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Research Fellow in Quantum Light Sources

Quantum, Light & Matter Group

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £31,406 to £34,304 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term for 2 years
Closing Date:  Friday 29 October 2021
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  1525521WF

High-performance Single Photon Sources for the Future Quantum Internet

You will join our research program to work on an exciting newly funded UKRI FLF project in the area of next generation quantum internet implementations. The project involves developing and implementing high-performance telecom C-band single photon sources based on both (a) single emitter semiconductor quantum dots, and (b) parametric down conversion in nonlinear materials. The focus is on high-purity and high repetition rate implementations that deliver single photons with a GHz bandwidth, that is, matched to our quantum memories under development in our research team. Your work will be key in the development of efficient quantum light-matter interactions that will form the backbone of future quantum internet.

You will lead and be responsible for the initial setup phase and for the following experiments towards the implementation of these quantum sources, and their interfacing with quantum memories based on alkali vapours and cryo-cooled rare-earth ion doped solids. You will work independently as well as with other members of the team and our external collaborators with plenty of opportunities to visit and network with partners across the UK and Europe.

To be successful candidate you will demonstrate: 

•          An awarded PhD in the field of atomic physics; solid state physics; quantam optics or equivalent professional qualifications and experience [1].

•          Excellent experimental research skills in areas related to quantum optics, and/or solid-state physics and/or quantum optics.

•          A strong publication track record in international journals.

•          Excellent communication and organizational skills, and a proven ability to work well within teams.

•          A strong background in the design and use of free-space optics and cryogenic experiments.

•          An aptitude for working with novel photonic materials and developing new experimental techniques.

The appointment is for a 2-year duration due to funding restrictions commencing in February 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter, with potential for further extension. Informal enquires should be directed to Dr Patrick M Ledingham ( Note: we have another opening in the HQNL group – focusing on quantum memory development.

About the University: The University of Southampton is in the top 1% of world universities and in the top 10 of the UK’s research-intensive universities. The University of Southampton is committed to sustainability and being a globally responsible university and has been awarded the Platinum EcoAward. Our vision is to embed the principles of sustainability into all aspects of our individual and collective work, integrating sustainable development into our business planning, policy-making, and professional activities.

The Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering boasts world-leading facilities, teaching and research in Electronics and Computer Science, Optoelectronics, and Physics and Astronomy. It has 1,300 undergraduate, 300 taught and 500 research postgraduate students, as well as around 150 academic and 200 research staff members.

Equality, diversity and Inclusion is central to the ethos in the School of Physics and Astronomy. We encourage women, black, asian and minority ethnic, LGBT and people with disabilities to apply for this position. We value diversity and inclusion at the University and aspire for our staff population to be broadly representative of our community. In recognition of our continued commitment to improving equality for women in science, we were awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze. We give full consideration to applicants that wish to work flexibly including part-time and due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. The University has a generous parental leave policy [2], onsite childcare facilities along with other benefits such as the cycle to work scheme.

About HQNL: We are a newly established research group in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southampton, UK.   Our research interests lie in quantum light-matter interactions between atomic ensembles (based on rare-earth-ion-doped solids and alkali vapours) and single photons (generated from quantum dots and nonlinear media). Our research aims to merge these disparate systems to form large-scale quantum photonic networks for the processing of quantum information over global distances.

[1] Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

[2] Subject to qualifying criteria.

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Sam Stubbs (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 2750, or email Please quote reference 1525521WF on all correspondence.
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We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Please note that applications from agencies will not be accepted unless indicated in the job advert.

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