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3 Fully Funded PhD Scholarships for Quantum Technology Projects

University of Glasgow

The James Watt School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow has three fully funded PhD scholarships (university fees, student stipend and project consumables) available for three quantum technology projects to start in 2019 or 2020. The three projects are linked to the UK Quantum Technology Hubs for Sensors and Timing and QuantiC. Successful candidates will be trained to use the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (, a 1500 m2 quasi-industrial cleanroom with over £35M of processing tools. The cleanroom has delivered technology to over 300 companies in 28 countries globally in the last 5 years, over 100 international universities including 49 in the Times Higher Education Top 100 International Universities list and is the only cleanroom delivering technology to all four UK Quantum Technology Hubs.
The projects will be supervised by Prof Douglas J Paul, an EPSRC Established Quantum Technology Fellow and Prof Marc Sorel, Professor of Optoelectronics. Glasgow has a long history in photonics with major research breakthroughs including the first 2D photonic bandgap devices in SOI, the first THz mode locked diode lasers, the first Ge on Si single photon avalanche detectors and the first entangled photonic qubits. Its spin out companies are now responsible for manufacturing over 5% of all the DFB lasers being deployed in datacentres globally. The University established in 1451 has been home to many notable scholars including James Watt, Joseph Black, Lord Kelvin, William Rankine, Rev Robert Stirling, Rev John Kerr, John Logie Baird, Frederick Soddy and Adam Smith.
Successful candidates are expected to have a first or upper second class degree from a reputable university in physics, electrical and electronic engineering or a suitably aligned degree. All the projects include the design, modelling, fabrication and characterisation of photonic devices and systems for quantum technology applications. The students will also be expected to fully engaged with the UK Quantum Technology Programme and Hubs including collaborative working and networking events with other UK universities, industry and government agencies.
Towards single chip cold atom systems: Doppler cooling and optical molases have allowed atoms in vacuum to be cooled to micro-Kelvin temperatures to be used for accurate atomic clocks and a range of highly sensitive sensors including rotation sensors, inertial sensors, magnetometers and gravimeters. This project aims to develop a photonics package on a single chip with all the photonic components required to cool Rb atoms to micro-Kelvin temperatures. The project will develop photonic integrated circuits which will include DFB lasers, optical isolators, phase modulators, polarisation control, beamsplitters, low loss waveguides and couplers all integrated into functional circuits. Numerous opportunities will be available to travel to collaborative academic and industrial partners to test the components and systems as part of the UK Quantum Technology Programme for validation and maximum impact of the research.
Quantum lidar / rangefinder: Lidar and rangefinders are already used for automatic breaking systems on cars and are being pursued for navigating autonomous vehicles. Imaging through fog, rain, snow and other obscurants is difficult in the visible but far easier at longer wavelength due to the reduced scattering, lower solar blindness and increased atmospheric transparency. Glasgow has recently demonstrated world leading Ge on Si single photon avalanche detectors (SPADs) up to 1500 nm wavelength with up to 38% single photon detection efficiency (Nature Comms. 10, 1086 (2019)). This project aims to developed waveguide coupled Ge on Si SPADs predicted to have >70% efficiency integrated into an interferometer with Si microring entangle photon sources (Nature Comms. 6, 7948 (2015)) to enable chip scale quantum lidar / rangefinders to be produced and tested. The tested devices and systems will be validated by collaborators in the UK Quantum Technology Programme to maximise the impacts delivered from the project and to provide the student with strong academic and industrial networking experience.
Frequency combs: Chip-scale optical combs with lower size, weight and power are essential components for the development of portable atomic optical clocks for precision timing and radars for surveillance. By leveraging on recent progresses in photonic integration technologies, this project aims to develop and demonstrate chip-size visible optical combs that integrate high Q-factor silicon nitride resonators with stable DFB semiconductor lasers and control electronics. Such components will offer a radical improvement with respect to the bulky and expensive solutions that are currently available. The large collaboration network with the UK National QT Hubs, the industrial supply chain and final users will provide numerous opportunities for device validation and for maximising the project impacts.

How to apply

Students interested in these positions can e-mail Douglas Paul ( or Marc Sorel ( for more information or apply using the procedures described at . Successful students are expected to start the PhD between the 1st September 2019 and 1st October 2020.

Douglas Paul Professor and EPSRC Established Quantum Technology Fellow P. +441413305219 Apply for this job

University of Glasgow

James Watt School of Engineering, Rankine Building, Oakfield Avenue,
G12 8LT Glasgow, United Kingdom

Published on June 28, 2019

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