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PhD Position -- Hybrid NEMS-Phononic Circuits for classical and quantum information technology (M/F)

Employment Types:
besançon, france
USD per year
Posted on:

General information

Reference : UMR6174-SARBEN-003 Workplace : BESANCON Date of publication : Tuesday, May 10, 2022 Scientific Responsible name : Sarah Benchabane Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer Contract Period : 36 months Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2022 Proportion of work : Full time Remuneration : 2135 € gross salary per month.

Description of the thesis topic

The FEMTO-ST Institute is looking for highly-motivated, curious and resilient candidates to carry out a PhD work on a topic at the crossing of phononics, nanomechanics and quantum acoustics.

GENERAL CONTEXT The manipulation of mechanical vibrations is an old, but yet critical and timely concern: over the past thirty years, the tremendous technological advances in micro- and nano-manufacturing have led to a massive resurgence of interest. The field of Phononics, aiming at the control and analysis of phonons over multiple scales, has recenty emerged as a potential route towards this objective [1-2]. The engineering of phononic structures allows achieving coherent control of mechanical oscillations, for applications ranging from information processing to health science, through fundamental investigation of light-matter interactions [3]. The recent demonstration of the relevance of surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices for quantum information processing, that gave rise to the now thriving field of quantum acoustics [3-7], opens even richer prospects for micron-scale phononic devices, that promise a high-level of integrability into complex electromechanical platforms (see, e.g. [8-11]).

OBJECTIVE AND WORK DESCRIPTION The perspective of the proposed PhD is to explore the possibility to set up hybrid SAW-mechanical resonators architectures operating in the quantum regime, hence requiring cryogenic environmental conditions (temperature of the order of a few tens of mK). We will exploit travelling and localised mechanical vibrations in the linear and nonlinear regimes to implement phononic circuits, eventually capable to operate in the single-phonon regime. The PhD project will then aim at: (i) investigate and implement phononic circuit elements; (ii) implement single-phonon detection schemes in cryogenic conditions (below 100 mK); (iii) evaluate the potential of these phononic circuit elements for basic quantum operations.

The successful candidate will involved in the design, fabrication and characterization of the proposed electro-mechanical platform. He/She will benefit from the host institution's expertise in phononics and SAW devices and will have access to cutting-edge micro-nanofabrication facilities, hosted by the MIMENTO Technology Center hosted by FEMTO-ST.

ABOUT THE PROJECT This PhD project will be carried out in the context of the uNIQUE project (Nanophononics for Quantum Information Processing), funded by the European Research Council, that started in September 2020. The project aims at elaborating an information processing platform at the crossing of phononics, NEMS and quantum acoustics. The overarching objective is to develop a fully coherent mechanical playground that can be used either as an independent classical or quantum signal processing device or at the interface with other solid-state qubits or photons.

REQUESTED SKILLS AND BACKGROUND Interested candidates should hold a Master of Science degree in Physics, Applied Physics, Engineering or equivalent. A good background in general physics (e.g. solid-state physics, optics, acoustics) is required. The applicant should show a clear enthusiasm for experimental physics and a highly motivated, hard-working and resilient character. Strong collaboration spirit and good communication skills in spoken and written English are essential.

REFERENCES [1] A. Khelif et A. Adibi, Ed., Phononic Crystals. New York, Springer, 2016. [2] V. Romero-García and A.-C. Hladky-Hennion, Ed., Fundamentals and Applications of Acoustic Metamaterials: From Seismic to Radio Frequency, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (2019). [3] P. Delsing et al., The 2019 surface acoustic waves roadmap. J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys., 52 (2019). [4] M. V. Gustafsson, T. Aref, A. F. Kockum, M. K. Ekstrom, G. Johansson and P. Delsing, Propagating phonons coupled to an artificial atom. Science, 346, 207 (2014). [5] Y. Chu, P. Kharel, W. H. Renninger, L. D. Burkhart, L. Frunzio, P. T. Rakich and R. J. Schoelkopf, Quantum acoustics with superconducting qubits. Science, 358, 199 (2017). [6] K. J. Satzinger et al., Quantum control of surface acoustic-wave phonons. Nature, 563, 661 (2018). [7] A. Bienfait, K. J. Satzinger, Y. P. Zhong, H.-S. Chang, M.-H. Chou, C. R. Conner, É. Dumur, J. Grebel, G. A. Peairs, R. G. Povey and A. N. Cleland, Phonon-mediated quantum state transfer and remote qubit entanglement. Science, 364, 368 (2019). [8] D. Hatanaka, I. Mahboob, K. Onomitsu and H. Yamaguchi, Phonon waveguides for electromechanical circuits. Nat. Nanotechnol., 9, 520 (2014). [9] W. Fu, Z. Shen, Y. Xu, C.-L. Zou, R. Cheng, X. Han and H. X. Tang, Phononic integrated circuitry and spin–orbit interaction of phonons. Nature Communications, 10, 2743 (2019). [10] L. Raguin, O. Gaiffe, R. Salut, J.-M. Cote, V. Soumann, V. Laude, A. Khelif, and S. Benchabane, "Dipole states and coherent interaction in surface-acoustic-wave coupled phononic resonators," Nature Commun., 10, 4583 (2019). [11] S. Benchabane, A. Jallouli, L. Raguin, O. Gaiffe, J. Chatellier, V. Soumann, J.-M. Cote, R. Salut, A. Khelif, “Nonlinear coupling of phononic resonators induced by surface acoustic waves”, Physical Review Applied 16, 054024 (2021).

Work Context

The FEMTO-ST Institute (Franche-Comté Electronique Mécanique Thermique et Optique - Sciences et Technologies) is a large scale public research laboratory which is active in various areas of engineering research: mechanics, optics, time & frequency metrology, micro and nanotechnologies, energy, control and computer sciences. The institute is under the authority of the Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté (UBFC) and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). Mostly located in Besançon in France, FEMTO-ST is one of the largest French laboratories in the fields of engineering sciences. The Institute hosts high-level technological facilities in the MIMENTO Technology Center, a nation-wide recognized micro-fabrication technology cluster part of the French Basic Technological Research (BTR) network. The successful applicant will join the MOSAIC group of the Micro Nano-Sciences & Systems department. The group has a well-established expertise in the fields of phononics, instrumentation and microsystems. FEMTO-ST website:

Constraints and risks

Exposure to laser light, exposure to chemicals (clean room processing)

Additional Information

Applications shall be submitted through the CNRS job portal. For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Sarah Benchabane (

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