PhD Projects Available

PhD Studentships

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Ge on Si Single Photon Avalanche Detectors for Quantum Communications

In this fully funded PhD project you will develop germanium on silicon single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) photodetectors designed for operation in quantum communications systems. The work will be undertaken in the Semiconductor Devices Group at Glasgow which demonstrated the first Ge on Si SPAD photodetectors and more recently record breaking single photon detection efficiencies (see Nature Comms. 10, 1086 (2019)). The group is the global pioneer of these devices and has a significant lead in this silicon-based technology at short wave infrared wavelengths which are essential for a number of quantum technology applications including quantum communications, quantum computing, quantum imaging and single photon lidar.

The work will be supervised by Prof Douglas Paul who holds a prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies and it is aiming to deliver a new design of Ge on Si SPAD devices which can be easily coupled to optical fibres for use in quantum key distribution and quantum communication test systems. The work will include designing devices, being trained to fabricate devices in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre combined with characterisation of the devices using electronic and optical techniques. The successful student will be working in a research group with access to the top researchers in academia and industry from the UK Quantum Technology programme and internationally through collaborations. The work is funded by a PhD studentship from the UK Quantum Communications Hub and there will be frequent opportunities to travel to collaborators both in the UK and internationally as well as presenting results and listening to the top researchers at the leading international conferences in the field.

The highly motivated student should have a first class or upper second class undergraduate degree in physics, engineering, photonics, nanotechnology, materials science or an equivalent degree from a reputable university. They will design and simulate SPADs, fabricate them in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre and undertake testing to determine the performance. The project will allow the student to learn new skills and work in a vibrant research group of multidisciplinary researchers. The student will engage with collaborators in the UK Quantum Communications Hub and UK industry to understand the end user performance requirements as well as to test successfully developed devices in real systems. The skills acquired during the PhD will make the student highly employable either in academia or industry in the developing global quantum technology field where there is already a significant and growing demand for suitably qualified expert people. 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.

How to Apply: Please refer to the following website for details on how to apply:
http://www.gla.ac.uk/research/opportunities/howtoapplyforaresearchdegree/.

https://www.gla.ac.uk/study/applyonline/?CAREER=PGR&PLAN_CODES=HH56A-7201


Doug is always keen to find high quality PhD students for any of the funded areas in the group and has full PhD funded positions available for UK students. The group has also had a number of students with prestigious PhD scholarships and is happy to support scholarship applications from excellent students. If you are interested in undertaking a PhD related to any of the topics discussed in the web pages, please contact Prof Paul.

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Quantum Navigator Gyroscope

In this fully funded PhD project you will build a gyroscope for a quantum navigator using nanophotonic components to control, interact and measure the motion of atoms using light. Laser ring gyroscopes are presently the best classical rotation sensors but are expensive, large, heavy and not sufficiently accurate for most navigation applications. This project aims to demonstrate the first gyroscope combining both light from lasers with atoms for a quantum Sagnac gyroscope that is predicted to have at least 100 times less drift uncertainty than the best laser ring gyroscopes.

Society navigates using satnavs in vehicles and mobile phones but the nano-Watt signals are easy to jam, spoof and do not work inside buildings, under the ocean or underground. Resilient navigation without satellites uses dead reckoning where the current position from a previously determined reference is calculated using time, velocity, acceleration and rotation measurements. The UK Government recommends all position, navigation and timing for national security and critical national infrastructure can operate for ≥3 days without updated references from satellites. Whilst atomic clocks are available which can achieve satellite accuracy after 3 days, there are no commercial gyroscopes that can meet the Government's requirements.

The work will be supervised by Prof Douglas Paul as part of a prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies aiming to deliver a mobile phone sized quantum navigator. The work will include designing devices, being trained to fabricate devices in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre combined characterisation of the devices using electronic and optical techniques. The successful student will be working in a research group with access to the top researchers in academia and industry from the UK Quantum Technology programme and internationally through collaborations.

The highly motivated student should have a first class or upper second class undergraduate degree in physics, engineering, photonics, nanotechnology, materials science or an equivalent degree from a reputable university. They will design and simulate gyroscopes, fabricate them in the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre and undertake testing to determine the performance. The skills acquired during the PhD will make the student highly employable in the developing quantum technology field globally where there is already a significant and growing demand for suitably qualified expert people. 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.

How to Apply: Please refer to the following website for details on how to apply:
http://www.gla.ac.uk/research/opportunities/howtoapplyforaresearchdegree/.

How to Apply: Please refer to the following website for details on how to apply:
https://www.gla.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/electronicsnanoscale/

https://www.gla.ac.uk/study/applyonline/?CAREER=PGR&PLAN_CODES=HH56A-7201
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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/

https://www.gla.ac.uk/study/applyonline/?CAREER=PGR&PLAN_CODES=HH56A-7201

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Quantum LiDAR

The James Watt School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow has a fully paid PhD scholarships (both fees and stipend for any UK or EC national) available for a quantum lidar project to start in October 2020. The quantum lidar project is linked to the UK Quantum Technology Hub for Quantum Enhanced Imaging (QuantiC) and an InnovateUK industrial programme developing lidar systems for automotive vehicles with partners including Toshiba Research Europe, IQE, Thales and Jaguar Land Rover. The successful candidates will be trained to use the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre, a 1500 m2 quasi-industrial cleanroom with over £35M of processing tools.
Successful candidates are expected to have a first or upper second class degree from a reputable university in physics, electrical and electronic engineering, photonics, materials science or a suitably aligned degree. All the projects include design, modelling, fabrication and characterisation of photonic devices and systems. The students will also be expected to fully engaged with the UK Quantum Technology Programme and Hubs.
Quantum lidar / rangefinder: Glasgow has recently demonstrated world leading Ge on Si single photon avalanche detectors (SPADs) at 1500 nm wavelength with 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.

How to Apply: Please refer to the following website for details on how to apply: https://www.gla.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/electronicsnanoscale/.

https://www.gla.ac.uk/study/applyonline/?CAREER=PGR&PLAN_CODES=HH56A-7201