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Quantum properties of integrated frequency combs for applications in computing, communications and sensing


   Institute of Photonics


About the Project

Start date: 1 October 2022

Duration: 3.5yrs

Project details: Quantum states of light are playing an increasingly important role in the applications of quantum technologies, ranging from secure communications to enhanced computing and sensing (imaging, spectroscopy, etc.). At the core of these applications lies our ability to generate the required quantum states, from entangled to single photons, and squeezed states. In recent years, the quantum optics community has been looking at integrated optical circuits for further pushing the development of quantum technologies [1]. On the one hand, reduced size and robust devices support quantum technologies applications outside research laboratories. On the other hand, the capabilities allowed by integrated circuits enable the study of novel physical processes.

This project in particular will investigate how to exploit the quantum frequency combs generated by on-chip spontaneous parametric processes as tool for quantum computing. By harnessing the quantum properties of integrated frequency combs, the student will develop a novel quantum light source of cluster states for one-way (or measurement-based) quantum computing [2]. The project will encompass a combination of nonlinear and quantum optics, as well as integrated photonics. It will involve experimental and numerical/theoretical studies.

The student will work on the design and characterisation of integrated structures, optical systems, nonlinear frequency conversion, generation and characterisation of quantum states (e.g., entangled photons), and software coding. They will use numerical modelling methods to design optimised integrated devices that will be fabricated via academic collaborators or commercial foundries. They will then be responsible for building the experimental setup based on the designed optical chips, exploiting our state-of-the-art photonics laboratories equipped with classical and quantum characterisation tools (e.g., single-photon detectors).  

The successful candidate will join our expanding research group that provides a collegiate, vibrant, and welcoming environment. Research findings will be published in high-impact journals with the opportunity to present at international conferences. 

The studentship is co-funded by the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics, Glasgow, UK (https://www.cap.fraunhofer.co.uk), giving access to their expertise and prototyping facilities and promoting collaborative work with technology users.

References:

[1] L. Caspani et al., “Integrated sources of photon quantum states based on nonlinear optics”, Light: Science & Applications 6, e17100 (2017).[2] C. Reimer et al., “High-dimensional one-way quantum processing implemented on d-level cluster states”, Nature Physics 15, 148 (2019).

Institute of Photonics: The Institute of Photonics (IoP), part of the Department of Physics, is a centre of excellence in applications-oriented research at the University of Strathclyde. The Institute’s key objective is to bridge the gap between academic research and industrial applications and development in the area of photonics. The IoP is located in the £100M Technology and Innovation Centre on Strathclyde’s Glasgow city centre campus, at the heart of Glasgow’s Innovation District, where it is co-located with the UK’s first Fraunhofer Research Centre. 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: http://www.strath.ac.uk/science/physics/instituteofphotonics/ourresearch/ . Strathclyde Physics is a member of SUPA, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance.

The University of Strathclyde has, in recent years, been the recipient of the following awards: The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in the field of Advanced Manufacturing (2021); Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 Scottish University of the Year, The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education 2020 (and 2019), The Times Higher Education UK University of the Year 2019/2020 (and 2012/2013), The Times Higher Education Widening Participation Initiative of the Year 2019 and UK Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2013/2014. 

Student eligibility: 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 applicants who are UK Nationals (meeting residency requirements) or have settled status (meeting residency requirements), pre-settled status or otherwise have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

How to apply: For further information please contact Dr Lucia Caspani () or visit the Institute of Photonics webpage (www.photonics.ac.uk).

Applicants should send a CV to in the first instance.


Funding Notes

The funding covers the full stipend and tuition fees at the home rate (not the international rate). To be classed as a home student, applicants must meet the following criteria:
• Be a UK national (meeting residency requirements), or
• Have settled status, or
• Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
• Have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

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