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Visible light photonic circuits for quantum technology applications


Institute of Photonics

Glasgow United Kingdom Electrical Engineering Energy Technologies Optical Physics Organic Chemistry Engineering Materials Science Physics Particle Physics Polymer Chemistry Synthetic Chemistry

About the Project

Quantum states of light such as single photons and entangled photon pairs play a fundamental role in many quantum technology applications, ranging from quantum imaging and metrology to quantum information processing. In order to generate and harness these exotic states of light, a wide range of optical materials and systems are currently employed. For interfacing with efficient non-linear optical processes and solid state quantum systems such as diamond colour centres, typically free space optics and bulk crystal devices are employed. Alternatively, for systems requiring large scale photon routing and phase control, on-chip circuits in the near-IR band benefit from technology developed for telecommunications applications.

In this work the benefits of both these systems will be combined by developing on-chip optical systems operating in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum (450-800 nm). Materials such as III-nitride semiconductors and silicon nitride allow high optical confinement to micron scale optical devices and non-linear generation of entangled photon pairs and higher order quantum states of light. Unlike well-established photonic circuit technologies, for example in silicon, visible light components such as high quality resonators, all-optical switches and flexible filters need to be designed and integrated into flexible circuit designs.

The student will use numerical modelling methods to design optimised waveguide devices and develop micro-fabrication techniques required to realise this new technology in III-nitride and dielectric materials, including the hybrid integration of different materials on a single chip. The student will be able to optically measure the performance of their devices in state of the art photonics laboratories, allowing feedback of measurements into an iterative design process. Research findings will be published in high impact journals with the opportunity to present at an international conference.

Institute of Photonics

The Institute of Photonics (IoP), part of the Department of Physics, is a centre of excellence in applications-oriented research at the University of Strathclyde - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 Scottish University of the Year, The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education 2019, The Times Higher Education UK University of the Year 2019/20 (and 2012/13), The Times Higher Education Widening Participation Initiative of the Year 2019 and UK Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2013/14. The Institute’s key objective is to bridge the gap between academic research and industrial applications and development in the area of photonics. The IoP is located in the £100M Technology and Innovation Centre on Strathclyde’s Glasgow city centre campus, at the heart of Glasgow’s Innovation District, where it is co-located with the UK’s first Fraunhofer Research Centre. Researchers at the IoP are active in a broad range of photonics fields under the areas of Photonic Devices, Advanced Lasers and Neurophotonics, please see: http://www.strath.ac.uk/science/physics/instituteofphotonics/ourresearch/.

Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics

The Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics provides professional research and development services for industry and is part of the larger Fraunhofer network that is Europe’s largest application orientated research organisation. The student will have access to custom cleanroom and optical laboratories in the TIC and this position will provide a unique opportunity to develop industry contacts in a translational research environment with responsibility at an early stage in an expanding organisation.

Student eligibility

To enter our PhD programme applicants require an upper-second or first class BSc Honours degree, or a Masters qualification of equal or higher standard, in Physics, Engineering or a related discipline. Full funding, covering fees and stipend, is available for UK students only.

How to apply

Applicants should send an up-to-date CV to


Funding Notes

The funding covers the full stipend and tuition fees at the home rate (not the international rate). To be classed as a home student, applicants must meet the following criteria:
• Be a UK national (meeting residency requirements), or
• Have settled status, or
• Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
• Have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

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