PhD Studentships in Quantum Control of Magnetic Processes

PhD Studentships in Quantum Control of Magnetic Processes

Location: University of Southampton, UK

Supervisors: Ilya Kuprov, Marina Carravetta

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging make use of spin – a relativistic property of elementary particles that gives them magnetic moments. Magnetic fields do not harm chemical systems or biological tissues, they are therefore widely used in chemistry, pharmacology, and medicine. In engineering, magnetic processes are encountered in data storage and spintronic devices that use magnetoresistance effects and contain multiferroic materials.

Project 1:

Magnetic resonance technologies require elaborate hardware, magnetisation control algorithms, and data processing methods; this project is about improving those. You will be using quantum control theory and machine learning to improve speed, sensitivity, and resolution of magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging.

Project 2:

Quantum mechanics sets fundamental limits on how quickly and precisely magnetic processes can run; this matters in MRI where the time a patient spends inside the magnet must be minimised. Modern equipment performs far below those quantum limits, and the objective of this project is to design methods that achieve the best performance permitted by the fundamental constraints of quantum theory.

Project 3:

There are unsolved fundamental questions about how quickly a magnetic process can run – quantum mechanical uncertainty relations create a delicate balance between speed and accuracy of spin dynamics. This project will explore the deep quantum mechanics of magnetisation transport and find ways to improve the speed and sensitivity of scientific, industrial, and medical devices (NMR spectrometers, MRI machines, etc.) that use spin.

Project 4:

Catalysis is a central process in pharmacology and industrial chemistry that allows sophisticated chemical reactions to proceed with high selectivity and yield at moderate pressures and temperatures. However, a common problem is that chemists do not know how some empirically discovered catalysts work.

One of the ways of finding out is nuclear magnetic resonance that uses magnetic moments associated with nuclear spin. The complication is that some nuclei (such as 27Al and 14N) are not spherical. They are informative, but hard to use because they also have an electric quadrupole moment, and electric interactions are much stronger than magnetic ones.

This project will develop quantum control methods that facilitate magnetic resonance with quadrupolar nuclei, with the end goal of improving catalyst performance.

These are 4-year studentships; they are open to UK and Horizon Europe (list of countries) nationals, and include all applicable university fees, as well as a tax-free stipend of £18,622 per year. University of Southampton supercomputing facilities are among the best in the country – Iridis5 cluster is one of the most powerful academic supercomputer in the UK. To start the application process, please send a CV to Prof Ilya Kuprov (

Deadline: 31 May 2024; earlier submissions would be much appreciated for logistical reasons.