QM-CDT students undertake a major piece of research in the broad field of Quantum Materials, including their theoretical or experimental studies of their synthesis, structure, electronic, optoelectronic, or magnetic properties. Students have access to our state-of-the-art facilities within the University’s Centres for Designer Quantum Materials (https://www.quantummatter.co.uk) and Magnetic Resonance (https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~magres/), and extensive capabilities for materials synthesis, processing, and characterisation. Students apply to a specific research project or projects, and start working on this research topic from the start of their PhD, alongside their courses and training. The following projects are currently available for application, and we would encourage you to contact the relevant supervisors to discuss further details of these.
Correlating and controlling surface structure and electronic structure in ruthenate oxides
This project will focus on understanding the role of tiny structural distortions on the interacting electronic states of correlated oxides.
Designing quantum systems through correlations and backaction
Quantum simulation offers the possibility to create physical phenomena that are hard to access or control otherwise. This project will focus on analytical and numerical non-perturbative many-body modelling to make advances in this area.
Electron transport through molecules: A new kind of open quantum system theory
Controlling how electrons flow through molecular structures is key to designing future miniaturised electronic components. This project will focus on developing theoretical approaches for understanding and manipulating such charge transport at this nanoscopic scale.
Engineering non-equilibrium material states with cold atoms in optical cavities
A triumph of 20th century condensed matter physics is the understanding of the phases of matter, arising from interacting many body problems in thermal equilibrium. However, not all matter is in equilibrium. This PhD project will focus on the theoretical understanding of matter out of equilibrium.
Quantum coherence in modern hybrid many-body systems out of equilibrium
The prospect of bringing genuine quantum effects to technological application relies on our ability to reliably create and control quantum states. This project will focus on the theoretical study of modern topological and strongly correlated quantum materials.
Strong matter-light coupling with novel materials
Polaritons are quasiparticles resulting from strong coupling between matter and light. This PhD position will be to explore theoretically the physics of Bose-Condensation, as well as modelling other possible applications of strong matter-light coupling to change material properties.
Theory of Quantum Light Sources: how can we make coherent single photons in solid state systems?
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. This project will focus on calculating the photon correlation functions that characterise a single photon source and will study how a photonic cavity might be used to improve the performance of such a device.
Ultrafast control of correlated states in 2D materials
In recent years, it has become possible to fabricate materials down to just a single atom in thickness. This project will focus on fabrication of such systems, and using ultrafast pump-probe techniques to modify and study their correlated electronic states.