PhD Opportunities – University of Sussex

The University of Sussex is offering the following PhD research projects, as part of the Translational Quantum Technology Programme:

Development of a portable quantum sensor for magnetic fields, rf and microwave radiation

A 3.5 year PhD position is available in the Ion Quantum Technology Group in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Sussex. The position consists of current UK/EU fees and a yearly stipend of £ £14296 which can be supplemented by tutoring. The position also includes a yearly travel allowance. You should have a physics or related degree.
Research in novel quantum technologies will likely lead to step changing innovations which will affect many areas of modern sciences. Implementing such technologies with trapped ions quantum bits has been widely accepted as one of the most promising pathways.

Quantum sensing with trapped ions is a powerful new technology that may have step changing impact for numerous applications such as breast cancer detection, mineral / oil exploration and national security. As part of this project you will develop a portable magnetic field sensor with world-record magnetic field sensitivity. After constructing a laboratory demonstrator device, you will then develop a portable sensor capable of airborne and field application. You will work with industry towards making a commercial device capable of being operated in a variety of environments. This device will also have applications as ultrastable portable atomic clock and the technology you develop will be critical for the realisation of practical quantum computers.

The work will be carried out as part of the UK Quantum Technology Hub for Sensors and Metrology. While based at the University of Sussex, you will work in close collaboration with all the project partners within the hub.

Further information is also available to download.

 

Miniaturized Optical Frequency Combs

This proposal targets the design of an integrated Optical Frequency Comb source based on a novel generation of nonlinear microresonators. This device is expected to deliver a precise set of optical wavelengths (Optical Frequency Comb, OFC) suitable for implementing extremely high precision spectroscopic measurement or highly accurate metrological pulsed laser sources, in a wavelength range spanning from the visible to deeply in mid-infrared region (presently inaccessible with competitive solutions). Compared to standard spectroscopy with white light, OFC spectroscopy moves the complexity from the detection to the source, allowing for a gr

Fig. 1 Representation of an integrated optical frequency comb generation based on optical pulses circulating within a micro-ring resonator.

Fig. 1 Representation of an integrated optical frequency comb generation based on optical pulses circulating within a micro-ring resonator.

eat simplification of the detection apparatus. Moreover, OFC spectroscopy delivers accuracy and sensitivity not achievable with common spectroscopic apparatuses in any trivial or, most importantly, compact way. The proponents’ recent research activity has been focused on the development of OFC on chip, exploiting an integrated optical micro-resonator (Fig.1). The idea is to provide a miniaturized source for a large set of spectroscopy applications (medical, biological, material science, manufacturing quality control), that relies on cost-effective and already available optical technologies, namely optical fibre optics and optical high-Q micro-resonators. Micro-resonators became available in the last 10 years through several different –but all cost-effective- technological fabrication paths, spanning from silicon planar processing to fibre technology.

 

The sketch of the instrument proposed is reported in Fig. 2. A first stage of the design (Fig.2 (b)) consists of a mode-locked VECESL laser, as developed by the developed by the group of Anne Tropper in Southampton. To create a suitable source for spectroscopy, such a stable OFC is coupled to a high Q micro-cavity: an excited optical parametric oscillation produces a dramatic enlargement of the OFC bandwidth. Following the research of Alessia Pasquazi and Marco Peccianti at Sussex, such approach is expected to generate an extremely accurate OFC with bandwidth exceeding one octave, key requirement for high precision spectroscopy and temporal references, with mW powers.

Project objectives

Fig. 2. Sketch of the apparatus for the miniaturized spectrometer based on OFC.

Fig. 2. Sketch of the apparatus for the miniaturized spectrometer based on OFC.

The sketch of the instrument proposed is reported in Fig. 2. A first stage of the design (Fig.2 (b)) consists of a mode-locked VECESL laser, as developed by the developed by the group of Anne Tropper in Southampton. To create a suitable source for spectroscopy, such a stable OFC is coupled to a high Q micro-cavity: an excited optical parametric oscillation produces a dramatic enlargement of the OFC bandwidth. Following the research of Alessia Pasquazi and Marco Peccianti at Sussex, such approach is expected to generate an extremely accurate OFC with bandwidth exceeding one octave, key requirement for high precision spectroscopy and temporal references, with mW powers.

This PhD programme will be investigating theoretically and experimentally the optical radiation generated in state of the art optical microcavities, namely optical microcombs. The coherence control of microcombs is at the forefront of the scientific investigation, and is of fundamental importance for using such sources as high accurate frequency references. Starting from this premises, this PhD programme aims to promote the development of a methodology for generating, controlling and stabilizing optical microcombs.

Interested applicants should contact the Head of Group:
Professor Winfried Hensinger, email: w.k.hensinger@sussex.ac.uk.

Note: Please apply for the MRes Translational Quantum Technology indicating your interest in this opportunity in your application. Further information is also available on the University of Birmingham website.