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  Physics: Fully Funded EPSRC DTP PhD Scholarship: Nanoparticle Manipulation and Integration for Quantum Optomechanical Systems (NAMIQOS)

   School of Biosciences, Geography and Physics

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  Dr J Bateman  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Funding providers: EPSRC Quantum Technologies DTP

Subject areas: Experimental Physics, Lasers, Optics, Semiconductors

Project start date: 

  • 1 October 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-September)

Supervisor: Dr James Bateman ([Email Address Removed])

Aligned programme of study: PhD in Physics

Mode of study: Full-time 

Project description: 

Optical forces arise when light, which has no mass yet carries momentum, is deflected through interaction with a material object. Lasers of power ~100mW focused to a spot ~10um exert significant forces on objects ~100nm across. These nanoparticles can be levitated, in vacuum, and manipulated by modulating the optical field. Interferometric measurement and active feedback techniques allow these systems to approach quantum limits of position sensitivity. 

This research is part of the field of levitated optomechanics. Since the seminal demonstration of feedback cooling to sub-Kelvin temperatures [Gieseler 2012], the field has seen rapid and intense research, with recent achievements including cooling to the quantum-mechanical ground-state with optical cavities [Delić 2020] and in a cryogenic environment [Tebbenjohanns 2021]. 

This project will explore development of practical devices based on levitated optomechanics including engineered isolation of specific mechanical modes and microfabrication techniques to source, prepare, and levitate nanoparticles in a compact, robust device. Microfabrication will be explored in collaboration with Swansea University's Centre for Integrative Semiconductor Materials [CISM]. CISM is a new £30M research and innovation facility on Swansea University’s Bay Campus which brings together semiconductor and advanced materials platforms and offers manufacturing grade ISO-qualified clean rooms for process development, backend materials integration and packaging capabilities, and access to advanced characterisation and analysis. 

The student will benefit from integration with the nascent Swansea Doctoral Training Initiative UK-SIFS: UK Semiconductor Industry Future Skills (CISM, Meredith) which will create a vibrant, multi-disciplinary cohort experience and provide highly practical training and links with industrial partners. 

Development of the robust platform provides a route towards quantum devices, where the particle is treated as a quantum mechanical object subject to superposition and decoherence. Establishing capability in this classical space is a necessary step towards realising fully quantum-limited devices, for which there are a number of exciting theoretical proposals in accelerometry with predicted sensitivities 10-17g/sqrt(Hz) [Pontin 2018]. 

- [Gieseler 2012] Gieseler, Deutsch, Quidant, Novotny; PRL 109 103603 (2012)

- [Delić 2020] Delić et al.; Science 10.1126/science.aba3993 (2020)

- [Pontin 2018] Pontin et al.; New J. Phys. 20 023017 (2018)

- [Tebbenjohanns 2021] Tebbenjohanns et al.; Nature 595 378-382 (2021)

- [CISM]


Candidates must hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level or a master’s degree with a minimum overall grade at ‘Merit’ (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University). If you are eligible to apply for the scholarship but do not hold a UK degree, you can check our comparison entry requirements. Please note that you may need to provide evidence of your English Language proficiency. 

English Language: IELTS 6.5 Overall (with no individual component below 6.0) or Swansea University recognised equivalent. 

This scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality.

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. 


Please note that the programme requires some applicants to hold ATAS clearance, further details on ATAS scheme eligibility are available on the UK Government website. 

ATAS clearance IS NOT required to be held as part of the scholarship application process, successful award winners (as appropriate) are provided with details as to how to apply for ATAS clearance in tandem with scholarship course offer. 

Physics (29)

Funding Notes

This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees and an annual stipend at £19,237.
Additional research expenses will also be available.

Where will I study?