The progress in fundamental science and technology has allowed researchers to explore intriguing, but often elusive, quantum effects in atoms, ions and semiconductor nanostructures. Cryogenic temperatures and complex trapping techniques are often required to be able to access these fragile quantum states.
Surprisingly, despite the requirement of relatively high temperatures and condensed-phase operation, there is growing evidence that some biological molecules could host superpositions of quantum states. For instance, there is currently a debate on whether quantum effects might be at the basis of the almost unitary efficiency in the energy transfer of the light absorbed from the sun, that has been observed in natural photosynthetic light harvesters.
To move our understanding of quantum effects in biomolecules forward, we need experimental proofs that will give unambiguous evidence of quantum dynamics - this is the aim of this research project.
We will use on-chip quantum technology to investigate quantum effects in biomolecules. By implementing nanofabricated optical cavities and photonic waveguides embedding photosynthetic light harvesters, we will enhance the light-matter interaction and explore the optical properties of biomolecules on a chip. Leveraging the combined technologies will enable us to probe quantum states in single complex biological systems, going beyond current spectroscopy techniques.
The student will gain expertise in optical spectroscopy, quantum optics, nano- fabrication and biochemistry. She/He carry out an interdisciplinary research project at the interface between quantum physics, engineering and biology.
More information about the group can be found at www. quantum.eng.cam.ac.uk
EPSRC DTP studentships are fully-funded (fees and maintenance) for eligible UK students. EU and international students may be considered for a small number of awards at the UK rate. Full eligibility criteria can be found via the following link; https: // www. postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/fees/what-my-fee-status
Applicants should have (or expect to obtain by the start date) at least a good 2.1 degree in an Engineering or related subject.
To apply for this studentship, please send your two page CV and personal statement to Luca Sapienza ([email protected]) to arrive no later than 15.03.2024. Applications may close early if the position is filled before this date.
Please note that any offer of funding will be conditional on securing a place as a PhD student. Candidates will need to apply separately for admission through the University's Graduate Admissions application portal; this can be done before or after applying for this funding opportunity. The applicant portal can be accessed via: www. graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/egegpdpeg. The final deadline for PhD applications is 16 May 2024, although it is advisable to apply earlier than this.
The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.Department/Location
Department of Engineering, CambridgeReference
10 January 2024Closing date
15 March 2024