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EPSRC DTP studentship: Förster transfer in quantum dots

Cardiff School of Physics and Astronomy

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Dr E Muljarov , Prof W W Langbein No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

This project in theoretical physics aims to study the coherent dynamics and resonant Förster transfer of optical excitations (excitons) in single and multiple semiconductor quantum dots (QDs). Such QDs play the role of isolated qubits, and their controlled coupling is of paramount importance for quantum technology applications. Moreover, the study of Förster transfer is highly relevant to understanding the key biological process of photosynthesis on a quantum-mechanical level. Taking inspiration from nature, an enhanced understanding of Förster transfer could enable development of highly efficient artificial light harvesting devices and novel solar cells.

The purpose of project includes: (i) finding the exact solution for the phonon-assisted exciton Förster transfer between remote, i.e. electronically decoupled QDs; (ii) a study of optical de-coherence and population dynamics in a system of Förster-coupled QDs interacting with the same or different acoustic phonon environment; (iii) a further investigation of how Förster transfer is modified if the QDs are embedded in an optical microcavity and strongly interact with an electro-magnetic cavity mode.

Methods: To treat the Förster transfer between QDs coupled to the phonon bath, a novel and powerful approach based on the Trotter decomposition will be applied. This approach has been recently developed in the group of Egor Muljarov for obtaining an asymptotically exact solution to the dynamics of a QD-cavity system [1] and now will be applied to the new system.

The student will gain knowledge and experience in the areas of many-body theory, quantum optics and QD-cavity quantum electrodynamics. Various methods of theoretical physics will be employed, including diagram techniques, density matrix approach with Lindblad dissipators, Trotter’s decomposition and matrix cumulant expansion.

The project forms part of a larger EPSRC funded research activity at Cardiff School of Physics and Astronomy and will benefit from a close collaboration with an experimental research team lead by Wolfgang Langbein, possessing a unique experimental technique of heterodyne spectral interferometry for measuring coherence in quantum dots systems. Comparing theory with measured optical data, fundamental mechanisms of the Förster transfer and coherent coupling of QDs will be understood and important parameters of the experimentally investigated systems will be extracted for predictive modelling of QDs embedded in complex quantum circuits.

How to Apply:

Applicants should submit an application for postgraduate study via the Cardiff University webpages ( including:

• an upload of your CV
• a personal statement/covering letter
• two references
• current academic transcripts

Applicants should select Doctor of Philosophy, with a start date of October 2020.

In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select "I will be applying for a scholarship / grant" and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from EPRSC DTP. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an interview in April.

Candidates should hold a good bachelor’s degree (first or upper second-class honours degree) or a MSc degree in Physics or a related subject.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent).

Funding Notes

Start date October 2020. 3.5 years Full Time.

Tuition fees at the home/EU rate (£4,407 in 2020/21) and an annual stipend equivalent to current Research Council rates (£15,285 stipend for academic year 2020/21), plus support for travel/conferences/consumables.

This studentship is open to Home or EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of the studentship. Other EU students may also be eligible for a limited number of full awards


[1] Morreau, Muljarov, Phys.Rev.B 100, 115309 (2019).
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