Postgraduate research opportunities

Industrial CASE PhD Studentship in Quantum devices based on silicon carbide transistors

The development of quantum electronics in silicon carbide will be the main focus of this project. Through a balanced mix of academic and industrial research activities, the student will design, manufacture and test novel electronics relevant to the nascent fields of quantum computing and quantum sensing.

Number of places



Home fee, Travel costs, Stipend


21 January 2021


4 Years


  • Minimum BSc degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Material Science.
  • Minimum 2:1 or equivalent

UKRI Studentship Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for UKRI funding has changed for studentships commencing in the 2021/22 academic year. Now, all home and international students are eligible to apply for UKRI funding which will cover the full stipend and tuition fees at the home rate (not the international rate). Under the new criteria, UKRI have stipulated a maximum percentage of international students that can be recruited each year against individual training grants. This will be managed at the institutional level for all EPSRC DTP and ICASE grants. For EPSRC CDT grants, this will be managed by the individual CDT administrative/management team. For ESRC and AHRC studentships the final funding decision will be made by the respective grant holder.


To be classed as a home student, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK national (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status, or
  • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter.


The residency requirements are based on the Education (Fees and Awards) (England) Regulations 2007 and subsequent amendments. Normally to be eligible for a full award a student must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship (with some further constraint regarding residence for education).

If a student does not meet the criteria above, they will be classed as an international student. The international portion of the tuition fee cannot be funded by the UKRI grant and must be covered from other sources. International students are permitted to self-fund the difference between the home and international fee rates.

Project Details

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the Physics Department of the University of Strathclyde are offering an Industrial CASE PhD studentship in quantum technology.

Unbreakable cryptography, teleportation of information and ultra-fast computing will soon cease to be figments of science fiction literature. These are now considered imminent realities enabled by the upbringing of quantum technologies [1]. Devices that exploit the laws of quantum physics are developing quickly and many materials are presently under scrutiny to build the future quantum hardware [2-3].

This project will investigate quantum effects in silicon carbide (SiC), a wide-bandgap compound semiconductor made of silicon and carbon. The aim of the studentship will be the development of device and testing technologies to electrically probe quantum defects in the semiconductor crystal [4-5]. A central aspect will be the prototyping of novel single-charge and single-spin electronics useful for quantum computing and quantum sensing. This project also aims at enabling large integration and scalability of SiC quantum devices, unlocking their commercial viability.

The research activities will balance device design and modelling, hands-on cleanroom fabrication, as well as electrical measurements at cryogenic temperatures. The student will be involved in making and characterising devices that span from metal-oxide-semiconductor nano-capacitors to LEDs and field-effect transistors.

This is an exciting opportunity to develop technical skills of relevance to both the academic job market and the nascent quantum technology industry. This CASE studentship will provide the student with industrial exposure through hands-on activities at NPL and other corporate partners, such as Hitachi and British Telecom.

[1] The European Quantum Flagship
[2] T.D. Ladd et al. Nature 464, 45 (2010)
[3] D.D. Awschalom et al. Science 339, 1174 (2013)
[4] A. Lohrmann et al. Rep. Prog. Phys. 80, 034502 (2017)
[5] M. Atature et al. Nature Reviews Materials 3, 38 (2018)

• Design and fabricate quantum devices in a cleanroom environment.
• Perform low-temperature experiments and device characterisation.
• Analyse and model experimental data with appropriate software (e.g. Matlab, Python etc.).
• Prepare manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed journals.
• Travel domestically across collaborating institutions to carry out part of the project’s activities.

Host Institution(s)
This project is part of a long-standing collaboration between the Quantum Technology Department at NPL (London) and the Physics Department at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow). The student is expected to carry out most of the research activities at NPL (~90%) where he/she will join the Quantum Electrical Metrology Group. The successful candidate will be also part of a cohort of highly selected students at the Postgraduate Institute for Measurement Science, a multi-disciplinary national centre for research training and skills development in metrology and its applications.

Extended stays at Strathclyde (~10%) will be encouraged throughout the project’s lifespan. Funding for travel expenses between Glasgow and London is readily available.


Funding Details

Research Council (RC) fees and stipend can only be awarded to UK/EU citizens and/or Internationals with UK permanent residence status

How to apply

For informal inquiries and/or applications, please contact directly Dr Alessandro Rossi

Application documents: CV, University transcripts, and 1-page statement of interest.