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Probing Quantum States With Silicon Carbide Nanoelectronics

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Unbreakable cryptography, teleportation of information and ultra-fast computing will soon cease to be figments of science fiction literature. These are now considered imminent realities enabled by the upbringing of quantum technologies [1]. Devices that exploit the laws of quantum physics are developing quickly and many materials are presently under scrutiny to build the future quantum hardware [2-3].
This project will investigate quantum effects in silicon carbide (SiC), a wide-bandgap compound semiconductor made of silicon and carbon. On the one hand, SiC benefits from mature manufacturing techniques, being it extensively used for power electronics. On the other hand, exquisite quantum effects, such as coherent electron spin superposition and single-photon generation, have been demonstrated in this material, by exploiting the properties of atomic defects in its crystal [4-5]. However, most of these experiments have been so far performed in plain unprocessed wafers by means of optical scanning techniques. The crucial step that this PhD project will address is the realisation and control of quantum phenomena in nanometre scale electronic devices, such as transistors and diodes.
The research activities will balance device design and modelling, hands-on cleanroom fabrication, as well as electrical and optical experimental measurements with cryogenic set-ups. The student will be involved in making and characterising devices that span from metal-oxide-semiconductor nano-capacitors to superconductive microwave resonators and LEDs, in order to couple electron spins to electromagnetic radiation.
This project is suitable for individuals who have a keen interest for applied research and are eager to get industrial exposure through our corporate partners at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and Hitachi Europe.

Duties and Responsibilities
• Design and fabricate nanodevices in a cleanroom environment.
• Perform low-temperature experiments and device characterisation.
• Analyse experimental data with appropriate software (e.g. Matlab, Python etc.).
• Prepare manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed journals.
• Travel domestically across collaborating institutions to carry out part of the project’s activities.

Person Specifications
The ideal candidate should have an excellent first degree in Physics, Engineering or related subject. Fluency and clarity in spoken English is essential. Good oral, written, and presentation skills are highly desirable. Prior experience with scientific software, cleanroom work, semiconductor devices, quantum physics and/or cryogenics would be advantageous.

Host Institutions
This project is part of a long-standing collaboration between the Quantum Technology Department at the National Physical Laboratory (Teddington) and the Physics Department at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow). The student is expected to carry out most of the research activities at NPL. However, short stays at Strathclyde and other partner institutions may be needed throughout the project’s lifespan. Funding for travel expenses is available.

The successful candidate will be part of a cohort of highly selected students at the Postgraduate Institute for Measurement Science, a multi-disciplinary national centre for research training and skills development in metrology and its applications.

More information about the team and the host institutions can be found here:

Application procedure
For inquiries about the studentship and/or applications, please contact directly Dr Alessandro Rossi – , Dr Masaya Kataoka – .

Application documents: CV, recent transcript, and 1-page statement of interest.

Funding Notes

This studentship is 3.5 years, fully funded.
UKRI studentship eligibility criteria apply.


[1] The European Quantum Flagship
[2] T.D. Ladd et al. Nature 464, 45 (2010)
[3] D.D. Awschalom et al. Science 339, 1174 (2013)
[4] A. Lohrmann et al. Rep. Prog. Phys. 80, 034502 (2017)
[5] M. Atature et al. Nature Reviews Materials 3, 38 (2018)

How good is research at University of Strathclyde in Physics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 27.00

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

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