Postgraduate research opportunities Nanoscale assembly methods for manufacturing of quantum photonic systems


Key facts

  • Opens: Friday 11 December 2020
  • Deadline: Friday 30 July 2021
  • Number of places: 1
  • Duration: 42 months
  • Funding: Home fee, Stipend


The student will design and fabricate nanoscale systems for quantum applications using state-of-the-art 3D assembly tools, nano-accurate microscopy and will measure the devices in optical laboratories.
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To enter our PhD programme applicants require an upper-second or first class BSc Honours degree, or a Masters qualification of equal or higher standard, in Physics, Engineering or a related discipline.

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

Technological advances such as chip scale electronics, LED lighting and advanced power generation systems are often underpinned by new techniques in materials science and manufacturing.  Photonics and quantum technologies are two rapidly advancing fields that are benefitting from hybrid materials integration and meta-materials science.  For example, crystal defects, dopant atoms or electronic confinement structures in solid state materials can act like isolated atoms, providing energy transitions that are easily accessible using RF or optical excitation.  By creating these pseudo-atoms ‘on-demand’ in semiconductor or dielectric chips, they can be integrated with laser sources, electronics and sensors to fabricate a wide range of new devices and systems. Examples include ultra-sensitive magnetometers, gravitational sensors, and devices for quantum information processing communications and memories. 

This project will be focused on the development of new micro and nano-fabrication processes for the integration of nano-scale objects with optical and electronic circuits.  This will require the development of ultra-precise microscopy and mechanical transfer systems in addition to processing using standard semiconductor cleanroom methods and tools.  In order to enable future manufacturing of quantum systems at scale, these processes must be automated and allow for high throughput.  The student will gain experience in optical systems design, cleanroom processing, ultra-high precision pick-and-place technology and photonic measurements.  This work is aligned with major research projects at the Institute of Photonics and the student will have access to unique nano-assembly tools and processes developed by our group.   Research findings will be published in high impact journals with the opportunity to present at an international conference. 

Institute of Photonics:

The Institute of Photonics (IoP), part of the Department of Physics, is a centre of excellence in applications-oriented research at the University of Strathclyde - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 Scottish University of the Year, The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education 2019, The Times Higher Education UK University of the Year 2019/20 (and 2012/13), The Times Higher Education Widening Participation Initiative of the Year 2019 and UK Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2013/14. The Institute’s key objective is to bridge the gap between academic research and industrial applications and development in the area of photonics. The IoP is located in the £100M Technology and Innovation Centre on Strathclyde’s Glasgow city centre campus, at the heart of Glasgow’s Innovation District, where it is co-located with the UK’s first Fraunhofer Research Centre. Researchers at the IoP are active in a broad range of photonics fields under the areas of Photonic Devices, Advanced Lasers and Neurophotonics, for further information please view the IoP webpage

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Fraunhofer: Dr Loyd McKnight

Dr Michael Strain

Institute of Photonics

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Professor Martin Dawson

Institute of Photonics

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Applicants should send an up-to-date CV to