Physics: Fully Funded EPSRC DTP PhD Scholarship: Nanoparticle Manipulation and Integration for Quantum Optomechanical Systems (NAMIQOS) (RS605)

  • DeadlineDeadline: 20 May 2024
  • WalesWales


Closing date: 20 May 2024

Funding providers: EPSRC Quantum Technologies DTP

Subject areas: Experimental Physics, Lasers, Optics, Semiconductors

Project start date: 

  • 1 October 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-September)

Supervisor: Dr James Bateman (

Aligned programme of study: PhD in Physics

Mode of study: Full-time 

Project description: 

Optical forces arise when light, which has no mass yet carries momentum, is deflected through interaction with a material object. Lasers of power ~100mW focused to a spot ~10um exert significant forces on objects ~100nm across. These nanoparticles can be levitated, in vacuum, and manipulated by modulating the optical field. Interferometric measurement and active feedback techniques allow these systems to approach quantum limits of position sensitivity. 

This research is part of the field of levitated optomechanics. Since the seminal demonstration of feedback cooling to sub-Kelvin temperatures [Gieseler 2012], the field has seen rapid and intense research, with recent achievements including cooling to the quantum-mechanical ground-state with optical cavities [Delić 2020] and in a cryogenic environment [Tebbenjohanns 2021]. 

This project will explore development of practical devices based on levitated optomechanics including engineered isolation of specific mechanical modes and microfabrication techniques to source, prepare, and levitate nanoparticles in a compact, robust device. Microfabrication will be explored in collaboration with Swansea University's Centre for Integrative Semiconductor Materials [CISM]. CISM is a new £30M research and innovation facility on Swansea University’s Bay Campus which brings together semiconductor and advanced materials platforms and offers manufacturing grade ISO-qualified clean rooms for process development, backend materials integration and packaging capabilities, and access to advanced characterisation and analysis. 

The student will benefit from integration with the nascent Swansea Doctoral Training Initiative UK-SIFS: UK Semiconductor Industry Future Skills (CISM, Meredith) which will create a vibrant, multi-disciplinary cohort experience and provide highly practical training and links with industrial partners. 

Development of the robust platform provides a route towards quantum devices, where the particle is treated as a quantum mechanical object subject to superposition and decoherence. Establishing capability in this classical space is a necessary step towards realising fully quantum-limited devices, for which there are a number of exciting theoretical proposals in accelerometry with predicted sensitivities 10-17g/sqrt(Hz) [Pontin 2018]. 

For more details please see here:

Entry Requirements

Candidates must hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level or a master’s degree with a minimum overall grade at ‘Merit’ (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University). If you are eligible to apply for the scholarship but do not hold a UK degree, you can check our comparison entry requirements (see country specific qualifications). Please note that you may need to provide evidence of your English Language proficiency. 

English Language: IELTS 6.5 Overall (with no individual component below 6.0) or Swansea University recognised equivalent. Full details of our English Language policy, including certificate time validity, can be found here. 

This scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality.

EPSRC DTP studentships are available to home and international students. Up to 30% of our cohort can comprise international students, once the limit has been reached, we are unable to make offers to international students. We are still accepting applications from international applicants.  International students will not be charged the fee difference between the UK and international rate. Applicants should satisfy the UKRI eligibility requirements. 


Please note that the programme requires some applicants to hold ATAS clearance, further details on ATAS scheme eligibility are available on the UK Government website

ATAS clearance IS NOT required to be held as part of the scholarship application process, successful award winners (as appropriate) are provided with details as to how to apply for ATAS clearance in tandem with scholarship course offer. 

If you have any questions regarding your academic or fee eligibility based on the above, please email with the web-link to the scholarship(s) you are interested in. 


This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees and an annual stipend at £19,237.

Additional research expenses will also be available.

How To Apply

To apply, please complete your application online with the following information:

  1. Course choice – please select Physics / PhD / Full-time / 3 Year / October 

    In the event you have already applied for the above programme previously, the application system may issue a warning notice and prevent application, in this event, please email where staff will be happy to assist you in submitting your application.

  2. Start year – please select 2024
  3. Funding (page 8) –
  • ‘Are you funding your studies yourself?’ – please select No
  • ‘Name of Individual or organisation providing funds for study’ – please enter ‘RS605 - Nanoparticle Manipulation’

*It is the responsibility of the applicant to list the above information accurately when applying, please note that applications received without the above information listed will not be considered for the scholarship award.

One application is required per individual Swansea University led research scholarship award; applications cannot be considered listing multiple Swansea University led research scholarship awards.

We encourage you to complete the following to support our commitment to providing an environment free of discrimination and celebrating diversity at Swansea University: 

As part of your online application, you MUST upload the following documents (please do not send these via e-mail). We strongly advise you to provide the listed supporting documents by the advertised application closing date. Please note that your application may not be considered without the documents listed:

  • CV
  • Degree certificates and transcripts (if you are currently studying for a degree, screenshots of your grades to date are sufficient)
  • A cover letter including a ‘Supplementary Personal Statement’ to explain why the position particularly matches your skills and experience and how you choose to develop the project.
  • Two references (academic or previous employer) on headed paper or using the Swansea University reference form. Please note that we are not able to accept references received citing private email accounts, e.g. Hotmail. Referees should cite their employment email address for verification of reference.
  • Evidence of meeting English Language requirement (if applicable).
  • Copy of UK resident visa (if applicable)
  • Confirmation of EDI form submission (optional) 

Informal enquiries are welcome, please contact Dr James Bateman (

*External Partner Application Data Sharing – Please note that as part of the scholarship application selection process, application data sharing may occur with external partners outside of the University, when joint/co- funding of a scholarship project is applicable.

Who is eligible to apply?

This scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality.

Swansea University Campus

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