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  Superfluid Optomechanics towards the Quantum Regime


   Department of Physics

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

About the Project

Funded PhD programme in Quantum Science and Technology

The London Low Temperature Laboratory at Royal Holloway University of London is offering a 4-year PhD studentship in the field of experimental quantum optomechanics.

Quantum Science and Technology is a rapidly evolving field of research in the UK and worldwide. The goal of this PhD project is to investigate the potential of superfluid helium as a material for constructing mechanical resonators with ultra-low energy dissipation, thereby enabling long-lasting quantum states. The student will leverage recent advances in nanofabrication to engineer precisely defined structures that confine superfluid helium in nanoscale volumes, generating superfluid acoustic resonances at high frequencies. These acoustic resonators will be studied in their quantum regime, and their collective dynamics will be investigated when forming large 2D arrays. The project will employ superconducting microwave cavities to detect the amplitude of superfluid acoustic waves with high sensitivity, enabling quantum optomechanics measurements beyond the limits of current systems. The project's findings may have broad applications in sensing, such as in quantum simulators, dark matter, and gravitational wave detection. Additionally, it may advance the field of quantum information processing and contribute to our understanding of the fundamental limits of quantum mechanics in engineered mechanical systems.

Research activities include

·      numerical simulation, design of experimental devices

·      nanofabrication/cleanroom experience

·      low temperature operation and instrumentation

·      data acquisition/analysis

·      scientific communication at conferences, workshops, and meetings

Scientific Environment

The PhD is based in the London Low Temperature Laboratory (LLTL) at Royal Holloway, a member of the European Microkelvin Platform. Accessible nanofabrication facilities for the project are the Superfab and the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN). The PhD student will benefit from several national and international collaborations and training opportunities, and be included in the postgraduate teaching programme of GRADnet of the South East Physics network (SEPnet), which organizes training sessions, workshops, and student-led conferences.

How to apply

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

This studentship is open until filled. Early application is strongly encouraged. PhD provisional start date in Summer 2024, or Autumn 2024 at the latest. Please see our website for more information on the application process.

To express your interest or for more information, please contact Dr Xavier Rojas ().

Funding notes

This 4-year PhD programme, co-funded by The Royal Society, covers tuition fees and provides a stipend for living expenses, as well as research training support. The project is open to home and international candidates, but international students may need to secure funding to pay additional fees.


Physics (29)

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