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Quantum sensing with superfluid-based optomechanical systems

   Department of Physics

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Funded PhD programme in Quantum Science and Technology

This 4-year PhD programme, co-funded by The Royal Society, will be based at Royal Holloway University of London and supervised by Dr Xavier Rojas.

Project description

Quantum Science and Technology is a rapidly evolving field of research in the UK and worldwide. Recent developments now enable sensing applications of forces, masses, or mechanical displacements at the ultimate limit of precision predicted by quantum theory. Developments in quantum sensing have now reached a point at which new discoveries in fundamental science are within reach.

In this context, the proposed PhD programme will take a new and distinctive approach to develop quantum sensing applications for simulating black hole processes in a controlled laboratory environment.

We are looking for two PhD students to join our experimental work on superfluid optomechanics. This research activity will involve developing innovative superfluid-based quantum optomechanical systems operating at very low temperatures. Initially, our devices will exploit recent progress made in our group with high-Q superconducting microwave resonators coupled to nanoscale superfluid mechanical systems. As the project develops, we anticipate operating our devices using quantum-sensitive measurement schemes based on state-of-the-art superconducting quantum circuits.

Scientific Environment

The PhD is based in the London Low Temperature Laboratory (LLTL) at Royal Holloway, a member of the European Microkelvin Platform (EMP). Nanofabrication facilities for the project are Superfab and London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN).

The PhD programme is part of the Quantum Simulators for Fundamental Physics (qSimFP) initiative, which is one of seven proposals funded through the UK Quantum Technologies for Fundamental Physics (QTFP) programme.

The qSimFP consortium is a collaborative network of scientists from seven UK-based research organisations located in St.Andrews, Cambridge, King's College London, Newcastle, Nottingham, University College London and Royal Holloway University London. The PhD students will benefit from all network activities and are expected to closely collaborate with the University of Nottingham and King’s College London.


The students will be included in the postgraduate teaching programme of GRADnet of the South East Physics network (SEPnet), which organise training sessions, workshops, and student-led conferences.

This proposed PhD project benefits from several national and international collaborations and training opportunities. 

How to apply

We will consider applications from candidates with an excellent academic record in Physics, Engineering, or a closely related subject at the MSc. level or equivalent.

We encourage you to contact Dr Xavier Rojas () and express your interest before you apply. More details about the application process can be found here.

This studentship is open until filled. Early application is strongly encouraged. PhD provisional start date in Autumn 2022.

Funding Notes

4-year funded PhD studentship

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