Postgraduate research opportunities

Quantum properties of integrated frequency combs for applications in computing, communications and sensing

This experimental project will investigate the quantum properties of the frequency combs generated via parametric processes in integrated platforms (waveguides and microresonators). The student will work on the generation, characterisation and applications of highly entangled cluster states.

Number of places



18 November 2020


3.5 years


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. 

Project Details

Quantum states of light are playing an increasingly important role in the applications of quantum technologies, ranging from secure communications to enhanced computing and sensing (imaging, spectroscopy, etc.). At the core of these applications lies our ability to generate the required quantum states, from entangled to single photons and squeezed states. In recent years, the quantum optics community has been looking at integrated optical circuits for further pushing the development of quantum technologies. On the one hand, reduced size and robust devices support the development of quantum technologies applications outside research laboratories. On the other hand, the capabilities allowed by integrated circuits, enable the study of novel physical processes, e.g. Kerr microcombs [1-3].

This project will investigate the quantum properties of the frequency combs generated via spontaneous parametric processes in integrated platforms. The large free spectral range, achieved via the small resonator size, allows accessing (manipulate and measure) each single cavity resonance independently. This, in turn, enables to study and develop novel quantum devices, from quantum computing based on cluster states [4] to integrated metrological tools based on squeezed states [5,6] and wavelength multiplexed quantum communications.

The project will involve a combination of theoretical and experimental studies. The student will analyse the properties of the generated quantum states and define the necessary operations for creating highly entangled cluster states. The most promising experimental configuration will be then investigated and developed in the lab.


[1] P. Del’Haye et al., “Optical frequency comb generation from a monolithic microresonator”, Nature 450, 1214 (2007).

[2] T.J. Kippenberg et al., “Microresonator-based optical frequency combs”, Science 332, 555 (2011).

[3] A. Pasquazi et al., “Micro-combs: A novel generation of optical sources”, Physics Reports 729, 1 (2018).

[4] C. Reimer et al., “High-dimensional one-way quantum processing implemented on d-level cluster states”, Nature Physics 15, 148 (2019).

[5] A. Dutt et al., “On-Chip Optical Squeezing”, Physical Review Applied 3, 044005 (2015).

[6] F. Mondain et al., “Chip-based squeezing at a telecom wavelength”, Photonics Research 7, A36 (2019).

 Institute of Photonics:

The Institute of Photonics (IoP), established in 1996, is a commercially-oriented research unit at the University of Strathclyde.  The Institute’s key objective is to bridge the gap between academic research and industrial applications and development in the area of photonics.  The offices and laboratories of the IoP are based in Strathclyde’s Glasgow city centre campus.  We are part of the Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) initiative and co-located with the new Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics.  Researchers at the IoP are active in a broad range of photonics fields under the areas of Photonic Devices, Advanced Lasers and Neurophotonics, please see:

Funding Details

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