The University of Southampton

Computational Nonlinear Optics

The Computational Nonlinear Optics group is developing theoretical and numerical models for a wide range of photonics systems, from single-quantum interactions in optical resonators to high-power laser propagation in fibres. 

This work is supporting various experimental and fabrication activities across the ORC with the aim to identify and explore underlying nonlinear and quantum optical phenomena as well as material and structural effects. The results find applications in novel and improved short-pulse lasers, frequency converters, sensors, microstructured fibres, telecom systems, and even quantum logic circuits.

Group webpage

PhD Projects:


Planar photonics for ion-based quantum information processing

Supervisor: Dr P Horak
Co-supervisors: Dr James Gates

We are looking for a candidate with an interest in quantum technology and a strong background in theory and computational simulation in classical and/or quantum optics to join us on this interdisciplinary project as part of the National Quantum Technology Programme.

One of the leading contenders for quantum information technology is based on cold trapped ions interacting via single photons. However, in current state-of-the-art experiments, the coupling between ions and photons is still very inefficient and is mainly achieved through conventional lenses and mirrors.

The main goal of this project is to investigate how this optical access can be provided by optical waveguides integrated on the same chip that holds the ion trap. We will investigate different types of waveguides and ion-photon coupling via gratings, tapers, Fresnel lenses and other mode converters. Integration of Bragg reflectors and dielectric coatings to form resonators will be considered. Light polarisation must be considered carefully and coupling coefficients to specific ion transitions and collection efficiencies of emitted photons will be simulated and optimised to support the development of fully integrated chips for future quantum applications.

This PhD project is funded by the NQIT consortium and will be in close collaboration with experiments in the Optical Engineering and Quantum Photonics Group in Southampton and the quantum information groups at Oxford and Sussex Universities.

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