PhD in Quantum Optics of Giant Rydberg Excitons in Cuprous Oxide

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    Cardiff University
    United Kingdom
    Formal sciences
    Natural sciences


Cuprous oxide (Cu2O) is one the oldest, and yet least well-known, semiconductor material. It has a slightly larger band gap than silicon, which means that the single crystal form of the material is slightly transparent in the visible part of the spectrum. Cuprous oxide exists in nature and beautiful deep-red gemstones have been cut and polished from natural single crystal material.

Cuprous oxide has an additional extraordinary optoelectronic property. In most semiconductors, photons with energy just larger than the band gap can produce bound electron-hole states known has excitons. These excitons are not unlike hydrogen atoms trapped in the solid-state: they consist of an electron orbiting a positive core (hole). Like hydrogen, the excitons also have excited states, which typically take the form of Rydberg series, and at cryogenic temperatures it is usually possible to observe a small number (3 or 4) excited states.

Due to the unusual nature of the Fermi surface in cuprous oxide however, very high principal quantum number excitons states can exist. A recent Nature paper reported Rydberg series extending up to n = 25.This means that the exciton in cuprous oxide is an extraordinarily stable quantum object, and one that can be readily manipulated with light.

The aim of this PhD project is to investigate the quantum optical properties of this unique material and explore its potential to be exploited for quantum technologies. You will join a well-funded medium-sized research group including two postdoctoral researchers and five PhD students.

What is funded

For more information on what is funded in this PhD please visit https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/funding/view/phd-in-quantum-optics-of-giant-rydberg-excitons-in-cuprous-oxide


3.5 years


For more information on eligibility for this PhD please visit https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/funding/view/phd-in-quantum-optics-of-giant-rydberg-excitons-in-cuprous-oxide


The responsibility for the funding offers published on this website, including the funding description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.