Open Positions

We are on the lookout for new people to join our group throughout the year.

Although new PhD and Masters students will typically start around September time, applications are welcome anytime. More details about currently available PhD positions can be found at PhD @ QSD.

Post-doctoral researchers are encouraged to contact the team directly first if you are interested in joining.

PhD student Amruta fixing her laser system.

We also offer the opportunity for motivated undergraduate students to complete summer projects within our labs. Selected candidates can gain lots of practical experience in diverse areas such as laser physics, optics, imaging, ultrahigh vacuum, software development, CAD modelling and electronics design. Projects can also be tailored to the areas in which students find most interesting, or wish to learn more.

If you would like to know more about what we do and what is on offer, please don't hesitate to get in touch via email or telephone, and we can arrange for you to come for a visit.

 

Details can be found on our Contact page.

Postdoc Positions

Project 1 - Study of out-of-equilibrium dynamics in Bose-Einstein condensates


Out-of-equilibrium quantum gases

By using a combination of magnetic, optical, and electric fields, ultracold atom systems can allow a remarkable degree of precise control over the states of the particles, and therefore act as an ideal testing ground for various theoretical models with tunable parameters. The ultralow temperatures (and therefore correspondingly low energy scales) involved, along with weak interactions and excellent isolation from the environment, often gives rise to relatively slow dynamics - which can then be probed on timescales that are easily experimentally accessible. This makes ultracold atoms a useful tool for studying quantum many-body systems that have been brought out of their equilibrium state (usually by an applied perturbation or a “quench”), a topic which is being actively studied, with many open questions.

The Project

Our lab currently creates Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC) trapped with tailored magnetic fields near the surface of a microfabricated atom chip device. The aims of this project are to develop further the experimental systems, to investigate protocols for bringing BECs out of equilibrium, and to study their subsequent behaviour. This will initially involve the implementation of a combination of optical and radio-frequency fields to the system, to allow a new level of flexible control over the trapping potentials, facilitating a variety of non-equilibrium experiments.

This project will involve a combination of experimental, theoretical, and numerical work, and so in addition to a good Honours or Master’s degree, the candidate should have experience in (and enjoy!) experimental physics or a background in atomic and quantum physics with programming skills. From this project, the student will learn a wide range of experimental skills, including optics and lasers, electronics, ultrahigh vacuum, numerical modelling techniques, and gain a deeper understanding of atomic physics and quantum technology.

Amount
  • Fully-paid tuition fees for three and a half years.
  • A tax-free bursary for living costs for three and a half years. From October 2021/22 this is expected to be £15560 per year
  • A support grant for three and a half years of £1,650 per year for travel and conferences.
  • If you are not a UK national, nor an EU national with UK settled/pre-settled status, you will need to apply for a student study visa before admission
Eligibility Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, at least a UK upper second class degree (or non-UK equivalent qualification) in Physics, or a closely-related area, or else a lower second class degree followed by a relevant Master's degree. This award is open to UK and International students. How to apply Apply through the University of Sussex on-line system. https://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/phd/apply/log-into-account Select the PhD in Physics, with an entry date of September 2021. In the Finance & Fees section, state that you wish to be considered for studentship no QSD/2021/02 We advise early application as the position will be filled as soon as a suitable applicant can be found. Due to the high volume of applications received, you may only hear from us if your application is successful.




Project 2 - Development of a Bose-Einstein condensate magnetic microscope


Magnetic microscopy with Bose-Einstein condensates

Neutral atoms can be cooled and trapped using a combination of static and oscillating electromagnetic fields. We produce Bose-Einstein condensates on atom chips and use them to microscopically probe the magnetic field close to surfaces with very high sensitivity [1].

Understanding atom-surface interactions like Casimir forces is of fundamental interest, and also highly relevant for the technological advance of surface microscopy. Using novel materials such as graphene will allow for a reduced separation between atoms and samples, thereby enhancing sensitivity to electrical currents flowing in samples.

The Project

The aim of the project is to improve the sensitivity of our magnetic microscope to electric currents in two dimensional (2D) samples. It involves experimental work on atom chip based ultracold atomic systems, study of atom-surface interactions, characterisation of the magnetic microscope, and measurement of current flow in samples based on new technologies such as 3D printed conductors or nanostructured materials.

