Postgraduate research opportunities High Fidelity Atomic Entanglement


Key facts

  • Opens: Sunday 1 January 2023
  • Number of places: 2
  • Duration: Studentships available for 36-48 months
  • Funding: Home fee, Travel costs, Stipend


This project is focused on exploring scalability of atomic quantum hardware by overcoming barriers to achieving high fidelity coherent control and entanglement using both trapped ions and neutral atoms. Working in close collaboration between experimental teams at NPL and Strathclyde, we are seeking to recruit two PhD students to address the shared challenges in performing coherent control and state readout in these atom-based hardware platforms.
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Applicants must have completed BSc (Hons) 2:1 or equivalent degree in physics.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner
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Project Details

Scaling up quantum technology systems based on laser cooled atoms or ions depends not only on chip-scale components for trapping, but also on accurate means for high-fidelity coherent control. Teams at NPL & Strathclyde have demonstrated entangled systems based on trapped ions and Rydberg atoms respectively. While different, these systems share similar challenges to achieving high fidelity of the requisite processes including coherent control and state readout using optical interrogation techniques. For example, deficiencies in the noise spectrum of lasers for coherent operations lead to infidelities in both systems; yet the techniques to quantify noise contributions, such as those developed by NPL, are common.

We are seeking to recruit two PhD students to work across these two platforms, with one student embedded within the trapped ion team at NPL and the other working within the neutral atom quantum computing team at Strathclyde.

Work on the trapped ion platform will focus on upgrading the NPL ion microtrap system to extend it from strings of two, to up to ten, entangled ions. Use of larger entangled ion strings permits measurement beyond the standard quantum limit, enabling Heisenberg-limited spectroscopy that can outperform equivalent measurements on a string of uncorrelated ions. As well as leading to high impact publications, in future this will enable entanglement-enhanced clock metrology for the development of timing standards offering accuracy beyond current state-of-the-art to achieve high precision at short timescales. By performing a systematic characterisation of the system performance to quantify sources of infidelities, the limits for practical scaling and a roadmap for future development will also be identified.

Work on the neutral atom hardware will focus on developing a new dual-species platform for quantum computing and simulation, where the independent atomic species can be exploited to perform cross-talk free readout and the first characterisation of interspecies atomic couplings mediated by highly-excited Rydberg states. This approach provides a route to implementing active quantum error correction on a neutral atom platform, essential for future scaling beyond 1000 qubits, along with offering new opportunities to exploiting atom arrays for practical quantum optimisation.

Across the projects, we will focus on collaborative solutions to common problems to advance the capability and performance of the two platforms to exploit the close synergies and expertise of both research teams.

Further information

Students will receive advanced training in quantum technologies provided by both the International Graduate School for Quantum Technologies lead by Strathclyde as well as the Postgraduate Measurement Institute at NPL.

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Funding details

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

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Dr Jonathan Pritchard


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Professor Griffin

Professor Paul Griffin


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Dr Alastair Sinclair

Visiting Professor

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Number of places: 2

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Programme: Physics

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

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Contact us

Enquiries should be sent by email to Dr. Jonathan Pritchard ( or Dr. Alastair Sinclair (