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My knowledge is shaping the future.

Course paper / final thesis

Theoretical investigation of interfaces between free-space photons and quantum memories in a dynamic scenario

Starting date

14 March 2022

Duration of contract

6 months


up to German TVöD 5

Type of employment


Quantum communication technologies are becoming ever more prominent, promising to revolutionize the technological sector. The main application for quantum communication is currently Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), which enables unconditionally secure encryptions with security established directly at the physical communication layer. Beyond QKD, quantum communication may enable distributed quantum sensing, networked quantum computing, and advanced cryptographic tasks. Two technologies that will be essential for next-generation quantum communications, and in particular for the quantum internet, will be quantum memories and appropriate photonic interconnects. Quantum memories allow to reliably store quantum information (qubits) in matter systems, such as trapped atoms or quantum-dots, while photonic interconnects allow to transfer information from and to photons that carry quantum information over long distances.

The DLR Institute of Communications and Navigation performs research on transferring quantum information from a mobile node to a quantum memory. These mobile nodes may be flying quantum transmitters in the troposphere, stratosphere or space, with the quantum receiver being located on the ground. The quantum channel in this dynamic scenario is the focus of the research, i.e. the investigation of the impact the flight dynamics and the turbulent atmosphere.

The aim of the thesis is to identify the relevant quantum channel disturbances, quantify the impact on the link performance and support the development of a dedicated experiment. The work will start with a literature research, comparing different quantum memory technologies and photon sources (including e.g. lasers, single photon sources, entanglement sources) and analysing the quantum link models. This will then be used to determine what are the boundary conditions and requirements for a future experiment: for the free-space optical channel (e.g., total endpoint-to-endpoint loss and background light); for the photon sources (e.g., frequency and phase stability); for the photonic interfaces in the receiving unit (e.g., spatial mode and beam shaping); and for the quantum memory itself (e.g., quantum state writing and read-out).

Your qualifications:

  • study of Experimental or Theoretical Physics, or strong background in Physics
  • interest in theoretical research
  • knowledge of quantum physics
  • knowledge of free-space optical communication is advantageous

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalleled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy places great value on a healthy family and work-life-balance as well as equal opportunities for persons of all genders (f/m/x). Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

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Technical contact

Dr. Davide Orsucci
Institute of Communications and Navigation

Phone: +49 8153 28-4273

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Vacancy 63134

HR department Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR site Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR Institute of Communications and Navigation

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