Start date: October 2019
Duration: 3.5 yrs
Quantum Technologies are driving significant advancements in many fields ranging from communications and imaging to metrology and computing. Many of these technologies strongly rely on quantum states of light, i.e. electromagnetic fields with properties that can only be described using quantum mechanics, such as entangled and squeezed states. Among others, it has been shown that such states can, e.g. enhance their nonlinear interaction with matter, both for absorption and emission. This project will focus on the generation of the proper quantum states of light to achieve enhanced nonlinear absorption for multiphoton fluorescence microscopy.
With this project, we aim at building a novel multiphoton fluorescence microscope that relies on quantum states of light to overcome the sensitivity limits of the current technology.
Multiphoton fluorescence microscopy is an imaging technique that relies on the detection of a fluorescence signal excited by the simultaneous absorption of two or more photons. While a widespread and fundamental technique for three-dimensional microscopy in many fields such as bio-photonics and neuroscience, it requires expensive and complex ultrashort lasers as a light source. High peak intensities are indeed required to overcome the extremely low two-photon absorption cross-section. We shall address this drawback by substituting the classical illumination by ultrashort pulsed lasers with non-classical states of light, such as quantum correlated or entangled photons.
This project will investigate the use of quantum states to enhance multiphoton absorption to levels where fluorescence can be excited using compact and cheap continuous wave lasers. In particular, the student will study and set up the appropriate quantum light source for enhancing multiphoton fluorescence microscopy of biological samples. The project will encompass a combination of nonlinear and quantum optics, as well as imaging. The PhD student will work on the design and realisation of optical systems, nonlinear frequency conversion, the generation and characterisation of quantum states (e.g. entangled photons), software coding and microscopy. They will have access to state-of-the-art optical laboratories, laser sources and photon detectors. The studentship is co-funded by Fraunhofer UK, giving access to their prototyping facilities and promoting collaborative work with technology users.
Institute of Photonics:
The Institute of Photonics (IoP), established in 1996, is a commercially-oriented research unit at the University of Strathclyde, the Times Higher Education UK University of the Year 2012/13 and UK Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2013/14. The Institute’s key objective is to bridge the gap between academic research and industrial applications and development in the area of photonics. The offices and laboratories of the IoP are based in Strathclyde’s Glasgow city centre campus. We are part of the Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) initiative and co-located with the new Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics. Researchers at the IoP are active in a broad range of photonics fields under the areas of Photonic Devices, Advanced Lasers and Neurophotonics, please see: https://www.strath.ac.uk/science/physics/instituteofphotonics/
How to apply
To enter our PhD programme applicants require an upper-second or first class BSc Honours degree, or a Masters qualification of equal or higher standard, in Physics, Engineering or a related discipline. Full funding, covering fees and stipend, is available for UK and EU nationals only.
Applicants should send a CV to [email protected]