PhD: Non-Hermitian nano-optomechanical networks and their sensing performance

Work Activities

The Photonic Forces group seeks a motivated and talented PhD student working at the intersection of the fields of nano-optomechanics and topological physics. Nanomechanical resonators are versatile systems for sensing applications and to study fundamental physical phenomena. We recently demonstrated that networks of nanomechanical modes can be generated by coupling them through the radiation pressure of laser control fields in nano-optomechanical cavities. Using suitable temporal laser modulation, this allows breaking time-reversal symmetry and control non-Hermitian dynamics, i.e., mechanical gain and loss. In this project, you will experimentally investigate the unique states that can exist in such networks as a result. These can be associated with their description as non-Hermitian topological phases of bosonic lattices. We will investigate whether the special properties of these networks, including unidirectional transport and amplification of mechanical vibrations, can be used to boost nanomechanical sensing performance. To this end, we will investigate these systems at the quantum measurement limit in cryogenic experiments. The projects combine nanofabrication and advanced optical measurement techniques with a solid connection to the rich background theory of the topic. You will work in close connection to other group members, and be involved in all aspects of design, realization, and optical experiments.

Qualifications

We seek an excellent candidate with a background in physics, with relevant experience (preferably in quantum optics, photonics, (nano)mechanics or general AMO physics). You will need to meet the requirements for an MSc-degree, to ensure eligibility for a Dutch PhD examination. We strongly believe in the benefits of an inclusive and diverse environment, and encourage people from all backgrounds to apply.

Work environment

The Photonic Forces team led by prof. Ewold Verhagen studies light-matter interactions at the nanoscale. We investigate the fundamental physics associated with such interactions, which are enhanced through optical field confinement in tailored nanophotonic systems, as well as the applications they allow. In particular, we study new ways to control both light and motion in optomechanical systems. All projects in the group involve the use and development of advanced optical measurement techniques and nanofabrication, with extensive support from the group leader and AMOLF technical staff. Within the group as well as among the different groups at AMOLF, we have a strong focus on stimulating development of students in all professional aspects, as well as collaborations with other researchers at AMOLF and beyond. For more information, see www.optomechanics.nl.

Working conditions

  • The working atmosphere at the institute is largely determined by young, enthusiastic, mostly foreign employees. Communication is informal and runs through short lines of communication.
  • The position is intended as full-time (40 hours / week, 12 months / year) appointment in the service of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) for the duration of four years
  • The starting salary is 2.781 Euro’s gross per month and a range of employment benefits.
  • After successful completion of the PhD research a PhD degree will be granted at a Dutch University.
  • Several courses are offered, specially developed for PhD-students.
  • AMOLF assists any new foreign PhD-student with housing and visa applications and compensates their transport costs and furnishing expenses.

More information?

Prof.dr. Ewold Verhagen
Group leader Photonic Forces
E-mail: verhagen@amolf.nl
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

Application

You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below.
Please annex your:
–  Resume;
–  Motivation on why you want to join the group (max. 1 page).

It is important to us to know why you want to join our team. This means that we will only consider your application if it entails your motivation letter.

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis and as soon as an excellent match is made, the position will be filled.

Online screening may be part of the selection.

Diversity code

AMOLF is highly committed to an inclusive and diverse work environment: we want to develop talent and creativity by bringing together people from different backgrounds and cultures. We recruit and select on the basis of competencies and talents. We strongly encourage anyone with the right qualifications to apply for the vacancy, regardless of age, gender, origin, sexual orientation or physical ability.

AMOLF has won the NNV Diversity Award 2022, which is awarded every two years by the Netherlands Physical Society for demonstrating the most successful implementation of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

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