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Quantum Photonics based on Semiconductor Quantum Dots - exploring quantum states of light and their applications in quantum information technology

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

Project Description

Toshiba Research Europe Ltd (TREL) are developing quantum technologies based on superposition and entanglement that can be exploited for new applications in communications, sensing and computing. Their notable achievements in semiconductor quantum photonics include the first LEDs for generating single photons[1] and entangled light[2], the first electrically driven system to teleport quantum states of light[3,4] and a device which can sort light into single and multi-photons[5]. They are also at the forefront of research in quantum communications and are engaged in pilots of the technology in the UK, Europe and Japan.

An Industrial CASE studentship, funded by the EPSRC and TREL, is available under the usual EPSRC eligibility criteria. The PhD will involve experiments on semiconductor devices and circuits that can be used to generate, manipulate and detect quantum states of light and explore their applications in quantum information technology. The PhD will be based in the Quantum Information Group at TREL, led by Dr Andrew Shields.

The work is mostly experimental in nature and will involve the design, fabrication and characterisation of photonic devices based on semiconductor quantum dots. Current work is focused on realising discrete components and photonic integrated circuits that can be applied to long distance quantum communications (quantum relays and repeaters), as well as quantum information processing.

The successful applicant will join a large and vibrant team in Cambridge working in this area. The group has excellent links to other leading groups in the UK, through collaboration with the EPSRC Quantum Technology Hubs and CDTs, as well as in Europe and Japan, through several collaborative projects. A willingness and ability to travel globally would be an advantage.

The candidate should have a general understanding of semiconductor device physics and photonics, as well as an enthusiasm for experimental work. A top class degree in physics or a related engineering discipline is essential.

Funding Notes

Eligibility: UK and EU students. View EPSRC website for more details.

Funding: 4 years tuition fees plus stipend (£14,777 for 2018/19) and industrial top up for UK resident students. Students from EU countries other than the UK are generally eligible for a fees-only award. Academic entry requirements: at least a class 2:1 MSc or MPhys degree in Physics or Electronic Engineering.


[1] Yuan et al, Science 295, 102 (2002).
[2] Salter et al, Nature 465, 594 (2010).
[3] Nilsson et al, Nature Photonics 7, 311 (2013).
[4] Stevenson et al, Nature Communications 4, 2859 (2013).
[5] Bennett et al, Nature Nanotechnology 11, 857 (2016).

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