The PhD student will play a central role in this investigation and will learn a wide array of tools in atomic physics, quantum technology and modelling. In addition to a good Honours or Masters degree, the candidate should have a background in Atomic and Quantum Physics and have excellent skills including programming and experimental physics.

Amount
  • Fully-paid tuition fees for three and a half years.
  • A tax-free bursary for living costs for three and a half years. From October 2021/22 this is expected to be £15560 per year.
  • A support grant for three and a half years of £1,650 per year for travel and conferences.
  • If you are not a UK national, nor an EU national with UK settled/pre-settled status, you will need to apply for a student study visa before admission
Eligibility Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, at least a UK upper second class degree (or non-UK equivalent qualification) in Physics, or a closely-related area, or else a lower second class degree followed by a relevant Master's degree. This award is open to UK and International students. How to apply Apply through the University of Sussex on-line system. https://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/phd/apply/log-into-account Select the PhD in Physics, with an entry date of September 2021. In the Finance & Fees section, state that you wish to be considered for studentship no QSD/2021/03 We advise early application as the position will be filled as soon as a suitable applicant can be found. Due to the high volume of applications received, you may only hear from us if your application is successful.




Project 3 - Development of a modular and compact source of Bose-Einstein condensates


Compact Cold Atom Sources Samples of ultracold atoms and quantum matter offer an unprecedented level of sensitivity and control. They have been demonstrated to make excellent sensors of their environment, including atom interferometers for inertial, gravitational, electric, and magnetic fields, as well as in timing and atomic clock applications - outperforming their classical counterparts in many cases. Although research on ultracold atom physics began with the advent of laser cooling several decades ago, the field has now reached such a level of maturity that there is a large focus on building systems aimed more towards applications, even bringing such systems outside the laboratory. For all these quantum technology applications, the starting point is to collect atoms in a trap and pre-cool them using a combination of electromagnetic fields. The Project The aim of the project is to design and realise a compact source of Bose-Einstein condensates, which is sufficiently modular to be able to act as a versatile starting point for a range of research experiments or quantum sensors. The project will involve integrating together a variety of existing state-of-the-art laser cooling and atomic physics techniques, such as diffraction grating magneto-optical traps, miniature vacuum cells, microfabricated atom chips, and printed circuit boards, into a single system capable of producing a sample of atoms at sub-microkelvin temperatures with a repetition rate on the order of 1 Hz. This project will involve a combination of experimental, theoretical, and numerical work, and so in addition to a good Honours or Master’s degree, the candidate should have experience in (and enjoy!) experimental physics or engineering, or a background in atomic and quantum physics. From this project, the student will learn a wide range of experimental skills, including optics and lasers, 3D mechanical CAD design, electronics, ultrahigh vacuum, numerical modelling techniques, and gain a deeper understanding of atomic physics and quantum technology. Amount

  • Fully-paid tuition fees for three and a half years.
  • A tax-free bursary for living costs for three and a half years. From October 2021/22 this is expected to be £15560 per year.
  • A support grant for three and a half years of £1,650 per year for travel and conferences.
  • If you are not a UK national, nor an EU national with UK settled/pre-settled status, you will need to apply for a student study visa before admission
Eligibility

Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, at least a UK upper second class degree (or non-UK equivalent qualification) in Physics, or a closely-related area, or else a lower second class degree followed by a relevant Master's degree.

This award is open to UK and International students.

How to apply

Apply through the University of Sussex on-line system.
https://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/phd/apply/log-into-account

Select the PhD in Physics, with an entry date of September 2021.

In the Finance & Fees section, state that you wish to be considered for studentship no QSD/2021/01

We advise early application as the position will be filled as soon as a suitable applicant can be found.

Due to the high volume of applications received, you may only hear from us if your application is successful.




Project 4 - Development of a quantum magnetic imaging array for characterisation of electric vehicle batteries


Magnetic sensing for new technologies

From smartphone cameras to deep-space telescopes, being able to capture images now underpins a significant amount of our technology. This project aims to expand this technology to low-frequency magnetic fields by creating sensor arrays capable of producing images of magnetic fields. Developing such a device will allow us to observe a range of interesting systems, such as electric vehicles batteries, magnetic nanoparticles and neuronal activity in the human brain. The Quantum Systems and Devices (QSD) group at the University of Sussex are active in both developing, and furthering the applications of, quantum magnetic sensors for both research and industry.

The Project

The aim of this work will be to use quantum sensors already in use at the University of Sussex, as well as collaborating with the sensor development team in the QSD group. They will use optically-pumped magnetometers (OPMs), currently the most sensitive magnetometers in the world, to measure fields around a billion times smaller than the Earth’s magnetic field. One particular application of interest is in the use of magnetic field detection to infer electrical current paths in electric vehicle batteries. Knowledge of which will help understand the degradation of electrochemical cells, and be used to monitor battery state-of-health as well as assist the development of new battery technologies and layouts.

This project will involve a combination of experimental, theoretical, and numerical work, and so in addition to a good Honours or Master’s degree, the candidate should have experience in (and enjoy!) experimental physics or a background in atomic and quantum physics with programming skills. From this project, the student will learn a wide range of experimental skills, including optics and lasers, electronics, numerical modelling techniques, and gain a deeper understanding of atomic physics and quantum technology.

Amount
  • Fully-paid tuition fees for three and a half years.
  • A tax-free bursary for living costs for three and a half years. From October 2021/22 this is expected to be £15560 per year.
  • A support grant for three and a half years of £1,650 per year for travel and conferences.
  • If you are not a UK national, nor an EU national with UK settled/pre-settled status, you will need to apply for a student study visa before admission
Eligibility

Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, at least a UK upper second class degree (or non-UK equivalent qualification) in Physics, or a closely-related area, or else a lower second class degree followed by a relevant Master's degree.

This award is open to UK and International students.

How to apply

Apply through the University of Sussex on-line system.
https://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/phd/apply/log-into-account

Select the PhD in Physics, with an entry date of September 2021.

In the Finance & Fees section, state that you wish to be considered for studentship no QSD/2021/04

We advise early application as the position will be filled as soon as a suitable applicant can be found.

Due to the high volume of applications received, you may only hear from us if your application is successful.




Project 5 - Brain imaging (magnetoencephalography – MEG) with quantum magnetometer arrays


Magnetic sensing for new technologies

From smartphone cameras to deep-space telescopes, being able to capture images now underpins a significant amount of our technology. This project aims to expand this technology to low-frequency magnetic fields by creating sensor arrays capable of producing images of magnetic fields. Developing such a device will allow us to observe a range of interesting systems, such as electric vehicles batteries, magnetic nanoparticles and neuronal activity in the human brain. The Quantum Systems and Devices (QSD) group at the University of Sussex are active in both developing, and furthering the applications of, quantum magnetic sensors for both research and industry.

The Project

Recent work has shown that optically pumped magnetometers (OPMs) are sensitive enough to measure the tiny magnetic fields generated by the body, being around a billion times smaller than the Earth’s magnetic field. As such, OPMs are now viable alternatives to expensive superconducting detectors for bio-magnetism. In particular, they have been shown to be capable of being used in magnetoencephalography – the measurement of the brain’s magnetic fields. The aim of this work will be to continue the development of magnetometer arrays within the Quantum Systems and Devices group, adaptable to a variety of bio-magnetic systems, including the brain and spinal cord. The PhD student will play a central role in this investigation and will learn a wide array of tools in atomic physics, quantum technology and modelling. They will work with the QSD group at the University of Sussex, as well as local neuroscientists and, where relevant, industry. The successful applicant will have some technical background in one of the sciences and be proficient in computer programming. Some knowledge of medical imaging is an advantage, as is some background in neuroscience. Amount
  • Fully-paid tuition fees for three and a half years.
  • A tax-free bursary for living costs for three and a half years. From October 2021/22 this is expected to be £15560 per year.
  • A support grant for three and a half years of £1,650 per year for travel and conferences.
  • If you are not a UK national, nor an EU national with UK settled/pre-settled status, you will need to apply for a student study visa before admission
Eligibility

Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, at least a UK upper second class degree (or non-UK equivalent qualification) in Physics, or a closely-related area, or else a lower second class degree followed by a relevant Master's degree.

This award is open to UK and International students.

How to apply

Apply through the University of Sussex on-line system.
https://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/phd/apply/log-into-account

Select the PhD in Physics, with an entry date of September 2021.

In the Finance & Fees section, state that you wish to be considered for studentship no QSD/2021/05

We advise early application as the position will be filled as soon as a suitable applicant can be found.

