PhD positions 

We wish to recruit motivated students to join an active team of researchers located within Heriot-Watt University in the attractive city of Edinburgh. Applicants should have, or expect to obtain a 1st Class Honours degree in a relevant numerate discipline, for example Physics, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, or Materials Science. The studentship comes with a standard ESPRC stipend of £14,100 per annum for a period of four years. University Fees are fully covered by the studentship.

These experimental PhD projects, motivated by future quantum technologies, offer a rare opportunity to gain a wide spectrum of experience with semiconductor device design, nano-fabrication, nano-optics, laser spectroscopy, cryogenics, electron spin resonance and sophisticated electronics. The research is multi-disciplinary, involving condensed-matter physics, quantum optics, materials science, and quantum information processing. We offer a world-class laboratory and a strong network of international collaborators. Please send inquiry emails to Prof. Brian Gerardot (, Dr Cristian Bonato ( or Dr Margherita Mazzera (

Funding Notes: Four years full funding of both fees and stipend are included. This studentship is available to EU applicants only.

Project 1: Novel PLATFORMS FOR INTEGRATED QUANTUM DEVICES based on rare earth doped insulating materials

This project aims at the development of new telecom-compatible platforms for integrated quantum devices based on rare earth ion doped materials. This will involve the investigation of the mechanisms affecting the optical and spin coherence properties of new materials and the design of confined structure with the aim of achieving improved performances due to the strong light matter interaction and facilitating the coupling with other integrated quantum technologies as quantum light sources or detectors.

Contact: Dr. Margherita Mazzera,, +44 (0)131 451 8220

Project 2: An artificial atom in a two-dimensional semiconductor

Single-photon sources are crucial for emerging quantum technologies. An intriguing host for a solid-state quantum emitter is a two-dimensional semiconductor. Discovered in 2015, 2D quantum emitters possess unique properties such as spin-valley coherence and optical selectivity. This new, rapidly emerging field simultaneously takes advantage of significant advances in 2D semiconductors beyond graphene and the remarkable progress in quantum optics with semiconductor quantum dots. The goals of project are to identify and characterize the nature of the 2D quantum emitters, develop ways to coherently optically control and manipulate the quantum emitter spins and emitted photons, and find strategies to realize fully functional integrated devices suitable for future quantum technologies.

Project 3: Quantum technologies with an ideal source of indistinguishable single photons

Indistinguishable single photons are an essential resource for quantum photonic logic gates and networking. Among the various approaches to generate identical light quanta, resonance fluorescence (RF) from a semiconductor quantum dot (QD) is one of the most promising for practical technological implementation. This project will exploit recent advances in the efficient generation of indistinguishable single photons to implement novel quantum networking and quantum optics schemes for the first time. We will work closely with other experimental groups (Dr. Alessandro Fedrizzi, Dr. Jonathan Leach, Prof. Daniele Faccio, and Prof. Gerald Buller) in a new joint laboratory as well as with leading theorists (e.g. Dr. Erik Gauger and Prof. Erika Andersson at Heriot-Watt, Dr. John Jeffers at Strathclyde).

Project 4: Controlling spins in silicon carbide devices

A single spin is the smallest possible magnetic field sensor, providing the ultimate limit in spatial resolution and sensitivity. Additionally, spins are excellent systems to store and process fragile quantum information. The goal of this project is to develop spin-based opto-electronic quantum devices based on spins in silicon carbide. As a semiconductor widely used in microelectronics, silicon carbide is a promising platform to integrate spintronic functionalities in quantum devices compatible with the current industrial processing techniques. A strong emphasis of the project will be on taking full advantage of the well-established micro-electronic SiC technology to develop novel spin control and measurement techniques.

Post-doc positions

We are looking for two motivated researchers to work on the following topics:

1) spin qubits in SiC devices. The goal of the project is to demonstrate high fidelity quantum gates en electronic and nuclear spins in silicon carbide SiC, a semiconductor of wide use in micro-electronics. The use of a technologically-mature platform will facilitate the development of spin-based quantum technology. Previous experience on microwave qubit control is appreciated (but not mandatory).

Contact: Cristian Bonato (

2) quantum photonics with 2D materials. The overall goal is to engineer a coherent spin-photon interface in a van der Waals heterostructure platform and integrate onto photonic chips. A significant aim is the pursuit of pristine 2D heterostructures with precise control of the rotation angle between layers and the investigation of this new degree of freedom.

Contact: Brian Gerardot (

Additionally, we are happy to support suitable candidates for fellowships: