PhD-student: Quantum and topological nano-optomechanics

Date posted February 5, 2019
Type PhD positions

The Photonic Forces group seeks talented PhD students in the field of nano-optomechanics. We will study new ways to control photons and phonons at the nanoscale, by making them strongly interact with one another through radiation pressure forces in engineered on-chip nanophotonic systems. This has fascinating implications for the transport of light and sound in both classical and quantum domains. We aim to experimentally observe unusual forms of phonon propagation, in unidirectional states that are topologically protected. We will explore such behaviour, normally only associated with electrons, in the new regime of nanomechanics, where strong nonlinearities and thermal fluctuations provide unique opportunities to discover new phenomena. Moreover, we seek to develop new ways to create and measure quantum states of mechanical resonators using light. Here, sensitive optical measurements of motion, challenging the quantum limits of displacement detection, play an important role. We will study how these states can be turned into quantum sound waves propagating on the surface of a chip, which can be used to connect different quantum systems. 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 is part of the Center for Nanophotonics at AMOLF, and 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 and the Center for Nanophotonics, 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


We seek an excellent candidate with a background in physics, with relevant experience (preferably in quantum optics, photonics, (nano)mechanics or AMO physics). You will need to meet the requirements for an MSc-degree, to ensure eligibility for a Dutch PhD examination.

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. 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.

Contact info

Prof.dr. Ewold Verhagen
Group leader Photonic Forces
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below.
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