Department of Physics and Astronomy
Postdoc OpportunitiesJune 2016
We have an exciting new postdoctoral research position in our group on nonlinear optoacoustics and Brillouin scattering in nanoscale waveguides.
An 18 month fixed-term position is available in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Sydney’s Macquarie University for an exceptional early career researcher in theoretical nonlinear optics, opto-mechanics or integrated quantum photonics. This position is funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Project “Better vibrations: mixing light and sound in semiconductor chips” which seeks to make major advances in the foundations and applications of nanoscale guided wave opto-acoustics, and particularly Stimulated Brillouin Scattering (SBS). This project is part of a long-term collaboration between Professor Michael Steel at Macquarie, A/Prof. Christopher Poulton at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), and Laureate Professor Benjamin Eggleton of the University of Sydney.
About the roleThe applicant will perform theoretical physics research on the nonlinear interaction between acoustic and optical waves in photonic waveguides and nanostructures with a focus on enabling efficient opto-acoustic interactions in nanoscale semiconductor waveguides. Questions to be explored include the development of the fundamental dynamical equations for waveguide Brillouin scattering that include all relevant semiconductor physics; finding new approaches to the challenge of joint confinement of light and sound in semiconductor devices; exploiting non-uniform anisotropy and nonlinearity to relax the requirements for efficient Brillouin scattering; and extending the theory of guided wave Brillouin scattering into the quantum regime. This theoretical role will involve close collaboration with experimental researchers and students at Macquarie, UTS and the University of Sydney. The successful candidate will also be a member of the world-renowned Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS), the largest optics research program in Australia.
ApplyClick here for details on the position and to apply.
Applications close July 31 2016.
Research Student OpportunitiesThe CUDOS team at Macquarie University is always looking for strong students in optics, physics and optical engineering. We have projects available in theoretical nonlinear optics and quantum optics, experimental quantum optics, femtosecond laser direct writing, and plasmonics, or projects that address several of these at once. Full scholarships are available for suitably qualified candidates. See the information on the Contact page for details on how to obtain further information.
Why do a PhD or Masters of Research within CUDOS at Macquarie?
- Full membership of CUDOS, Australia's premier research body in photonics and integrated optics.
- Support for travel to offsite annual workshop, topical workshops and international meetings.
- Generous individual research support budget for equipment and travel.
- Living expenses and fees included in scholarship award.
- Access to a huge suite of highly advanced fabrication and characterisation labs.
- Live in vibrant Sydney while working on the beautiful Macquarie University campus.
Scholarship supportPhD scholarships for domestic and international students include nearly $25,000/year for living expenses and all program fees for the duration of the project. Certain projects have an allocated scholarship, others can attract a domestic or international scholarship. Application instructions are available here (international students also see this page), but first please contact us within CUDOS. Certain scholarships are only awarded once a year, but you can contact us at any time. Note that evidence of a high standard of spoken and written English is a condition of acceptance.
Macquarie University also runs cotutelle and joint-PhD programs, which allows PhD students to be affiliated with Macquarie and another university overseas.
PhD and Masters programs in Nonlinear Quantum Integrated PhotonicsWhile the discipline of quantum optics is 50 years old, the past 5 years has seen a revolution as quantum experiments involving photons have moved from bulk optics with lenses and mirrors into integrated photonic circuits. Chip-based technologies allow us to incorporate dozens of optical components into solid state devices of just a few square centimetres. This transition is key to harnessing photons for applications in quantum information including secure communication, ultra precise metrology, quantum computing and fundamental tests of quantum mechanics. Our research addresses these challenges at the interface of nonlinear photonics and quantum optics. Our theory program studies the basic physics and design of on-chip sources for making non-classical states of light through nonlinear processes involving random fluctuations of the quantum vacuum, as well as complex circuits for multiphoton quantum walks and other quantum processing. In the laboratory, we are using waveguide writing by high power femtosecond lasers to develop both photon light sources and three-dimensional circuits that are completely contained in single chips of glass. We have research student opportunities for mathematically-inclined theorists, highly practical experimentalists and people anywhere in between. We are currently seeking several talented and motivated PhD candidates to conduct theoretical and experimental work in the areas of integrated and nonlinear quantum photonics. These exciting new disciplines aim to bring the ideas of quantum optics, quantun information and entanglement to the powerful platforms of integrated optics. In this way we hope to achieve extraordinary new limits in measurement, communication, computation and simulation of other quantum systems. In recent years our quantum program, coordinated by Professor Mike Steel and Professor Michael Withford in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Macquarie University, has achieved a number of significant milestones in this field, including the first quantum photonic circuit created by femtosecond laser writing, the first 3D integrated quantum photonic circuits, and the first multiplexed photon pair source in a quadratic nonlinear material. On the theoretical side we are developing powerful new mathematical descriptions of the generation and processing of few photon states of light. We have projects available in both theoretical and experimental work. Projects combining theory and experiment are also possible and encouraged.
Experimental projectsWe wish to develop new single photon sources in very highly nonlinear glasses and to create exotic entangled photonic states in integrated waveguides. Such sources are vital to enable the next generation of experiments in optical quantum computation and quantum simulation. This project will involve the use of highly sophisticated femtosecond laser writing systems and quantum characterisation equipment including a large array of single photon detectors. Students interested in these projects should have some experience in experimental optics and photonics and ideally some knowledge of quantum optics or quantum mechanics.
Theoretical and experimental two-photon wavefunction from a silicon photonic crystal.