Due to the high volume of applications received, you may only hear from us if your application is successful.




Project 6 - Development of modular optically-pumped magnetometers for quantum sensing applications


Magnetic sensing for new technologies

From smartphone cameras to deep-space telescopes, being able to capture images now underpins a significant amount of our technology. This project aims to expand this technology to low-frequency magnetic fields by creating sensor arrays capable of producing images of magnetic fields. Developing such a device will allow us to observe a range of interesting systems, such as electric vehicles batteries, magnetic nanoparticles and neuronal activity in the human brain. The Quantum Systems and Devices (QSD) group at the University of Sussex are active in both developing, and furthering the applications of, quantum magnetic sensors for both research and industry.

The Project

Using the Larmor spin precession of optically-pumped atoms in room-temperature alkali vapour cells, optically-pumped magnetometers (OPMs) are sensitive enough to measure fields around a billion times smaller than the Earth’s magnetic field! They are a viable alternative to expensive superconducting detectors for bio-magnetism without the complication of cryogenic cooling. The aim of this work will be to continue the development of OPMs in the QSD group, working as part of the UK Quantum Technology Hub, and collaborating with a consortium of industrial partners. This project will involve a combination of experimental, theoretical, and numerical work, and so in addition to a good Honours or Master’s degree, the candidate should have experience in (and enjoy!) experimental physics or a background in atomic and quantum physics with programming skills. From this project, the student will learn a wide range of experimental skills, including optics and lasers, electronics, numerical modelling techniques, and gain a deeper understanding of atomic physics and quantum technology.

Amount
  • Fully-paid tuition fees for three and a half years.
  • A tax-free bursary for living costs for three and a half years. From October 2021/22 this is expected to be £15560 per year.
  • A support grant for three and a half years of £1,650 per year for travel and conferences.
  • If you are not a UK national, nor an EU national with UK settled/pre-settled status, you will need to apply for a student study visa before admission
Eligibility

Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, at least a UK upper second class degree (or non-UK equivalent qualification) in Physics, or a closely-related area, or else a lower second class degree followed by a relevant Master's degree.

This award is open to UK and International students.

How to apply

Apply through the University of Sussex on-line system.
https://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/phd/apply/log-into-account

Select the PhD in Physics, with an entry date of September 2021.

In the Finance & Fees section, state that you wish to be considered for studentship no QSD/2021/06

We advise early application as the position will be filled as soon as a suitable applicant can be found.

Due to the high volume of applications received, you may only hear from us if your application is successful.





PhD Positions

Project 1 - Study of out-of-equilibrium dynamics in Bose-Einstein condensates


Out-of-equilibrium quantum gases

By using a combination of magnetic, optical, and electric fields, ultracold atom systems can allow a remarkable degree of precise control over the states of the particles, and therefore act as an ideal testing ground for various theoretical models with tunable parameters. The ultralow temperatures (and therefore correspondingly low energy scales) involved, along with weak interactions and excellent isolation from the environment, often gives rise to relatively slow dynamics - which can then be probed on timescales that are easily experimentally accessible. This makes ultracold atoms a useful tool for studying quantum many-body systems that have been brought out of their equilibrium state (usually by an applied perturbation or a “quench”), a topic which is being actively studied, with many open questions.

The Project

Our lab currently creates Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC) trapped with tailored magnetic fields near the surface of a microfabricated atom chip device. The aims of this project are to develop further the experimental systems, to investigate protocols for bringing BECs out of equilibrium, and to study their subsequent behaviour. This will initially involve the implementation of a combination of optical and radio-frequency fields to the system, to allow a new level of flexible control over the trapping potentials, facilitating a variety of non-equilibrium experiments.

This project will involve a combination of experimental, theoretical, and numerical work, and so in addition to a good Honours or Master’s degree, the candidate should have experience in (and enjoy!) experimental physics or a background in atomic and quantum physics with programming skills. From this project, the student will learn a wide range of experimental skills, including optics and lasers, electronics, ultrahigh vacuum, numerical modelling techniques, and gain a deeper understanding of atomic physics and quantum technology.

