PhD scholarship in Design and Simulations of Quantum Light Sources

Monday 09 Sep 19

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The Quantum & Laser Photonics group at DTU Fotonik is seeking a candidate for a PhD position in the field of design and simulations of efficient sources of single indistinguishable photons. The position is offered within the framework of the H2020 MSCA Innovative Training Network “Quantum Dots for Photonic Quantum Information Technologies (QUDOT-TECH)” which will employ a total of 15 PhD students in five countries working in close collaboration on optical quantum information technologies (please, operational from around 20 September for more information about the network).

You will participate in an international QUDOT-TECH project team, which will design and fabricate a fully integrated on-chip platform for optical quantum information processing including generation, manipulation and detection of single photons. Your overall task will be to design and perform numerical simulations of the quantum-dot single-photon source used to emit photons into the planar waveguides. Your project will take place in the Nanophotonics section at DTU Fotonik led by Prof. Jesper Mørk. The activities of the section are centred on the fabrication, characterization and theoretical analysis of opto-electronic components for use in information, communication and sensing applications.

Responsibilities and tasks
For scalable optical quantum information processing, near-unity efficiency of the source is required, the emitted photons should be indistinguishable and, finally, the ideal single-photon source should be deterministic and not involve heralding or spontaneous downwards conversion. A promising platform for such a source is a quantum dot embedded in a semiconductor material. However, in a bulk material, the symmetry of the quantum dot leads to light emission in all directions, and the emitted photons are subject to decoherence effects due to vibrations in the solid-state environment. Consequently, a big challenge in realizing an efficient source is establishing control of the light emission.

Your overall responsibility will be to perform numerical simulations of the optical field generated by photon emission from a quantum dot and to employ a series of optical engineering tools including cavity quantum electrodynamics, adiabatic transmission and dielectric screening effects to ensure near-unity coupling to the waveguide as well as near-unity indistinguishability in the presence of phonon-induced decoherence. You will perform calculations using the Fourier Modal Method, representing state-of-the-art in optical simulations of single-photon sources. The fabrication and characterization of the sources will take place at DTU, in Berlin and in Basel by your fellow QUDOT-TECH PhD students in a close feedback loop with you.

You will be expected to

  • Develop software codes from scratch using MATLAB/Python/C++/etc.
  • Construct a numerical simulation technique based on the Fourier Modal Method for optical simulations of the light emission.
  • Analyse the limitations of current cavity- and waveguide-based single-photon source designs with respect to total efficiency and indistinguishability.
  • Propose new single-photon source designs overcoming these limitations to be fabricated by other QUDOT-TECH PhD students.
Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. Additionally, the candidate must have passed an introductory course on quantum mechanics and also have previous experience with numerical simulations of physical problems.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.  

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Assoc. Prof. Niels Gregersen and Prof. Jesper Mørk. 

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years. The yearly salary before tax will comprise a living allowance of €52,974 and a mobility allowance of €7,200. An additional allowance of €6,000 may be payable but is dependent on individual family circumstances. The workplace is DTU Fotonik at the DTU Lyngby campus. 

The expected start date is March 1, 2020.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here. 

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Assoc. Prof. Niels Gregersen,, tel.: +45 4525 3789.

You can read more about DTU Fotonik at

Please submit your online application no later than 1 November 2019 at 23:59 (local time)Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 
  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it. In addition, candidates must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a PhD degree.

Due to the mobility requirement of the European Commission for ITN projects, we can only accept PhD candidates that have not been working/living in Denmark for more than a total of 12 months within the 3 years prior to employment start.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Fotonik has 220 employees with competences in optics. In a typical year, DTU Fotonik educates 55 PhD students from more than 25 countries and our student numbers are constantly growing. As one of Europe’s largest public photonics research departments, DTU Fotonik covers a multitude of optical disciplines ranging from fundamental light-matter interaction and optical telecommunications to applied research and innovation. Our research topics include optical sensors, lasers, LEDs, photovoltaics, ultra-high speed optical transmission systems, bio-photonics, nano-optics and quantum photonics.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.