5 of 14

Training in: Optical and device design and modelling, epitaxial semiconductor growth, optical and structural materials characterization, device processing, electroluminescence.

Single-photon sources are capable of allowing 100% secure communication guaranteed by the laws of quantum mechanics. However, to be practical they should be compact, fast, electrically stimulated, emit one (and no more than one) photon with high probability, work at room temperature (or above) and operate within the optical telecommunications band of 1250 to 1650 nm, ideally at 1550 nm. Despite intensive research, a single photon source with these characteristics remains elusive.

It is highly likely that these requirements will be fulfilled by a single-photon LED (SPLED) with self-assembled quantum nanostructures. However, conventional InAs quantum dots devices have struggled to reach the right wavelength and operating temperature. III-Sb’s, namely GaSb quantum rings (QRs), naturally emit in the right band, readily confine holes at room temperature, and are highly suitable for optical-cavity-enhanced emission.

The work will focus on the design, epitaxial growth, material characterization, processing and testing of GaSb QR (SP)LEDs, including the further development of single electron filters to facilitate single photons on demand from the QRs. The research will benefit from a related on-going programme on telecoms wavelength QR VCSELs.


Institution: Lancaster University a top 10 university, according to national newspaper league tables, and is the Times and Sunday Times International University of the Year 2020.
Institute/Laboratory: The Department of Physics is a vibrant research environment with ~120 research staff and >130 PhD students. It was ranked 2nd for internationally leading research papers in the most recent UK research evaluation, and is 4th in the UK for undergraduate physics (The Guardian).
Location/City: The historic city of Lancaster is located in the North West of England, close to the beautiful Lake District. It has excellent road and rail connections, with direct trains to Manchester airport.


We seek an excellent, open-minded and team-spirited PhD candidate with:
Graduation: a Physics degree.
Post-graduation: successful candidates will have a Masters degree in a closely-related scientific field (including an integrated Masters MPhys, MSci, MEng etc.). Previous experience in a research environment involving solid-state physics or similar will be positively considered.
Other: The successful candidate should have good knowledge of and interest in both experimental and theoretical work.

How to Apply

Candidates can apply to a maximum of four different ESR positions in the network using the links below. Applications must include the following documents:
  1. An internal application form listing your academic and job records (.docx template available here).
  2. A free format CV (pdf format max 2 Mb)
  3. Official documentation such as degree and grades certificates will be required at a later stage.
The deadline for application is 31st January 2021.
Attempts to apply to more than four positions using different registration profiles will invalidate your candidature.