Postgraduate Opportunities:

Controlled Quantum Dynamics Centre for Doctoral Training

PhD positions may be available through the Controlled Quantum Dynamics Centre for Doctoral Training.

For more information, please contact Prof. Richard Thompson.

Postdoctoral Positions:

Research Associate

  • Reference: NAT00143
  • Date posted: 23 April 2018
  • Closing date: 23 May 2018

Job description

Job summary

The Ion Trap group at Imperial College London has carried out extensive studies with trapped and laser cooled ions in a Penning trap. Our recent work includes the first sideband cooling of single ions and small Coulomb crystals to the ground state of their motion in a Penning trap. This has allowed us to demonstrate coherent manipulation of the optical qubit and the motional state of the ions, and to measure very low heating rates in our system. 

We are now seeking an experimental Research Associate for 12 months in the first instance to work on the new EPSRC Grant Project “Optimal Control for Robust Ion Trap Quantum Logic”. The goal of the project is to develop optimal control of coherent operations on trapped ions in the presence of experimental noise, and to evaluate their performance in the laboratory. This project is part of a close collaboration between experiment and theory, led by Professor Richard Thompson and Dr Florian Mintert.

Duties and responsibilities

It is expected that the appointee to this position will have experience of experimental work with trapped ions, ideally in the area of quantum information. The appointee will be responsible for developing a new linear RF trap system for calcium ions using diode lasers for laser cooling. A highly stable laser at 729 nm will be used for addressing the qubit transition. This system will be used for evaluation and improvement of the theoretically-developed optimal control procedures, moving into the regime of large Lamb-Dicke parameters. In the initial stage of the project, our existing Penning trap system will also be used for the assessment of optimal control techniques.

Essential requirements

• A PhD or an equivalent level of professional qualification in the area of experimental physics 
• A strong record of research experience in experimental quantum optics, ideally including laser cooling of trapped ions 
• Proven research experience in laser development and stabilisation
• Experience in computer control and analysis of experimental data. 
• Detailed knowledge of Quantum Physics

Further information

Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £32,238 – £34,040 per annum.

More information about the research project can be found at: or by email to Richard Thompson ( or Florian Mintert ( 

More information about the Department of Physics, and the staff benefits that we offer can be found on our webpages.

The Department of Physics is an IoP JUNO Champion and an Athena Silver SWAN Award winner reflecting our commitment to building a supportive, inclusive and highly motivated community.

Queries relating to the application process should be directed to Judith Baylis Senior Section Administrator –

For any technical queries during the application process please contact -

About Imperial College London

Imperial College London is the UK’s only university focussed entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business and we are consistently rated in the top 10 universities in the world.

You will find our main London campus in South Kensington, with our hospital campuses located nearby in West and North London. We also have Silwood Park in Berkshire and state-of-the-art facilities in development at our major new campus in White City.

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It’s our mission to achieve enduring excellence in all that we do for the benefit of society – and we are looking for the most talented people to help us get there.

Additional information

Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

All Imperial employees are expected to follow the 7 principles of Imperial Expectations: 

  • Champion a positive approach to change and opportunity
  • Communicate regularly and effectively within, and across, teams
  • Consider the thoughts and expectations of others
  • Deliver positive outcomes
  • Encourage inclusive participation and eliminate discrimination
  • Develop and grow skills and expertise
  • Work in a planned and managed way 

In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations.

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment. We are an Athena SWAN Silver award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.