PhD Positions in Quantum Communication

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University of Geneva
1 October, 2016


University of Geneva
Chemin de Pinchat 22
46° 10' 40.2672" N, 6° 8' 42.306" E 1211

We are currently seeking outstanding candidates for several open PhD positions. Our group is exploring quantum communication ranging from applied to more fundamental perspectives, along with the development of associated quantum technologies, such as photon sources and single photon detectors. The candidates must have a completed masters degree in physics or related disciplines with excellent grades, be highly motivated, and enjoy working in an international team. We invite candidates for the following positions:

1) Novel approaches to simple and secure QKD systems (Theory-Experiment) The security analysis of a QKD protocol is an important but difficult task, requiring a close collaboration between theorists and experimentalists. On the one hand, a thorough understanding of how different experimental parameters impact the secret key rate is mandatory to improve the performance. On the other, new simplified experimental setups need to be analysed again. The ultimate goal is to design efficient and secure systems. This project investigates (a) the security of simple and practical QKD schemes (such as coherent one-way (COW)). The goal is to improve the security bounds obtained so far, or design new simple and efficient protocols in this framework; and (b) how to tame side channels in QKD, considering the vitality of quantum hacking in QKD. We are also trying to further extend results on device-independent or self-testing protocols for QKD and QRNGs to see how practical they can be.

2) Device Independent Quantum Communication and Networks The successful candidate will work on advanced entangled and nonlinear photonic systems with the aim of bridging the gap between fundamental tests, such as Bell inequalities, and quantum communication primitives like quantum cryptography and random number generation. Entanglement generation, as well as distribution: synchronisation (timing); alignment (polarisation), and stabilisation (phase) will be studied for 1D and 2D quantum networks and device independent protocols.

3) Integrated Photonics for Quantum Communication Photon-pair sources and frequency convertors​ provide a means for engineering high-speed, high-purity, and high-indistinguishability heralded photons, which can be used for sources of heralded single photon entanglement and connect different wavelength regimes. The successful candidate will work on fabricating and optimising integrated photonics devices, adapted specifically for quantum communication at telecom wavelengths, with the aim of fabricating multiple identical sources and frequency convertors, both on a single chip, as well as many sources for synchronisation over communication distances.

4) High-performance superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs) for quantum communicationUltimate performances in single-photon detection are essential to push the limits of quantum communication. We are seeking motivated, resourceful and creative candidates to join our efforts to develop novel and high-performance detectors based on superconducting nanowires. The candidates will have the unique opportunity to develop a strong nanofabrication expertise in world-class clean rooms, combined with the integration of devices in cutting-edge quantum communication experiments. Current research projects are focused on the development of novel SNSPD structures for quantum communication and single-photon-level sensing, performance-enhancing cryogenic electronics and the study of the detection mechanism in SNSPDs.

The Quantum Technologies group is part of the Applied Physics Department at the University of Geneva, which enjoys a high reputation internationally and is excellently equipped for performing world-class research. We have active collaborations with the international research community, and locally, are home to a network of research groups also working on quantum memories and repeaters, macroscopic quantum systems, non-locality and entanglement, quantum thermodynamics, quantum optics theory, and biophotonics. We offer a highly attractive research environment and salaries according to Swiss standards.

PhD Applications: Candidates should send an e-mail with a CV and motivation letter to either hugo [dot] zbinden [at] unige [dot] ch (Hugo Zbinden) or robert [dot] thew [at] unige [dot] ch (Rob Thew). Please also include 2-3 people who may be contacted to provide recommendation letters. For the SNSPD, please also cc felix [dot] bussieres [at] unige [dot] ch (Félix Bussières)