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PhD in Engineering - Superconducting readout electronics for infrared single-photon imaging


College of Science and Engineering

, Sunday, January 31, 2021 Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
Glasgow United Kingdom Electrical Engineering Nanotechnology Other

About the Project

The School of Engineering at the University is seeking a highly motivated graduate to undertake an exciting 3.5-year PhD project entitled:
Superconducting readout electronics for infrared single-photon imaging
This is a QuantIC industrial PhD studentship and It will provide an exciting and rewarding training opportunity for a doctoral student to work at the cutting edge of superconducting electronics and detectors for quantum technologies. The project will be jointly hosted by the Quantum Sensors group at the University of Glasgow, and the UK National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

This Industrial PhD project will be supervised by Dr Alessandro Casaburi, a Lecturer in the James Watt School of Engineering and a pioneer in superconducting single-photon sensors and superconducting electronics in quantum technologies. The student will design, fabricate and test innovative superconducting readout electronics aimed at control and readout of large superconducting photon-counting arrays operating. The student will become a trained user of the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre at the University of Glasgow, and will benefit from state-of-the-art low temperature test, metrology and optical characterization facilities at both the University of Glasgow and NPL. This is an exciting opportunity for an ambitious student interested in applied quantum technologies at the interface of physics, nanotechnology and engineering.

This project strengthen’s QuantIC’s strategic partnership with NPL the UK’s National Metrology Institute with a pivotal role in the UK National Quantum Technology Programme. A range of industrial end-users already have been identified (Chromacity Ltd., Kelvin Nanotechnology, ID Quantique UK, Sumitomo, Chase Research Cryogenics, Oxford Instruments) and as interest grows we expect to forge larger scale Partnership Resource, Innovate UK and ISCF bids leveraging this studentship.

The Quantum Sensors group is the UK’s leading research group on superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs). These devices set the gold standard for low noise, high speed, high efficiency single photon detection in broad spectrum of quantum technology applications. Key application areas include single photon LIDAR, ghost imaging and quantum secure communications. In QuantIC phase 2 the task is to scale up SNSPDs to large format arrays and extending photon counting performance from near to mid infrared wavelengths. This effort is also supported through a EPSRC Programme Grant SPEXS Single photons – expanding the Spectrum (EP/S026428/1 £5M 2020-2024) and a EPSRC standard grant Control Interface for QUantum Integrated Technology Arrays -CIQUITA (EP/T025743/1 £971k 2020-2023).

NPL is the UK’s National Metrology Institute, located at Teddington, UK. NPL has close engagement with all four Hubs across the UK National Quantum Technology Programme. NPL has a overarching interest in quantum metrology standards and benchmarking emerging quantum technologies. NPL’s Quantum Technologies Department has world-class infrastructure for superconducting device characterization led by Dr Jonathan Williams, plus significant expertise in single-photon measurements.

Training The student will be trained as part of the cohort for the QuantIC industrial studentships commencing January 2020. In addition, the student will receive specialist training in nanofabrication, cryogenic instrumentation, low temperature testing and benchmarking of single-photon detectors benefiting from the world leading expertise of the Quantum Sensors Group Glasgow and NPL.

Engagement with the UK National Quantum Technology Programme The student will be closely involved in the UK National Quantum Technology programme through the QuantIC hub. The student will make regular visits to NPL for collaborative experiments and to engage with NPL’s wide-ranging Quantum technologies effort. The student will participate fully in QuantIC scientific and industry partner meetings, and national events. The student will have a key role in identifying and consolidating new links with potential collaborators and end users across the UK quantum technology landscape.

Dissemination The student will be supported in participating in UK and international conferences spanning cryogenics, superconductivity, photonics and quantum technologies (CLEO, SPIE, SPW, ASC etc.). The student will be supported in publishing key outputs in high ranking peer-reviewed journals.

Hot to apply: Applicants should send a CV, including contact details, to Dr Alessandro Casaburi:


Funding Notes

This is an industrial studentship supported by NPL, QuantIC and the James Watt School of Engineering at University of Glasgow.
It will cover home tuition fees and provide a stipend at the UKRI rate for 3.5 years (£15,285 for session 2020/2021).

First class Bachelors or Masters degree in Electrical Engineering, Physics or Materials Science. Additional research experience is welcomed.

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