PhD-student: Quantum sensing and metrology in nano-optomechanical systems

Date posted March 1, 2023
Type PhD positions

The Photonic Forces group seeks motivated and talented PhD students to join our team working in the field of nano-optomechanics. We use the strong interactions between photons and phonons confined in engineered nanoscale resonators to explore the quantum limits of displacement measurement, and develop novel systems and techniques to advance sensor technology. Nano- and micromechanical resonators can serve as great sensors of a wide variety of signals owing to their high susceptibility, in particular when their motion is read out optically with quantum-limited resolution. We are interested to use new optical control techniques to manipulate the quantum state of the mechanical resonators, and test whether mechanical quantum squeezing and entanglement can be used to perform better measurement. At the same time, we use modern nanofabrication and design techniques to improve mechanical coherence, in order to develop the best possible sensors of e.g. small accelerations or electromagnetic fields. We offer PhD positions that are either more focused on fundamental aspects of quantum metrology, or on the nano-engineering and application of quantum-limited mechanical sensors. 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


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 research environment, and welcome applicants with any background.

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.

Contact info

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

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.

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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