Postgraduate research opportunities Quantum Technologies: Atomic Clocks


Key facts

  • Opens: Monday 1 June 2020
  • Number of places: 1


A fully-funded position to undertake research in the ground-breaking field of quantum sensing and measurement, after the first year specialising in Atomic Clocks.
Back to opportunity


BSc (Hons) 2:1 or equivalent degree in physics

Scholarships (fees and stipend) available on a competitive basis for UK students, please contact supervisor for details.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner
Back to opportunity

Project Details

Atomic clocks are a shining example of the power that technology based on atomic physics can have. In the last decades, using atoms laser cooled to the microKelvin regime, the sensitivity of atomic clocks has increase to now being better than one second over the age of the universe. This project, a key node in the £50million Quantum Metrology and Sensors QT Hub, will focus on the construction of an atomic clock in a compact and robust package, utilising holographic technologies developed in our group at Strathclyde. The resulting device will surpass current state-of-the-art in commercial atomic clocks in cost, size, and stability. The successful candidate will gain cutting edge experience in atomic physics, lasers, optics, and vacuum technology.

This project is funded within the UK Quantum Technologies Program, offering a fully funded PhD position within the Experimental Quantum Optics & Photonics group at Strathclyde, lead in collaboration by Prof Erling Riis, Dr Aidan Arnold, and Dr Paul Griffin. The group is closely linked with other Quantum Technology Hubs exploiting Strathclyde’s position as the only University to be involved in all four hubs in both phases of funding.

  • J.P. McGilligan, P.F. Griffin, R. Elvin, S.J. Ingleby, E. Riis & A.S. Arnold, Grating chips for quantum technologiesSci. Rep. 7, 384 (2017)
  • J.P. McGilligan, P.F. Griffin, E. Riis, and A.S. Arnold, Diffraction-grating characterization for cold-atom experimentsJOSAB 33, 1271-1277 (2016)
  • J.P. Cotter, J.P. McGilligan, P.F. Griffin, I.M. Rabey, K. Docherty, E. Riis, A.S. Arnold, E.A. Hinds, Design and fabrication of diffractive atom chips for laser cooling and trappingAppl. Phys. B 122 (2016)
  • J.P. McGilligan, P.F. Griffin, E. Riis, A.S. Arnold, Phase-space properties of magneto-optical traps utilising micro-fabricated gratingsOpt. Express 23, 8948-8959 (2015)
  • C.C. Nshii, M. Vangeleyn, J.P. Cotter, P.F. Griffin, E.A. Hinds, C.N. Ironside, P. See, A.G. Sinclair, E. Riis and A.S. Arnold, A surface-patterned chip as a strong source of ultracold atoms for quantum technologiesNature Nanotech. 8, 321 (2013)
Back to opportunity


Dr Paul Griffin

Senior Lecturer

View profile
Back to course


Informal inquires can be made to Paul Griffin ( and to

Online Application Form