A light source for quantum computing and simulation

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    Cardiff University
    United Kingdom
    Natural sciences


We seek a motivated PhD student to work on semiconductor quantum light sources. Light is an ideal carrier of quantum information as photons are fast, cheap and easy to encode with quantum-bits carried in their polarisation, phase, time or path degrees of freedom. This project will work with a light source based on a single Indium-Gallium-Arsenide semiconductor quantum dot, as these can offer > 99% spectrally pure photons at high efficiency .

This project is funded by the UK National Hub in Quantum Computing and Simulation (Hub-QCS). The source will be produced in Cardiff’s Institute for Compound Semiconductors cleanroom and tested in our new optical labs. The focus of year 1 will be increasing the efficiency and purity of the source through design and experiment. In Year 2 you collaborate with partners in the Hub-QCS to demonstrate re-routing of photons in prototype network. In Year 3 you will build on previous research of the group demonstrate non-linear optical effects in the device.

Research Environment

Optical characterisation will be carried out in the newly established Quantum Technology labs with access to > £1M of equipment, including photo-detectors sensitive to the arrival of single photons, ultrafast electronics, high coherence lasers and cryogenic equipment. Practical lab skills will be gained including Labview programming, error analysis and data processing.

In addition, you will have access to the Institute Cleanroom to fabricate samples. This is a world-class facility run by a team of skilled technicians. In 2021, the group and cleanroom will relocated to a new £100 million facility on Maindy Road, resulting in a significant expansion in lab space.

The position is within a group supervised by Dr Bennett, with the support of 2 experienced post-docs and 3 PhD students. An exceptional level of training and support will be given to the candidate on a day to day basis in a friendly and open working environment. He/she will have a desk in an interdisciplinary research office with other Post-docs/PhD students from the schools of physics and engineering. To enable integration within the research culture of the university the he/she will attend Quantum-Team meetings (Mondays), Condensed Matter Seminars (Wednesdays) and the group Journal Club (Thursdays).

The group is fully committed to equality, diversity and inclusivity.

Training and Development Opportunities

The candidate will uncover new science in a fast-moving research field, which will lead to great publications and opportunities to travel to international conferences and the main supervisor’s collaborators in the UK and EU. Regular opportunities to practice presentation and technical skills in Cardiff and at externally will result in a well-rounded education. In addition, much sought after cleanroom fabrication skills will enhance employment opportunities.

This studentship is funded by the National Quantum Computing and Simulation Hub (QCS-Hub) a £30M 5year project funded by EPSRC as part of the UK national Quantum Technology Initiative. Strong collaboration with other partners of the QCS-Hub is expected in the form of extended visits, sample exchange and joint publications.


What is funded

The award will pay Home Fees and a stipend of not less than £15,285 per annum for 3.5 years (for a fully-funded EPSRC home student). This would equate to £78,727 for 2020 entry, based on the terms specified by UKRI.

This studentship is open to Home or EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of the studentship. Other EU students may also be eligible for a limited number of full awards. Standard UKRI terms apply to this studentship.


3.5 years


Candidates should hold a first or upper second-class honours degree in Physics or Engineering who has particular interest in optics, solid state physics and/or quantum technology.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent)

How to Apply

Applicants should submit an application for postgraduate study via the Cardiff University webpages

(http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/research/programmes/programm... ) including;

• an upload of your CV

• a personal statement/covering letter

• two references (applicants are recommended to have a third academic referee, if the two academic referees are within the same department/school)

• Current academic transcripts

Applicants should select Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering), with a start date of October 2020.

In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select "I will be applying for a scholarship / grant" and specify that you are applying for advertised funding, reference AB-QCS-2020

For more information please contact Dr Anthony Bennett at BennettA19@cardiff.ac.uk , 02920 875 404, Room S0.06, School of Engineering, Cardiff University. https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/people/view/992940-bennett-anthony



The responsibility for the funding offers published on this website, including the funding description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.