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Engineering Doctorate (EngD): Photonics for atomic quantum technology (NPL)

  • Full or part time
    Prof Reid
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Project not available for non UK/EU applicants.

The EngD is an alternative to a traditional PhD aimed at students wanting a career in industry. Students spend 75% of their time working directly with a company in addition to receiving advanced-level training from a broad portfolio of technical and business courses. On completion students are awarded the PhD-equivalent EngD.

Project Details

Microfabricated devices for the confinement and control of atomic particles are essential components in a range of quantum-enabled instrumentation. Applications of these devices are in atomic clocks and sensors, for use in precise positioning, navigation and timing. These chip-scale devices will also be used for high-precision quantum metrology and have been proposed as a building block for quantum computers.

The UK’s National Physical Laboratory has developed a novel chip-scale ion trap device; it is a 3D MEMS structure which, under application of a radiofrequency voltage, creates a linear array of segmented potentials for storing strings of atomic ions. Irradiation by laser light cools the ions and controls their behavior in the quantum regime, which is the baseline for applications in atomic quantum technology.

Photonics is an essential discipline in advancing these devices and their use. For example, a laser, agile and stable in both intensity and frequency, is required to achieve quantum control of ions with the highest-fidelity. As the complexity of microtrap devices increases, these photonic control systems will be linked to the ions via a scalable optical interface in the device.

This project aims to augment the microtrap’s photonic systems capability and apply it to quantum control of ions.

Funding Notes

This 4 year (including CDT taught courses) is funded jointly by NPL and by the CDT in Applied Photonics, run by Heriot-Watt University. The annual stipend is £20,326, which includes an enhancement from NPL. A substantial consumables and equipment budget is provided by a concurrent EPSRC grant. Travel funding for conference presentations is also available.

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