Amount
  • Fully-paid tuition fees for three and a half years.
  • A tax-free bursary for living costs for three and a half years. From October 2021/22 this is expected to be £15560 per year
  • A support grant for three and a half years of £1,650 per year for travel and conferences.
  • If you are not a UK national, nor an EU national with UK settled/pre-settled status, you will need to apply for a student study visa before admission
Eligibility Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, at least a UK upper second class degree (or non-UK equivalent qualification) in Physics, or a closely-related area, or else a lower second class degree followed by a relevant Master's degree. This award is open to UK and International students. How to apply Apply through the University of Sussex on-line system. https://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/phd/apply/log-into-account Select the PhD in Physics, with an entry date of September 2021. In the Finance & Fees section, state that you wish to be considered for studentship no QSD/2021/02 We advise early application as the position will be filled as soon as a suitable applicant can be found. Due to the high volume of applications received, you may only hear from us if your application is successful.




Project 2 - Development of a Bose-Einstein condensate magnetic microscope


Magnetic microscopy with Bose-Einstein condensates

Neutral atoms can be cooled and trapped using a combination of static and oscillating electromagnetic fields. We produce Bose-Einstein condensates on atom chips and use them to microscopically probe the magnetic field close to surfaces with very high sensitivity [1].

Understanding atom-surface interactions like Casimir forces is of fundamental interest, and also highly relevant for the technological advance of surface microscopy. Using novel materials such as graphene will allow for a reduced separation between atoms and samples, thereby enhancing sensitivity to electrical currents flowing in samples.

The Project

The aim of the project is to improve the sensitivity of our magnetic microscope to electric currents in two dimensional (2D) samples. It involves experimental work on atom chip based ultracold atomic systems, study of atom-surface interactions, characterisation of the magnetic microscope, and measurement of current flow in samples based on new technologies such as 3D printed conductors or nanostructured materials.

The PhD student will play a central role in this investigation and will learn a wide array of tools in atomic physics, quantum technology and modelling. In addition to a good Honours or Masters degree, the candidate should have a background in Atomic and Quantum Physics and have excellent skills including programming and experimental physics.

Amount
  • Fully-paid tuition fees for three and a half years.
  • A tax-free bursary for living costs for three and a half years. From October 2021/22 this is expected to be £15560 per year.
  • A support grant for three and a half years of £1,650 per year for travel and conferences.
  • If you are not a UK national, nor an EU national with UK settled/pre-settled status, you will need to apply for a student study visa before admission
Eligibility Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, at least a UK upper second class degree (or non-UK equivalent qualification) in Physics, or a closely-related area, or else a lower second class degree followed by a relevant Master's degree. This award is open to UK and International students. How to apply Apply through the University of Sussex on-line system. https://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/phd/apply/log-into-account Select the PhD in Physics, with an entry date of September 2021. In the Finance & Fees section, state that you wish to be considered for studentship no QSD/2021/03 We advise early application as the position will be filled as soon as a suitable applicant can be found. Due to the high volume of applications received, you may only hear from us if your application is successful.




Project 3 - Development of a modular and compact source of Bose-Einstein condensates


Compact Cold Atom Sources Samples of ultracold atoms and quantum matter offer an unprecedented level of sensitivity and control. They have been demonstrated to make excellent sensors of their environment, including atom interferometers for inertial, gravitational, electric, and magnetic fields, as well as in timing and atomic clock applications - outperforming their classical counterparts in many cases. Although research on ultracold atom physics began with the advent of laser cooling several decades ago, the field has now reached such a level of maturity that there is a large focus on building systems aimed more towards applications, even bringing such systems outside the laboratory. For all these quantum technology applications, the starting point is to collect atoms in a trap and pre-cool them using a combination of electromagnetic fields. The Project The aim of the project is to design and realise a compact source of Bose-Einstein condensates, which is sufficiently modular to be able to act as a versatile starting point for a range of research experiments or quantum sensors. The project will involve integrating together a variety of existing state-of-the-art laser cooling and atomic physics techniques, such as diffraction grating magneto-optical traps, miniature vacuum cells, microfabricated atom chips, and printed circuit boards, into a single system capable of producing a sample of atoms at sub-microkelvin temperatures with a repetition rate on the order of 1 Hz. This project will involve a combination of experimental, theoretical, and numerical work, and so in addition to a good Honours or Master’s degree, the candidate should have experience in (and enjoy!) experimental physics or engineering, or a background in atomic and quantum physics. From this project, the student will learn a wide range of experimental skills, including optics and lasers, 3D mechanical CAD design, electronics, ultrahigh vacuum, numerical modelling techniques, and gain a deeper understanding of atomic physics and quantum technology. Amount

