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EPSRC DTP PhD Studentship in Quantum Efficiency Metrology of Solution-Processed Quantum Dot Optoelectronics

   Cardiff School of Physics and Astronomy

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  Dr Bo Hou, Prof W W Langbein  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

A fundamental figure of merit of quantum technology devices is their quantum efficiency. However, a quantum efficiency metrology standard of solution-processed quantum devices is still missing, which results in quantum devices to be mischaracterised, yielding to invalid quantum efficiency results being reported.[1-3] The main goal of this studentship will be to generate systematic quantum efficiency characterisation metrologies to quantify the performance of emerging solution-processed quantum dot solar cells and LEDs, with a particular focus on providing solutions for standardising characterisation protocols for measuring the quantum efficiency in these quantum devices. These new types of quantum materials and energy conversion devices are expected to provide energy harvesting and lighting devices with high efficiency and low carbon footprints.

We would like to work with an enthusiastic PhD student to develop a deep understanding of i) interface physics which is crucial for the growth of quantum dot layers; ii) device physics (external and external quantum efficiency, light extraction efficiency, multiple exciton generation and multiple photon absorption) which is essential for realising quantum photonics devices. At the end of their PhD, they should have generated a protocol for measuring the quantum efficiency of quantum dot solar cells and LEDs and contribute solutions to metrology standardisation for solution-processed quantum dot energy harvesting and lighting devices, which are also areas for high-impact publications.

Research Environment

This studentship is based on a newly formed IDTH Quantum Materials and Technology Hub (QuMAT). The student will join into a cohort and the cohort approach will benefit students who come with different backgrounds ranging from quantum materials physics to quantum technological engineering.

This studentship will connect diverse fields in the physical sciences hitherto considered isolated, playing to NPL and Cardiff’s strengths in quantum science and metrology. NPL has world-leading expertise in quantum materials and metrology technologies, including developing that expertise to deliver technological standard applications. This studentship will facilitate a collaboration of NPL’s and Cardiff ‘s quantum efficiency research (RIF-funded Quantum Efficiency Hub led by Dr Bo Hou), enabling future success with grants in a range of the 34 UKRI priority areas which stretch beyond the EPSRC remit.

Training and Development Opportunities

The student will be trained in advanced optics and electronics techniques, fundamental knowledge in colloidal physics, semiconductor physics and electronic engineering, and practical experiences using cleanroom facilities, NPL facilities and ultrafast lasers. Equipped with these skills, the student will be highly competitive for careers in both industry and academia.

By way of a cohort, the student will also have the opportunity to interact and discuss problems, share ideas and deliver new solutions to various physical problems. This will help the student to quickly grasp cutting-edge science and soft skills (such as communications, negotiation, and team working) via excellent cohort training and collaborations.

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


• 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.


1. Snaith, H. Nature Photon 6, 337–340 (2012).
2. International standard, 2019, IEC 60747-5-8: - Test method of optoelectronic efficiencies of light emitting diodes (from NPL)
3. International standard, 2019, IEC 60747-5-9: Test method of the internal quantum efficiency based on the temperature-dependent electroluminescence (from NPL)

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