PhD Position in Dynamic Nanophotonics with 2D Quantum Materials

University of Amsterdam


PhD position: dynamic nanophotonics with 2D quantum materials

Publication date 19 December 2019
Closing date 15 February 2020
Level of education Master's degree
Hours 38 hours per week
Salary indication €2,325 to € 2,972 gross per month
Vacancy number 19-872

Are you a highly-motivated physicist with a strong affinity for nanotechnology and optoelectronic experiments? We are seeking an excellent and ambitious PhD candidate to perform fundamental research at the interface of nanophotonics and two-dimensional (2D) quantum materials.

Transition-metal dichalcogenides are semiconducting materials that are layered like a stack of paper in one dimension, bound only by van-der-Waals forces. In the monolayer limit, these 2D materials have a direct optical bandgap and show a very large exciton binding energy due to the lack of dielectric screening. As such, these materials are atomically-thin (less than 1 nm thick) and exhibit a very strong quantum-mechanical exciton resonance – even at room temperature. This exciton resonance is highly sensitive to external stimuli, including electric fields, dielectric surrounding, strain, and changes in carrier density. In this project, we will employ these external stimuli to gain control over the very strong light-matter interaction of the excitons, and manipulate the flow of light at the nanoscale.

First, we will study the solid-state physics of light interacting with exciton resonances exposed to external fields and charge densities at low temperatures. Second, we will use cleanroom-fabricated nanoscale devices to realize active control over light scattering by excitons in 2D semiconductors. Finally, we will leverage this active control over the excitonic light scattering to demonstrate dynamically-tunable nanophotonic devices. The results of this work could be used to develop a new class of atomically-thin optical coatings, in which we tune the optical functionality through manipulation of the exciton resonance.

What are you going to do?

You are expected to perform fundamental research on the understanding, control, and use of quantum mechanical exciton resonances in 2D semiconductors for the development of new dynamic nanophotonic devices.

You will:

  • fabricate nanopatterned optical coatings and nanoscale devices in the cleanroom of the AMOLF NanoLab Amsterdam;
  • design and construct experimental setups to perform optoelectronic measurements at low temperatures;
  • develop theory and computer simulations to support the experimental results;
  • present your results in national and international workshops/conferences;
  • collaborate with other research groups within the Quantum Matter and Nanophotonic Materials groups within the UvA, as well as groups within the VU, AMOLF, and international collaborators;
  • take part in the teaching effort of the group, including supervision of bachelor and master students.

What do we require?

  • A master’s degree in experimental physics, or a closely related discipline;
  • enthusiasm for collaborations and interdisciplinary research;
  • excellent written and oral communication skills in English.

Other skills, experiences, and documents that would benefit your application:

  • previous experience in an optical physics lab or cleanroom nanofabrication;
  • a background in material science of 2D materials;
  • demonstrated experience with programming language (matlab, python, labview);
  • scientific publications.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week, preferably starting as soon as possible for the duration of 4 years. The initial appointment will be for a period of 18 months. After a satisfactory evaluation it can be extended for a total duration of 4 years and should result into a PhD dissertation. We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings/conferences.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,325 to €2,972 (scale P) gross per month, based on fulltime (38 hours a week), excluding 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favorable tax agreement, the '30% rule', may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits? Then find out more about working at the Faculty of Science.


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:

About the Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 6,500, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

This four-year PhD position is available at the Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute (WZI), the experimental division of the Institute of Physics, in the research group of Dr Jorik van de Groep.

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application before 16 February 2020. You may apply online by using the link below.

Please send your application electronically as a single PDF document (please upload in the field marked 'CV') that includes:

  • a detailed curriculum vitae;
  • a motivation letter (max. 1 page) that explains why you choose to apply for this position, including a statement of your research experience and interests;
  • title and summary of your Master thesis;
  • scientific publications, if applicable.

Applications without the motivations letter will not be taken into consideration. However, with this motivation letter your application will receive our full attention.

The closing date is 15 February 2020 but be aware that the selection procedure commences immediately, and the position will be filled as soon as an excellent candidate has been found. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

Apply now

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