  • Fully-paid tuition fees for three and a half years.
  • A tax-free bursary for living costs for three and a half years. From October 2021/22 this is expected to be £15560 per year.
  • A support grant for three and a half years of £1,650 per year for travel and conferences.
  • If you are not a UK national, nor an EU national with UK settled/pre-settled status, you will need to apply for a student study visa before admission
Eligibility

Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, at least a UK upper second class degree (or non-UK equivalent qualification) in Physics, or a closely-related area, or else a lower second class degree followed by a relevant Master's degree.

This award is open to UK and International students.

How to apply

Apply through the University of Sussex on-line system.
https://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/phd/apply/log-into-account

Select the PhD in Physics, with an entry date of September 2021.

In the Finance & Fees section, state that you wish to be considered for studentship no QSD/2021/01

We advise early application as the position will be filled as soon as a suitable applicant can be found.

Due to the high volume of applications received, you may only hear from us if your application is successful.




Project 4 - Development of a quantum magnetic imaging array for characterisation of electric vehicle batteries


Magnetic sensing for new technologies

From smartphone cameras to deep-space telescopes, being able to capture images now underpins a significant amount of our technology. This project aims to expand this technology to low-frequency magnetic fields by creating sensor arrays capable of producing images of magnetic fields. Developing such a device will allow us to observe a range of interesting systems, such as electric vehicles batteries, magnetic nanoparticles and neuronal activity in the human brain. The Quantum Systems and Devices (QSD) group at the University of Sussex are active in both developing, and furthering the applications of, quantum magnetic sensors for both research and industry.

The Project

The aim of this work will be to use quantum sensors already in use at the University of Sussex, as well as collaborating with the sensor development team in the QSD group. They will use optically-pumped magnetometers (OPMs), currently the most sensitive magnetometers in the world, to measure fields around a billion times smaller than the Earth’s magnetic field. One particular application of interest is in the use of magnetic field detection to infer electrical current paths in electric vehicle batteries. Knowledge of which will help understand the degradation of electrochemical cells, and be used to monitor battery state-of-health as well as assist the development of new battery technologies and layouts.

This project will involve a combination of experimental, theoretical, and numerical work, and so in addition to a good Honours or Master’s degree, the candidate should have experience in (and enjoy!) experimental physics or a background in atomic and quantum physics with programming skills. From this project, the student will learn a wide range of experimental skills, including optics and lasers, electronics, numerical modelling techniques, and gain a deeper understanding of atomic physics and quantum technology.

Amount
  • Fully-paid tuition fees for three and a half years.
  • A tax-free bursary for living costs for three and a half years. From October 2021/22 this is expected to be £15560 per year.
  • A support grant for three and a half years of £1,650 per year for travel and conferences.
  • If you are not a UK national, nor an EU national with UK settled/pre-settled status, you will need to apply for a student study visa before admission
Eligibility

Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, at least a UK upper second class degree (or non-UK equivalent qualification) in Physics, or a closely-related area, or else a lower second class degree followed by a relevant Master's degree.

This award is open to UK and International students.

How to apply

Apply through the University of Sussex on-line system.
https://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/phd/apply/log-into-account

Select the PhD in Physics, with an entry date of September 2021.

In the Finance & Fees section, state that you wish to be considered for studentship no QSD/2021/04

We advise early application as the position will be filled as soon as a suitable applicant can be found.

Due to the high volume of applications received, you may only hear from us if your application is successful.




Project 5 - Brain imaging (magnetoencephalography – MEG) with quantum magnetometer arrays


Magnetic sensing for new technologies

From smartphone cameras to deep-space telescopes, being able to capture images now underpins a significant amount of our technology. This project aims to expand this technology to low-frequency magnetic fields by creating sensor arrays capable of producing images of magnetic fields. Developing such a device will allow us to observe a range of interesting systems, such as electric vehicles batteries, magnetic nanoparticles and neuronal activity in the human brain. The Quantum Systems and Devices (QSD) group at the University of Sussex are active in both developing, and furthering the applications of, quantum magnetic sensors for both research and industry.

