PhD Projects

We would love to hear from you if you are interested in a PhD position. Please get in touch and we can discuss options. Further details of possible opportunities are given below (click for details of each):

Controlling how electrons flow through molecular structures is key to designing future miniaturised electronic components [1]. Understanding and manipulating such charge transport is a very challenging problem at this nanoscopic scale, especially in the common situation of strong interactions between the charges carriers and the vibrational mode structure of the environment [2]. In this project, you will develop such an understanding using advanced techniques for simulating open quantum systems.

We have recently developed a groundbreaking new theoretical method [3] which relies on a combination of Feynman path integrals and matrix product states, and which opens up the possibility of a multitude of new calculations. The tool that you will develop will be a significant adaptation of this new method, and will describe any quantum problem in which a small system is coupled to both bosonic and fermionic environments.

We hope to reveal new insights into how electron currents in molecules behave, and this will allow us to design new molecular devices that exploit quantum coherence.

[1] S. V. Aradhya and L. Venkataraman, Nat. Nanotechnol. 8 399 (2013).
[2] J. Sowa, J. A. Mol, G. A. D. Briggs, and E. M. Gauger, The Journal of Chemical Physics 149 in press (2018); arXiv:1807.08502
[3] A. Strathearn, P. Kirton, D. Kilda, J. Keeling, and B. W. Lovett. , Nature Communications 9 3322 (2018)


The generation of indistinguishable single photons on demand is a key requirement for many kinds of future quantum technologies, such as secure communication and optical quantum computing [1]. Being able to make coherent quantum light sources in solid state systems would enable us to create on-chip photonic circuits that would enable this technology. It is therefore of the utmost importance to understand what effect a solid state environment has on the fidelity of emitted photons.

In this project, you will exploit and developing a groundbreaking new technique our group has created for simulating open quantum systems [2]. Based on a combination of Feynman's path integrals [3,4] and matrix product states [5], it has already enabled calculations impossible by more traditional means. You will study how the technique might be used to calculate the photon correlation functions that characterise a single photon source, in the presence of a strongly-coupled environment of vibrational modes of the crystal. You will go on to study how a photonic cavity might be used to improve the performance of such a device.

[1] I. Aharonovich. D. Englund and Milos Toth, Nature Photonics 10 631 (2016)
[2] A. Strathearn, P. Kirton, D. Kilda, J. Keeling, and B. W. Lovett, Nature Communications 9 3322 (2018)
[3] R. P. Feynman, and F. L. Vernon, Jr., Ann. Phys. 24 118 (1963)
[4] N. Makri and D. E. Makarov. The Journal of Chemical Physics J. Chem. Phys. 102 4600 (1995)
[5] R. Orús, Annals of Physics 349 117 (2014)



Post-doctoral positions

While we do not have any positions available at present, Brendon is happy to advise with applications for fellowships. Some relevant links are below. Other schemes exist, particularly international.

Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship

The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Fellowships

Royal Society Newton International Fellowships

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships

Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Fellowships

Royal Society University Research Fellowship