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Quantum Sensing of 2D Complex Materials (UK/France project)

   Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPaQS)

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  Dr Cristian Bonato  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

We have an opening for a motivated student (only UK nationals) to study magnetism and many-body physics in 2D material using a spin-based quantum sensor. The project will benefit from a new unique >£2M facility and involve a 9 months stay at Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris.

The goal of this PhD project is to probe, for the first time, non-trivial magnetic ground states and excitations in novel quantum materials based on twisted bilayer structures. These structures, consisting of two atomic mono-layers with tuned relative angle between the crystal lattices, enable a tunable modulation of the interlayer coupling that enables engineering the magnetic behaviour. Magnetic maps of the heterostructure will be obtained at Heriot-Watt University by scanning quantum diamond magnetometry, a technique that can detect magnetic fields with nanoscale spatial resolution (<50nm) by exploiting single electronic spins associated to optically-active point defects in diamond. Over a 9 months stay at Ecole Normale Superieure Paris-Saclay, the student will integrate the heterostructure in a diamond anvil cell so as to tune the electronic interactions using high pressure as a dual control parameter. The magnetic response will be detected using wide-field quantum diamond magnetometry based on electronic spins engineered in the diamond anvil in contact with the stack of layers. 

The scientific output of this project will inform the design of novel spintronic devices based on quantum correlated effects in novel designer heterostructures. A student working on this project will acquire important skills in condensed matter physics, quantum technology, nanofabrication, cryogenics, electronics and microwaves, programming.

   Applicants should have, or expect to obtain, a 1st Class Honours degree in a relevant discipline, for example Physics, Materials Science or Electrical Engineering. Please contact Dr Cristian Bonato ([Email Address Removed]) or Brian Gerardot ([Email Address Removed]) for additional information. More information about the research group can be found on our website


C. Bonato et al, "Optimised quantum sensing with a single electron spin using real-time adaptive measurements" Nature Nanotechnology 11, 247 (2016)
M. Brotons-Gisbert et al, "Moiré-Trapped Interlayer Trions in a Charge-Tunable WSe 2 / MoSe 2 Heterobilayer," Phys. Rev. X 11, 031033 (2021).
M. Brotons-Gisbert et al, "Spin–layer locking of interlayer excitons trapped in moiré potentials | Nature Materials," Nature Materials (2020)
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