FacilitiesOur facilities include start-of-the-art labs incorporating three high-power femtosecond laser systems, advanced quantum light sources and single photon detection systems, nanometric 3-D positioning systems, state of the art micro-optical characterisation facilities, and access to the leading supercomputer sites in Australia. You will be an active participant in CUDOS, a world-renowned partnership of seven universities that is the premier photonics research program in Australia and provides substantial opportunities for international research collaboration, networking and future employment in academia and industry. The entire program in photonics and quantum science Macquarie University is located on a large green campus in the northern suburbs of Sydney, one of the world's most beautiful and exciting cities. For further information on the above and other projects please contact Professor Mike Steel (michael dot steel at @mq dot edu dot au) and visit the research pages on this site as well as the main CUDOS site.
New postdoctoral research position in our group on nonlinear optoacoustics and Brillouin scattering in nanoscale waveguidesAre you an expert in nonlinear optics or phononic/photonic devices? We have a new postdoctoral research fellowship available to work on the theory of the fascinating topic of nonlinear light-sound interactions in nanoscale waveguides, especially semiconductor waveguides. Click here for details on the position and to apply. Applications close July 31 2016.
September 07, 2015
New arxiv manuscript on a quantum treatment of stimulated Brillouin scattering in nanoscale waveguidesHere's a new piece of work that straddles both areas of current interest in the group: quantum nonlinear optics and opto-acoustics. In a new arxiv paper with long time collaborator John Sipe at the University of Toronto, we take another look at the derivation of equations of motion for the opto-acoustic interaction behind stimulated Brillouin scattering in waveguides. We attack the problem with the techniques of guided wave nonlinear quantum optics. By identifying the right Hamiltonian for the opto-acoustic coupling, the coupled mode equations fall out in a very neat fashion. This also opens the way for thinking about Brillouin interactions at the quantum-classical boundary.
September 5, 2015
New paper on the implications of acoustic dissipation for stimulated Brillouin scattering in waveguidesOne of the things that makes the coupling between light and sound in waveguides complicated is the strong dissipation that phonons suffer. Most last only a few nanoseconds. In a new Scientific Reports paper (lead author Christian Wolff at UTS) we look at how the existence of phonon loss means the amplification of light by stimulate Brillouin scattering can be reduced considerably by the phonon lifetime. It's not a deal-breaker, but one needs to be aware of the issue.
July 24, 2015 paper out in Physical Review A (lead author Christian Wolff at UTS) that provides a rigorous derivation of the equations of motion for stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) in nanoscale waveguides. SBS is the nonlinear interaction between light and high frequency phonons (sound waves) and has tremendous promise as a basis for ultracompact devices for microwave photonics, sensing and narrow linewdith chip-based lasers.
July 23, 2015
Our new review paper on femtosecond laser written waveguides
for quantum optics applications (lead authors Thomas Meany and Markus Gräfe)
is out in Laser and Photonics Reviews.
This paper is a collaboration with the group of Alexander Szameit (Instite of Applied Optics, Jena, Germany) and provides a detailed survey of the use of
laser written circuits for many quantum applications, especially those exploting 3D capabilities.
January 12, 2015
We have a new paper at Optics Express
(lead author Christian Wolff at UTS)
detailing how symmetry principles can help to accelerate the computation and design problems
of nonlinear opto-acoustics (a phenomenon known as Stimulated Brillouin Scattering).
Our new paper (lead author Qiang (Jocelyn) Liu)
on Faraday rotation in femtosecond
laser written waveguides is out in Optics Express.
Jocelyn's work explores the challenges
in developing optical isolators in glass waveguides.
She also achieved some of the nicest theory-experiment agreement
you're likely to see in an optics experiment!
September 19, 2014
Our new manuscript (lead author PhD student Zachary Chaboyer) on demonstrating tunable quantum interference in a 3D 3-arm Mach-Zehnder interferometer is up on the arXiv. We show that our laser written structure should be able to significantly improve phase estimation sensitivity in the quantum regime.
Congratulations to Qiang Liu on being awarded her PhDOur PhD student Qiang (Jocelyn) Liu has received her PhD for her thesis work on laser-written waveguides in magneto-optical glasses. Jocelyn's work brings us closer to a dedicated optical isolator for the laser written waveguide platform. Well done!
July 18, 2014
Our new manuscript (lead author Luke Helt) on the effect of loss on heralded pair generation by spontaneous parametric down-conversion is up on the arXiv. This work investigates how the loss modifies the generated biphoton state, sometimes for good!
Our new theory of Stimulated Brillouin Scattering (SBS) in nanoscale waveguides (lead author Christian Wollf at UTS) is up on the arXiv. Christian has found some really neat ways of teasing out the different forces involved in modern SBS systems.
PhD student Tom Meany graduates to ToshibaWe are delighted that our former PhD student Thomas Meany has taken up an exciting postdoc position at Toshiba'sCambridge Labs in the UK. Tom will be continuing his work in the area of integrated quantum photonics in new directions involving solid state single photon sources.
May 1, 2014 New Journal of Physics.
April 5, 2014
Media coverage of our hybrid single photon source
The paper on our hybrid single photon source in Laser and Photonics Reviews
has attracted a bit of media attention.
Amongst others, we've been picked up by Scatterings in Optics and Photonics News
and The Register, UK.
Here's the original press release.
I've written a commentary
on recent work at Caltech that showed non-classical plasmon statistics.
In a major collaboration between Macquarie, the University of Sydney and Université Nice
Sophia Antipolis (lead authors, we've shown active multiplexing of three and four single photon channels
in a hybrid glass/lithium niobate device. We hope this is the future of single