University of Exeter funding: Quantum polaritonics with semicondu

Quantum polaritonics with semiconductor nanostructures, Theoretical Physics – PhD (Funded) Ref: 3796

About the award


Academic Supervisor: Dr. Oleksandr Kyriienko, University of Exeter

Co-advisor: Prof.  Volodymyr Kruglyak, University of Exeter


Department Physics and Astronomy, Streatham campus, Exeter

The University of Exeter’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence in February 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.  For eligible students the studentship will cover UK/EU/International tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £15,009 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.  The student would be based in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the Streatham Campus in Exeter.

Project Description:
The aim of the advertised PhD programme is to theoretically study nonlinear interaction of photons being strongly coupled to semiconductor nanostructures in various geometries. Recently, the field of strong light-matter coupling, where confined cavity photons are hybridised with excitons in solids, has gained much attention as an excellent platform for nonlinear optics. Resulting polaritonic quasiparticles offer relatively long coherence time, and can be used for creating fast optoelectronic components. Their potential for quantum applications was noted [Nature Materials 18, 200 (2019)]. At the same time, the limited value of nonlinearity in conventional polaritonic systems does not allow to enter the genuine single quantum level, and the improved theoretical understanding of nonlinear polaritonic processes is needed.

The main objective of the PhD work is to identify semiconductor nanostructures where effective photon-photon interactions are enhanced. The potential candidates include two-dimensional materials and bilayer structures, polaritonic lattices of lithographically patterned optical resonators, and organic semiconductors in microcavities. The candidate will develop theoretical models for systems at strong coupling and engage into experimental collaborations for implementation of successful schemes. Particular attention will be devoted to the optomechanical interaction in monolayer-thick membranes made of transition metal dichalcogenides, where qualitatively new nonlinearity regime is expected.

This award provides annual funding to cover UK/EU/International tuition fees and a tax-free stipend.  The studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 3.5 years of full-time study to commence in February 2020.

Entry requirements

Applicants for this studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology. The prior knowledge and experience in the field of quantum optics and two-dimensional materials is desired.

If English is not your first language you will need to have achieved at least 6.0 in IELTS and no less than 6.0 in any section by the start of the project.  Alternative tests may be acceptable (see

How to apply

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents.

• CV
• Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project).
• Research statement (2 pages of planned research activities in the area of quantum optics)
• Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying)
• Two references from referees familiar with your academic work. If your referees prefer, they can email the reference direct to quoting the studentship reference number.
• If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English.

The closing date for applications is midnight on  3rd December 2019.  Interviews will be held on the University of Exeter Streatham Campus or by skype on the 10th December.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email or phone +44 (0)1392 722730 or +44 (0)1392 725150.  Project-specific queries should be directed to the main supervisor.


Application deadline:3rd December 2019
Value:£15,009 per year for 3.5 years
Duration of award:per year
Contact: STEMM PGR Admissions +44 (0)1392 722730 / 5150