you will not be self-funding and write that the source of funding will be “EPSRC DTP” 

The typical academic requirement is a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 2:1 in a relevant discipline. We also welcome applications from non-traditional candidates. 

 Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS) ( 


EPSRC DTP studentships are available to home and international students. Up to 30% of our cohort can comprise international students, once the limit has been reached, we are unable to make offers to international students. 

We are still accepting applications from international applicants.  

International students will not be charged the fee difference between the UK and international rate. Applicants should satisfy the UKRI eligibility requirements. 

Cardiff University is committed to support students from a range of backgrounds and circumstances. Where needed, we will work with you to take into consideration reasonable project adaptations (for example to support caring responsibilities, disabilities, other significant personal circumstances) as well as flexible working and part‐time study requests, to enable greater access to a PhD. All our supervisors support us with this aim, so please feel comfortable in discussing further with the listed PhD project supervisor to see what is feasible. 

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive environment for all. We welcome applications from all members of the global community irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender identity, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. 

We welcome applications for both full and part-time study and from candidates with non-traditional academic backgrounds. For further information about modes of study, please contact us. 


Applicants are reminded to submit all relevant documents (transcripts, supporting statement, etc) by the deadline. Due to the volume of applications received, incomplete applications will not be considered. 

Funding Notes

The studentship funded by the EPSRC DTP is for 3.5 years and covers tuition fees, an annual tax-free living stipend of in line with UKRI minimum rates (currently £17,668) and includes access to a Research Training Support Grant (currently £4000).  
If you have a disability you may be entitled to a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) on top of your studentship.  

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