Two PhD projects are on offer in hardware for quantum science and optical clocks:
1) Lowering laser noise in high power lasers - Narrow linewidth lasers are an important tool in applications such as spectroscopy, qubit control, optical clocks and atom trapping and cooling. Reducing linewidth and lowering the frequency noise provides the main path to precision and error suppression. This project investigates a novel laser concept for generating ultra-narrow linewidth light based on noise suppression in crystals. The project aim is to exploit the light-phonon interaction in crystals to develop a noise damping technique that allows the broader wavelength and power ranges needed in quantum applications. The objective is to demonstrate damping in the high-gain Brillouin and Raman crystals, investigate its dependence on laser power up to 50 W and determine the key design parameters that fundamentally affect linewidth and noise.
2) Mm-Wave photonics in crystals – This project aims to create a new laser-based approach for generating frequencies of increased spectral purity and wider frequency range. This is significant as forefront areas such as wireless communications and quantum computers that rely on ultra-precise measurement and ultra-sensitive detection require more adaptable, higher-purity, frequency sources. This project uses the enhanced and diversified material properties of crystals to create new designs capable of breaking through barriers in spectral purity and power, and performance aspect critical in applications. The aims is to investigate a novel reconfigurable device that enables single line output for ultra-narrow linewidth applications, or by reconfiguring to produce multiple line output for microwave and millimetre wave applications.
Salary level includes base tax-free scholarships with top-ups (up to $48K, depending on the project). Domestic and international students are welcome to apply.
These projects would suit students interested in building novel experiments and hands-on optical techniques. The projects involve handling high power laser beams, developing table-top laser arrangements and the development of frequency noise diagnostics. They will also include the development of a model simulation to support optimization and to understand performance limits. These give plenty of scope to allow student input on directions, industry participation and intellectual property creation.
The experiments are hosted within the MQ Photonics Research Centre. Students will benefit from a network involving the Sydney Quantum Academy and the Macquarie Centre for Quantum Engineering, as well as a large infrastructure in the areas of optics, photonics and lasers. We focus on developing industry linkages in the early stages of the project to increase opportunities for students to tackle real-world challenges, grow their network beyond academia and industry-embedding parts of their project. Industry supported top-ups are available.