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.

We wish to recruit highly 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.

This experimental PhD project, motivated by future quantum technologies, offers a rare opportunity to gain a wide spectrum of experience with semiconductor device design, nano-fabrication, nano-optics, laser spectroscopy, cryogenics, 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 at