Jayadev Vijayan


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Personal profile


Dr Jayadev Vijayan is a Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw (DKO) Research Fellow and Head of the Quantum Engineering Lab at the Photon Science Institute. He is a member of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on developing quantum technologies based on mechanical and atomic quantum systems, and is aligned to the 'Atoms to Devices' theme within the Henry Royce Institute.

After an undergraduate degree in Physics from Loyola College in Chennai, India, he was awarded the prestigious Erasmus Mundus Scholarship in 2014 by the European Union, to pursue a Masters in Optics and Photonics (Europhotonics) in Europe. Over two years, he spent a semester each in Marseille, Karlsruhe, Barcelona and Munich studying and carrying out research in photonics. He spent eight months working towards the development of cold-atom based magnetometers in the 'Atomic Quantum Optics' group of Professor Morgan Mitchell at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), Barcelona and six months working with spatial light modulators to generate arbitrary optical potentials for quantum gases at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ), Munich.

He stayed in the 'Quantum Many-body Systems' division of Professor Immanuel Bloch at MPQ, developing the hardware of quantum simulators based on ultracold atoms in optical lattices to image the dynamics of Fermionic atoms with high spatial and temporal resolution. He graduated in 2020 with a thesis entitled 'Microscopy of spin-charge dynamics in fermi-hubbard chains'. Here, he investigated spin-charge separation and quantum magnetism in 1D and 2D Hubbard systems, providing unprecedented microscopic access to emergent phenomena in materials science.

Later in 2020, after an unexpected break from research, he moved to Switzerland to work as a postdoctoral researcher in the Photonics Laboratory of Professor Lukas Novotny at ETH Zurich. Here, he developed new capabilities in the field of levitodynamics, demonstrating scalable optical feedback control techniques, multi-dimensional quantum ground-state cooling and cavity-mediated long-range interactions between mechanical systems optically trapped in vacuum. He was awarded the 'Seal of Excellence' from the Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowship Programme for a proposal on 'Interacting levitated nanoparticles in the quantum regime'. 

In November 2023, he was appointed as a DKO Research Fellow by the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Manchester.

Link to group website -  Quantum Engineering Lab

Link to research outputs - Google scholar page


Research interests

Dr Vijayan's research interests are broadly centred around using tools and techniques from across quantum physics, photonics and engineering to explore foundational science and develop quantum technology. Previously, he has used his expertise in photonics and optical systems to manipulate and image clouds of ultracold atoms with single-site resolution, resulting in one of the first experiments investigating the temporal and spatial dynamics of strongly interacting fermionic systems with microscopic access. He has since translated his knowledge of many-body cold atom systems to the field of optomechanics, where he successfully developed techniques to scale up system size and cool levitated mechanical systems using programmable optical tweezer arrays and engineer interactions between many-body interacting systems using an optical cavity. Currently, he is interested in using these new capabilities in generating quantum and many-body resources to build practical quantum sensors for inertial sensig and gravimetry. He is also interested in leveraging the unique materials engineering facilities in Manchester to investigate optomechanics with doped quantum emitters.

More, up-to-date descriptions of our research interests can be found in the Research section of our homepage



There are a number of roles ranging from short-term stays to PhD and postdoc positions that become available throughout the year. We are always happy to hear from students who share an enthusiasm for learning a diverse set of experimental skills and are excited to work in a collaborative research environment at the cutting edge of technology.

Current PhD position - Quantum sensing with levitated optomechanical systems

More current open positions can be found in the Open Positions section of our homepage.


My collaborations

We regularly collaborate with the groups of Lukas Novotny at ETH Zurich, Carlos-Gonzalez Ballestero at TU Vienna, Oriol Romer-Isart at the University of Innsbruck, James Millen at King's College London and Rene Reimann at the Technology Innovation Institute at Abu Dhabi.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Education/Academic qualification

Master in Science, Optics and Photonics, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

1 Oct 201430 Sept 2016

Award Date: 30 Sept 2016

Doctor of Philosophy, Quantum Many-Body Physics Division, Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, Munich

1 Oct 20168 Feb 2020

Areas of expertise

  • QC Physics
  • Quantum Engineering
  • Photonics
  • Optomechanics
  • Atomic Physics

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Henry Royce Institute
  • Advanced materials
  • Photon Science Institute


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