The Project

Recent work has shown that optically pumped magnetometers (OPMs) are sensitive enough to measure the tiny magnetic fields generated by the body, being around a billion times smaller than the Earth’s magnetic field. As such, OPMs are now viable alternatives to expensive superconducting detectors for bio-magnetism. In particular, they have been shown to be capable of being used in magnetoencephalography – the measurement of the brain’s magnetic fields. The aim of this work will be to continue the development of magnetometer arrays within the Quantum Systems and Devices group, adaptable to a variety of bio-magnetic systems, including the brain and spinal cord. The PhD student will play a central role in this investigation and will learn a wide array of tools in atomic physics, quantum technology and modelling. They will work with the QSD group at the University of Sussex, as well as local neuroscientists and, where relevant, industry. The successful applicant will have some technical background in one of the sciences and be proficient in computer programming. Some knowledge of medical imaging is an advantage, as is some background in neuroscience. Amount
  • Fully-paid tuition fees for three and a half years.
  • A tax-free bursary for living costs for three and a half years. From October 2021/22 this is expected to be £15560 per year.
  • A support grant for three and a half years of £1,650 per year for travel and conferences.
  • If you are not a UK national, nor an EU national with UK settled/pre-settled status, you will need to apply for a student study visa before admission
Eligibility

Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, at least a UK upper second class degree (or non-UK equivalent qualification) in Physics, or a closely-related area, or else a lower second class degree followed by a relevant Master's degree.

This award is open to UK and International students.

How to apply

Apply through the University of Sussex on-line system.
https://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/phd/apply/log-into-account

Select the PhD in Physics, with an entry date of September 2021.

In the Finance & Fees section, state that you wish to be considered for studentship no QSD/2021/05

We advise early application as the position will be filled as soon as a suitable applicant can be found.

Due to the high volume of applications received, you may only hear from us if your application is successful.




Project 6 - Development of modular optically-pumped magnetometers for quantum sensing applications


Magnetic sensing for new technologies

From smartphone cameras to deep-space telescopes, being able to capture images now underpins a significant amount of our technology. This project aims to expand this technology to low-frequency magnetic fields by creating sensor arrays capable of producing images of magnetic fields. Developing such a device will allow us to observe a range of interesting systems, such as electric vehicles batteries, magnetic nanoparticles and neuronal activity in the human brain. The Quantum Systems and Devices (QSD) group at the University of Sussex are active in both developing, and furthering the applications of, quantum magnetic sensors for both research and industry.

The Project

Using the Larmor spin precession of optically-pumped atoms in room-temperature alkali vapour cells, optically-pumped magnetometers (OPMs) are sensitive enough to measure fields around a billion times smaller than the Earth’s magnetic field! They are a viable alternative to expensive superconducting detectors for bio-magnetism without the complication of cryogenic cooling. The aim of this work will be to continue the development of OPMs in the QSD group, working as part of the UK Quantum Technology Hub, and collaborating with a consortium of industrial partners. This project will involve a combination of experimental, theoretical, and numerical work, and so in addition to a good Honours or Master’s degree, the candidate should have experience in (and enjoy!) experimental physics or a background in atomic and quantum physics with programming skills. From this project, the student will learn a wide range of experimental skills, including optics and lasers, electronics, numerical modelling techniques, and gain a deeper understanding of atomic physics and quantum technology.

Amount
  • Fully-paid tuition fees for three and a half years.
  • A tax-free bursary for living costs for three and a half years. From October 2021/22 this is expected to be £15560 per year.
  • A support grant for three and a half years of £1,650 per year for travel and conferences.
  • If you are not a UK national, nor an EU national with UK settled/pre-settled status, you will need to apply for a student study visa before admission
Eligibility

Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, at least a UK upper second class degree (or non-UK equivalent qualification) in Physics, or a closely-related area, or else a lower second class degree followed by a relevant Master's degree.

This award is open to UK and International students.

How to apply

Apply through the University of Sussex on-line system.
https://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/phd/apply/log-into-account

Select the PhD in Physics, with an entry date of September 2021.

In the Finance & Fees section, state that you wish to be considered for studentship no QSD/2021/06

We advise early application as the position will be filled as soon as a suitable applicant can be found.

Due to the high volume of applications received, you may only hear from us if your application is successful.