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Ultracold molecules in quantum arrays

Department of Chemistry

Sunday, January 31, 2021 Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

At temperatures below about 1 microKelvin, atoms and molecules enter a new regime where all their motions, including translation, are fully quantal. This opens up possibilities of creating quantum devices from groups of interacting atoms and molecules, with important applications in quantum science and quantum technology (quantum simulators, computers, sensors, etc.). Over the last few years, the focus in this field has shifted from atoms to molecules, because the intrinsic dipole moments and richer structures of molecules open up new possibilities. My group has expertise that is unique in the world on the theory of interactions and collisions of ultracold molecules, and the leading experimental groups beat a path to our door.

The newest horizon in this field is to create configurable arrays of ultracold molecules in optical tweezers; each tweezer holds a molecule in space at the waist of a focussed laser beam, and the molecules can be moved around to make different shapes of array with different quantum properties. We have already collaborated with Ni (Harvard) to create a single NaCs molecule in a tweezer, and we are working with the experimental groups involved in our QSUM Programme Grant to develop similar capabilities for RbCs (Durham) and CaF (Imperial).

The PhD student will work to understand the properties of molecules in tweezers, and how full quantum control may be achieved with applied electric, magnetic and polarised laser fields. They will study how quantised translations interact with molecular rotations and spins. They will then move on to study the interactions between molecules in tweezer arrays, and how the quantum states may be entangled and controlled. Our goal is to implement quantum gates based on ultracold molecules, which can form building blocks for quantum simulators and quantum computers. This will lead to applications in quantum science and establish ultracold molecules as a new platform for quantum technology.

Eligibility: The position is only open to applicants from the UK for fees purposes. Early applications are strongly encouraged as the position will be filled when a suitable candidate is identified.

For informal enquiries please contact Prof Jeremy Hutson ().

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