Silicon Carbide Quantum Sensing Devices

A single spin is the smallest possible magnetic field sensor, providing the ultimate limit in spatial resolution and sensitivity. Quantum sensors based on single spins could open revolutionary possibilities in mapping nanoscale magnetic fields of interest for materials science and biology [1].

The goal of this project is to develop a spin-based opto-electronic quantum device for magnetic sensing in silicon carbide. Recent results have shown that spins in silicon carbide exhibit excellent properties, preserving fragile quantum states for long time [2,3]. 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 based on photo-electric detection.

We wish to recruit highly motivated students to join a newly established research group at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. Applicants should have, or expect to obtain a 1st Class Honours degree in a relevant discipline, for example Physics. 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.

The proposed work will be mostly experimental and will offer the chance to learn techniques such as optical and radio-frequency engineering, laser spectroscopy, electron spin resonance, semiconductor device processing. The project will involve internal collaborations (for example with the group of Prof B Gerardot and Prof G Buller) and interaction with external academic and industrial partners.

Please send inquiries to Dr Cristian Bonato (

[1] C. Degen et, arxiv:1611.02427(2016)

[2] D. J. Christle, Nature Materials 14, 160 (2014)

[3] M. Widmann et al, Nature Materials 14, 164 (2014)