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PhD Studentship on Quantum Processor Development

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, March 10, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

A fully funded 3.5 year PhD position is available in the Ion Trap Cavity-QED and Molecular Physics (ITCM) Group in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Sussex. The project is within the Networked Quantum Information Technologies Hub.

£14,777 (2018-19) per year tax-free bursary plus the waiver of UK/EU fees each year for 3.5 years. Full-time study.

This amount can be supplemented by tutoring.

The position includes an additional yearly travel allowance for attending conferences and workshops.

PhD project
This project unites two distinct areas of quantum information processing: single ions stored in radio-frequency traps and single photons in optical fibres. Both fields have seen spectacular advances in recent years. Strings of ions are presently the most successful implementation of quantum computing, with elementary quantum algorithms and quantum simulations realised. Photons are used to distribute entanglement over ever increasing distances.
The principal challenge in the field is to enhance quantum processing power by scaling up current devices to larger quantum systems. We are pursuing one of the most promising strategies, distributed quantum computation, in which multiple small-scale ion processors are interlinked by exchanging photonic quantum bits via optical fibres. This requires novel ion trap structures that facilitate high-performance quantum computation and a photonic interconnect for networking. To create a high efficiency ion-photon interconnect for networking, we use miniature optical cavities. The Ion Trap Cavity-QED and Molecular Physics group in Sussex has a leading role in this field.

The aim of this project is to design, build and test a compact ion based quantum information processor. It consists of a linear ion trap with several separate trapping regions in which the ions can be loaded, cooled and quantum information processing can be performed. In addition, the structure contains a trapping region in which an optical micro-cavity is employed as a quantum interconnect between different quantum processors. The project involves the simulation of the ion trapping structure and the ion dynamic in the ion trap as well as the shuttling between different trapping regions. The optimised trapping structure will then be fabricated using micro-fabrication techniques and characterised. The transfer of ions between the various trapping regions and the quantum interconnect will be tested.

Skills and training:
An important part of this PhD project is the skills development and training. Local training through lecture courses, transferable skills training modules and practical training in the laboratory will be complemented by SEPNet wide training events. These include workshops and training schools.

Detailed eligibility criteria
Applicants should hold, or expect to hold, a UK undergraduate degree in physics or engineering. Due to funding restrictions, the studentship is open to UK and EU resident students only. However, we also welcome applications from self-funded non-EU students.

Online applications at:

State in the Funding section of the application form that you are applying for the "PhD Studentships in Quantum Processor Development" choosing a September 2019 start date. Other start dates later in 2019 may also be possible but for the purposes of your application, please select September.

Early application is advised. The studentship will be allocated as soon as a suitable candidate is found.

For further information about the project, please get in touch with Prof Matthias Keller:

For practical questions about the application process and/or eligibility for funding, please contact:

How good is research at University of Sussex in Physics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 24.72

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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