Photonic MEMS vacuum traps for cold atoms
In this fully funded PhD project you will integrated diode laser with photonic cavities and MEMS vacuum chambers to allow the trapping and control of atoms by light. The work is supported by the UK Quantum Technology Programme and the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Trapping atoms with light has enable atoms to be cooled to below microKelvin temperatures resulting in the most accurate set of sensors that can be used for timing, measuring acceleration, rotation or gravity. Trapped atoms can also form qubits and are also being used to build quantum computers. Such sensors presently require large vacuum chambers with high power lasers to trap atoms with hundreds of Watts of power for operation. This project aims to miniaturize these atom traps using the diode lasers similar to CD/DVD players combined with optical cavities integrated with atoms in MEMS vacuum systems aiming to reduce the size, weight and power to allow these sensors to reduce to the size of a mobile phone and to be powered by batteries.
The work will be under the supervision of Prof Douglas Paul
who presently holds a Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies with the aim of developing cold atom atomic clocks, rotation sensors and accelerometers that can form a quantum navigator which could fit inside a mobile phone. The work will include being trained in the micro- and nano-fabrication of devices in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre
combined with simulation and full characterisation of the devices using electronic and optical techniques. The successful student will have access to well equipped laboratories with a supporting group of researchers in complementary fields and the opportunities to present their research at international conferences. The project aims to develop completely new ways to trap atoms using integrated photonics so the project is looking to pioneer completely new science and technology approaches to cold atoms.
In completing the PhD project, you will develop a range of skills that will enable you to have a career in either academia or industry. This will include; nano-fabrication, micro-fabrication, MEMS, vacuum systems, optics, integrated photonics, atomic physics and a range of simulation techniques. Previous PhD graduate students of Prof Paul hold a range of research fellowships, senior academic positions as well as senior positions in companies including ARM, Kelvin Nanotechnology, Sivers Photonics, Dixons Carphone, patent lawyers and multiple financial investment companies.
The ideal candidate will have a background in physics, engineering, photonics, nanotechnology, materials science or chemistry. Background knowledge of semiconductors and optics / photonics would be beneficial but not essential. No prior nano-fabrication experience is required - you will be fully trained during the PhD. You must be self-motivated, have good interpersonal skills, and be interested in conducting interdisciplinary work that combines theory, simulation, fabrication and characterisation.
How to Apply: Please refer to the following website for details on how to apply:https://www.gla.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/electronicsnanoscale/