Marie Sklodowska-Curie Doctoral Researcher in Experimental Quantum Communications

Job type: 

Application deadline: 

Saturday, April 22, 2023

About the project

There is currently great interest in using quantum communications to secure telecom networks, as well as to link quantum processors together to build a distributed quantum computer. Quantum communications is based on the transmission of single photons through an optical channel, such as an optical fibre. As single photons are lost due to scattering as they travel through the fibre, and cannot be amplified like conventional optical signals, there is a maximum limit to the length and bit rate of an optical channel.

In 2018, Toshiba introduced a new protocol called Twin-Field Quantum Key Distribution (TF-QKD) [1] that takes advantage of the unique interference properties of quantum systems to overcome the fundamental rate-loss limit of point-to-point quantum communications. The introduction of the TF-QKD has extended the capability of today’s systems [2,3], effectively doubling the communication distance achievable by QKD. One of the most challenging aspects of implementing the TF-QKD protocol is maintaining phase coherence between optical pulses that travel independently for hundreds of kilometres. This has been achieved so far in a limited number of demonstrations, but new approaches and experimental solutions are needed to unlock the potential of phase-based quantum communications.

In this project, the candidate will develop new techniques to support phase-based quantum communications and enable their wider adoption. The project will be carried out under the joint supervision of Dr Andrew J. Shields of Toshiba Europe Ltd and Prof Marcos Curty of the University of Vigo, and will primarily be conducted at Toshiba's Research Laboratories in Cambridge, UK. The project will involve experimental work accompanied by theoretical modelling and simulations.

The candidate will receive funding for 3 years and during this period will pursue a doctoral degree that will be awarded by the University of Vigo, Spain. The candidate will join a recently funded MSCA European Doctoral Network (DN) on quantum-safe Internet: QSI. QSI offers high-level doctoral training to over 10 Doctoral Researchers (DRs). The DRs will be supervised by researchers across the consortium network which is composed by excellent European Institutions. Throughout the duration of the PhD the candidate will be exposed to different research institutions via planned placements, attend summer schools, and contribute to and organise workshops and conferences. More information about QSI can be found at:

  1. M. Lucamarini et al. (2018): Overcoming the rate-distance limit of quantum key distribution without quantum repeaters. In Nature 557 (7705), pp. 400–403.
  2. M. Minder et al. (2019): Experimental quantum key distribution beyond the repeaterless secret key capacity. In Nat. Photonics 13 (5), pp. 334–338.
  3. M. Pittaluga et al. (2020): 600 km repeater-like quantum communications with dual-band stabilisation. In Nat. Photonics 15 (7), pp. 530–535.

Important eligibility rules for this position

  • Applicants should have or be expecting a MSc degree (minimum grade 2:1) or equivalent in Physics, Electrical Engineering or a similar subject.
  • Applicants must, at the time of recruitment, have not yet been awarded a doctorate degree and be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers. This is measured from the date that you obtained the degree which would entitle you to embark on a PhD.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc...) in the UK for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment under the QSI project.

About the Group

Toshiba's Quantum Information Group, based in Cambridge, UK, has been actively involved in quantum technology R&D for over 20 years. Their significant achievements in this field include the first demonstration of QKD over 100km of fibre, the first continuous operation of one-way QKD, the first demonstration of fibre-based QKD using a true single-photon source, the first demonstration of a secure bit rate exceeding 1 Mbit/sec, the first upstream quantum access network, record distances and bit rates for QKD/data multiplexing, the first demonstration of quantum-secured WDM transmission through a single installed fibre and the first proposal and demonstration of Twin Field QKD.

Application instructions

To apply for this position use the form on the official job listing web page.