Open PhD position in 'Novel microfabricated devices for combined scanning optical near-field and tunnelling microscopy', Leiden University / Delft University of Technology

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Leiden University / Delft University of Technology
1 October, 2015


Lorentzweg 1 Delft 2628CJ
52° 0' 2.286" N, 4° 22' 24.4128" E

Type of position: PhD in Physics

Supervisors: Dr. Milan Allan & Dr. Simon Gröblacher

Project title: Novel microfabricated devices for combined scanning optical near-field and tunnelling microscopy

Project description: Modern condensed matter physics research focuses on materials that exhibit quantum phenomena on a meso- or macroscopic scale; so-called ‘quantum materials’. These include unconventional superconductors, quantum-critical compounds, graphene, and topological materials that can be used for error-resistant quantum computing. Such materials are often very inhomogeneous, either by design (e.g. the non-locality of Majorana zero modes), or for reasons that are still part of the puzzle (e.g. unconventional superconductors). Current technology allows measurements of the density of states with atomic resolution or of the optical response of the material with resolution on the order of tens of nanometers, but not both simultaneously.
This PhD project aims at understanding the dynamics and excitations of quantum materials by combining scanning tunneling (STM) with scanning near field optical (S-NOM) microscopy in order to measure the topography of a given sample with atomic resolution, and then correlate it with optical nanoscale measurements including spectroscopy and pump-probe, for the first time. Such novel instrumentation will allow for a vast range of experiments aimed at understanding quantum materials.
The successful candidate will be co-supervised by both PIs. (S)he will have the opportunity to learn new experimental techniques, ranging from microfabrication to STM experimentation. In particular, the project will include (i) simulations of optimal tips that have the correct optical and electrical properties, (ii) development of the fabrication in the cleanroom in Delft, and (iii) tests and experiments on scanning probes in Leiden.

Additional information: and

Contact: Please send inquiries / applications (cover letter, CV, reference letters) to allan [at] physics [dot] leidenuniv [dot] nl (subject: NanoFront%20PhD) or s [dot] groeblacher [at] tudelft [dot] nl (subject: NanoFront%20PhD) with the reference 'NanoFront PhD'.

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