Recent advances in semiconductor nano-technology lead to a new generation of robust controllable structures where manipulation of coupling between light and matter can be performed on a submicrometer scale. In these structures novel quasiparticles-polaritons, which are a mixture of light and matter (electrons), can be created. Giant polariton-polariton interactions may results in a number of phenomena ranging from superfluidity of light, ultra-low power self-localised wavepackets (solitons) to generation of single photons and entangled photon pairs. Polariton physics in microcavities and waveguides is very topical research which may find future applications in quantum and nonlinear optical signal processing, where light is controlled by light of very small intensity and on a very short timescale. A particular emphasis in this project will be placed on optical experimental studies with the aim to control temporal and spatial phase information, and spin and quantum statistical properties of polaritons in different geometries. These fundamental polariton properties will be addressed in various nanophotonic semiconductor structures based on GaAs, thin films of Cu2O and 2D materials of transition metal dichalcogenides, paving the way towards development of novel optically active miniature devices.
A successful candidate will join a well-funded and very active research group with a world-wide reputation for excellence (https://ldsd.group.shef.ac.uk/research/polaritons/). The group possesses a wide range of modern equipment to conduct advanced quantum optics experiments. During the project the student will also obtain full access to a state-of-the-art clean room facilities available in Sheffield.
‘Science Graduate School: As a PhD student in one of the science departments at the University of Sheffield, you’ll be part of the Science Graduate School – a community of postgraduate researchers working across biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and psychology. You’ll get access to training opportunities designed to support your career development by helping you gain professional skills that are essential in all areas of science. You’ll be able to learn how to recognise good research and research behaviour, improve your communication abilities and experience technologies that are used in academia, industry and many related careers. Visit http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/sgs to learn more.