Project 9: Long-distance quantum key distribution over integrated satellite-repeater links

Host Institute: University of Düsseldorf

Project Supervisor: Prof. Dagmar Bruß

Tentative placements/visits arranged at:  University of Padova, University of Vigo, University of Leeds, and NTT Tokyo

Starting date: flexible but strictly no later than 1 Oct 2017

Duration: 3 years

Annual Salary: Equivalent to €36,872.16 + €7,200 (for mobility allowance) + €6,000 (for family allowance, if eligible); this is before any applicable tax and/or deductions.

Project Description

The PhD student will investigate long-distance quantum key distribution  based on a combination of satellite (i.e. free space) and quantum repeater (i.e. fibre-based) links. In such a scenario, the satellite links covers areas over which fibre-based repeater networks are either not yet developed or too costly to be installed, e.g., under the oceans. The project is mainly theoretical, but has some links to experimental implementations. The researcher will study theoretically the performance limits that each approach (satellite and repeater) can individually achieve (using the so-called measurement-device-independent setting) and will conduct a comparison between the two approaches for certain distances of interest, using both the currently available technologies and those we foresee to obtain in the future. S/he will then investigate an integrated link and find out how the overall performance can be improved. With the help of experimentalists at Padova, a free-space link will be designed to simulate the satellite link. The project covers topics from different areas (repeaters, satellites, security analysis, networks) and it is correspondingly supported by relevant expertise at various partners.


Candidate profile

Education: MSc (or close to finishing the MSc) in Physics

Relevant Research Fields: Quantum information theory, quantum optics, quantum cryptography, quantum repeaters

Languages: ENGLISH (Excellent)

The candidate should be willing to travel to and collaborate with all, beneficiary or partner organisation, members of the network.

Eligibility rules

For full explanation of eligibility rules please see here. In short, eligibility rules require candidates to have been resident outside the host country (Germany) for at least two of the past three years prior to the start of their contract. They should also be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers. This is measured from the date that you obtained the degree that would entitle you to embark on a PhD. The candidates cannot have a PhD degree at the time of recruitment, but it is possible to be a PhD student and still satisfy the above condition.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, follow the instructions below:

  • Fill out the application form.
  • Send an email to quantuminfo(at) containing
    1. a short motivation letter;
    2. your CV;
    3. your marks and certificates (BSc and MSc); and
    4. the names and e-mail-adresses of two Professors who would be willing to provide a short letter of recommendation for you.