PhD-student: Non-Hermitian nano-optomechanical networks and their sensing performance
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.
About the group
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.
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.
Terms of employment
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, with a starting salary of gross € 2,590 per month and a range of employment benefits. After successful completion of the PhD research a PhD degree will be granted at Eindhoven University of Technology. 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.
Prof.dr. Ewold Verhagen
Group leader Photonic Forces
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100
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AMOLF is highly committed to an inclusive and diverse work environment. Hence, we greatly encourage candidates from any personal background and perspective to apply.
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