Two PhD positions in Experimental Quantum Networking with Atomic Ions

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University of Sussex
1 July, 2016


University of Sussex Brighton
United Kingdom
50° 49' 21.108" N, 0° 8' 13.7868" W

3.5 year PhD positions are available in the Ion Trap Cavity-QED and Molecular Physics (ITCM) Group in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Sussex.

The positions come with an annual stipend of £14,057 which can be supplemented by tutoring. The position includes an additional yearly travel allowance for conferences and workshops. Applicants should have an undergraduate degree in physics or similar.

For more information please contact Dr Matthias Keller (m [dot] k [dot] keller [at] sussex [dot] ac [dot] uk) and visit the group’s web page at

The projects unite two distinct areas of quantum information processing, single ions stored in radio-frequency traps, and single photons in optical fibres. In both fields, there have been spectacular advances recently. Strings of ions are presently the most successful implementation of quantum computing, with elementary quantum algorithms and quantum simulations realized. Photons are used to distribute entanglement over ever increasing distances. The principal challenge in the field is to enhance quantum processing power by scaling up current devices to larger quantum systems. We are pursuing one of the most promising strategies, distributed quantum computation, in which multiple small-scale ion processors are interlinked by exchanging photonic quantum bits via optical fibres. It requires a coherent quantum interface between ions and photons, mapping ionic to photonic quantum states and vice versa. To maximise fidelity and success rate of the scheme, the interaction of ions and photons must take place in a microscopic optical cavity with high finesse, a technology in which the Ion Trap Cavity-QED and Molecular Physics group in Sussex has a leading role. To achieve ultra-small trap and cavity volumes, we use the fibre ends as cavity mirrors and tightly integrate them into the ion trap structure.

The projects are within the Quantum Technology Hub for Networked Quantum Information Technologies and in collaboration with the National Physical Laboratory.

The first year of one project is located at the NPL in London to set up and test a novel ion trap design which is based on micro-fabricated structures. In years two and three, the ion tap structure will be combined with laser machined fibre cavities and the ion-cavity coupling will be employed to demonstrate a high fidelity ion-photon entanglement at the University of Sussex. The second project uses an exciting ion trap-cavity system at the ITCM group at Sussex to investigate schemes to interlink nodes of a quantum network. The projects provide hands-on training from the construction of state-of-the-art ion trap quantum computing systems through to the implementation of quantum state transfers and entanglement generation.


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