Quantum memories based on rare-earth ion dopants are arguably the best available, offering high efficiencies, multi-hour coherence times, and large bandwidth storage of entanglement. To achieve this, however, requires detailed knowledge of the dopant ion energy level structure and how it varies with magnetic field. In recent ground-breaking work, we achieved the first crystal field characterisation of rare earth ion dopants in very low symmetry centres: Er3+ in Y2SiO5. The aim of this work is to predict the magnetic-field strengths and orientations that give extremely long coherence times (so-called ZEFOZ points).
This PhD project will significantly extend our current understanding through laser spectroscopy and magnetic-field measurements (as appropriate) and crystal-field/Zeeman-hyperfine structure calculations for Pr3+, Eu3+, and Ho3+ doped Y2SiO5. Of these, Eu3+ and Pr3+ have been extensively used for quantum memory work but without a detailed understanding of the energy level structure, whilst Ho3+:Y2SiO5 is largely unexplored but is known to possess unusually large hyperfine structure which is attractive for the development of high bandwidth memories.
With consistent sets of information across the rare-earth series it will be possible to identify potential ZEFOZ points in a variety of ions, which may then be investigated experimentally using very high resolution lasers. We expect that, in all these systems, improved knowledge of the crystal fields will lead to improved quantum memories.
The wider context
The Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies is a national Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE)and a world-class organisation which builds on Aotearoa-New Zealand’s (NZ) internationally acknowledged strength in the fields of quantum optics, photonics, ultracold atomic gases, and precision atomic physics. Photonics, the manipulation of the quantum building blocks of light, and the precision control of matter at the atomic scale through the use of light, underpin technological development in areas such as computing, advanced sensing technologies and medical imaging, and communication.
The Dodd-Walls Centre, hosted by the University of Otago, involves six universities in NZ. Your PhD project while based at one institution will allow you to collaborate with researchers from across the Centre. More information about our Research Centre can be found here: https://doddwalls.ac.nz/
The Dodd-Walls Centre mission
- To solidify our position as a Research Centre that is recognised as one of the world’s leading organisations in the field of photonic and quantum technologies,
- To train and develop skilled staff and students to the highest international standards,
- To capitalise upon the international investment in quantum and optical sciences for the benefit of New Zealand,
- To support the rapidly growing high-tech industry sector, thus ensuring New Zealand’s economic diversification and providing career pathways for the outstanding people that we train,
- To provide support for New Zealand’s climate action through improved environmental measurement and monitoring, and,
- To ensure that the benefits of advances in science and technology, especially in photonics and quantum technologies, are available to all.
Applicants must meet University of Canterbury entry requirements for admission to a PhD. Award of the scholarship is conditional on the university accepting your enrolment. The successful applicant will be guided through the process of formally applying for admission.
This is an interdisciplinary project so applicants from a wide range of academic backgrounds will be considered. Applications should have strong undergraduate knowledge in some of these areas: Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science.
This project is based in Christchurch, New Zealand and is available for immediate start.
How to apply
To express your interest in this scholarship and PhD research opportunity, please prepare the following items:
- A brief CV including qualifications, academic achievements, list of publications, work history, and references.
- A copy of your academic transcript(s).
Please submit your application via email to the main supervisor of this project Professor Michael Reid (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will guide you through the scholarship application process.