Understanding and engineering microscopic sources of noise in solid-state quantum devices
Context. Solid-state quantum devices are rapidly maturing towards useful technology, promising advances in a variety of fields ranging from computation to chemistry and communication. Their performance is currently typically limited by noise, causing loss of information and decoherence. One particular source of noise relevant to solid-state are ensembles of microscopic two-level systems (TLS) interacting with the devices. These are thought to reside on surfaces as well as inside oxide layers, but their exact microscopic origin is not yet understood. In this project, the candidate will work at the interface between experiment and theory in order to investigate the microscopic origin of decoherence and noise in a silicon spin qubit platform. The candidate will work together with experiments to test and refine our understanding of relevant noise sources. A special focus here will be on understanding the interactions between microscopic noise sources and their host devices, as well as the interactions of the TLS with their own noisy environments. The ultimate aims are to (i) develop schemes to suppress TLS induced decoherence in solid-state quantum devices through bath engineering and (ii) develop a better understanding of the formation of TLS and the origin of their interactions with their host devices. The project is theoretical in nature but requires close collaboration with experiments and may thus also be suitable for a theory adept experimentalist. It will be performed directly at IBM Zurich and in the labs of other collaborators.
PhD supervisors : Dr Clemens Müller and Dr Andreas Fuhrer
Eligibility criteria and requirements
The candidate should have a solid background in quantum mechanics, quantum optics and quantum information theory, ideally with previous experience in the theory of open quantum system. The candidate must be curious to learn and expand her/his expertise on quantum circuit design, condensed matter physics, materials science, surface chemistry, and experimental data analysis. Excellent coding skills and a working knowledge of Mathematica and Python are expected.
QUSTEC programme follows MSCA eligibility criteria: Required level of experience is ‘Early Stage Researcher’ according to the definition in the work programme of the 2018-2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions: Applicants must, at the date of the respective call deadline of QUSTEC, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. Mobility criterion: The applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the future host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the call deadline of QUSTEC. Short stays such as holidays are not taken into account. For refugees under the Geneva Convention, the refugee procedure (i.e. before refugee status is conferred) will not be counted as a period of residence/activity in the country of the host organisation.
The proposed PhD position is part of the QUSTEC doctoral programme, funded by the MSCA-COFUND scheme, coordinated by Eucor – The European Campus, and implemented by Eucor partner institutions (University of Basel, University of Freiburg, University of Strasbourg and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), which are joined by IBM-Research in Zurich, and WMI in Munich. The complete description of the programme as well as the full list of research topics can be found on the project website. Candidates are encouraged to indicate two additional research topics that they are interested in, in addition to the selected PhD offer, from the list of available topics that can be found on the programme website.
Please, submit your application exclusively via an electronic submission system.
The deadline for applications is September 30, 2020 at 17.00 (Brussels time)
Before submitting the application, please contact the scientific supervisors (obligatory). For any other issues, please address your request to the programme coordinator (contact details can be found in the Guide for applicants).
Working conditions: All PhD candidates will be employed under a 4-years full-time PhD contract following the national regulations.