PhD Studentship in Quantum Photonic Memory for Telecommunication Networks

University of Southampton School of Physics and Astronomy

United Kingdom

PhD Studentship in Quantum Photonic Memory for Telecommunication Networks

Quantum, Light & Matter Group

Location:  Highfield Campus

Closing Date:  Monday 31 August 2020

Reference:  1279120WF

Supervisory Team:    Patrick Ledingham and Hendrik Ulbricht 

Project description

Quantum photonic networks enable powerful technologies like quantum computing, unprecedented sensing capability, and guaranteed secure communication, operating at high bandwidth and in ambient conditions. This PhD project, in the Southampton group of Dr Patrick M Ledingham, concerns the development of a quantum optical memory – a device that stores and recalls on-demand quantum photonic states – to allow for synchronisation capability that will be crucial to scale up a future quantum photonic network.

A quantum memory must be capable of efficient storage and recall of broadband single photons, by mapping them into and out of atomic ensembles, in a way that is compatible with high-speed telecommunication networks. Your project will combine novel optical pumping techniques and integrated approaches to develop vapour and solid-state platforms that can be the basis for a high-speed noise-free quantum memory for telecom light. The memory will use protocols and techniques such as atomic frequency comb memory [1] and off-resonant cascaded absorption memory [2], which we have recently shown to be a completely noise-free quantum memory at room temperature.

Photonics is emerging as a strong platform for realising quantum-based technologies, since quantum information can be encoded into photons and travel long distances in low-loss telecommunication fibres under ambient conditions, without noise, and at high bandwidth. This opens the possibility for you to explore and exploit quantum phenomena without the need for ultrahigh vacuum or ultracold cryogenic systems. This practical project will enable you to develop experimental skills in laser spectroscopy, quantum and non-linear optics, cryogenics, RF electronics, data analysis and control programming. You will present your work at national and international conferences, and there are plenty of chances for local and international collaboration.

[1] K Kaczmarek, et al., Phys. Rev. A 97, 042316 (2018).

[2] A Seri, et al., Phys. Rev. X 7, 021028 (2017).

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree in Physics or closely related subject (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,285 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online, please select the academic session 2020-21 “PhD Physics(Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Dr Patrick Ledingham under the proposed supervisor.

Applications should include

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: 

For general enquires regarding the project please contact Dr Patrick Ledingham: 

In your application, please refer to


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