Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics


PhD studentship: Development of a novel planar Penning trap with microwave cavities.

At: University of Sussex, Department of Physics & Astronomy, United Kingdom.

Field: Experimental atomic physics, quantum circuits with trapped electrons.

Contact: Dr. Jose L. Verdu.


Phone: + 44-01273-678712

Address: Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sussex, Falmer, BN1 9QH.


Job Description:

 A PhD position funded by SEPnet (, including fees + stipend, is immediately available at the University of Sussex, UK. Candidates must be UK/EU nationals.

 In this project a novel cryogenic planar Penning trap will be developed. The trap will basically consist of a Coplanar Waveguide (CPW) microwave cavity, fabricated on the surface of a chip. These cavities are also used in circuit-QED experiments with superconducting artificial atoms. A single electron can be placed at some hundred microns above the chip and its (cyclotron) motion and spin state can be detected and manipulated with very high accuracy. The electron can also be coherently coupled to other quantum systems, such as the mentioned superconducting atoms, Bose Einstein condensates and others. The overall aim of the project is the development of a single trapped electron as a building block for future quantum circuits.

The successful candidate will:

  • Design, fabricate and test a novel cryogenic planar Penning trap using CPW microwave-cavities.
  • Contribute to the design and implementation of the new cryogenic experimental set-up.  
  • Work with the engineers at the Southampton nanofabrication centre ( where the trap will be fabricated.
  • Benefit from an outstanding scientific environment with world-class groups dedicated to experimental atomic physics with trapped ions and molecules, as well as prominent theorists in quantum optics, cold atoms and QED.
  • Receive current UK/EU fees plus stipend.

Experience in RF-electronics, microwave engineering, cryogenics, superconductors, and/or nanofabrication, is an advantage but not a must. Applications from interested candidates should include: CV and the name of two potential referees with the corresponding address and telephone number. Applicants should be ready to be contacted by telephone during the selection process.

Starting date: as soon as possible.

Applications and informal enquiries: Contact  Jose L Verdu