Postdoc: Cavity-enhanced charge transport and light-induced superconductivity
In this project you will explore how an optical cavity can enhance the electrical conductivity of materials. This project draws inspiration from two recent developments at the cross-roads of condensed matter physics and quantum optics. One of these developments is the report that the electrical conductivity of materials can be enhanced simply by placing them inside an optical cavity, even in the darkness. The enhanced conductivity has been attributed to the vacuum field in the cavity. The other development is the prediction that hybrid light-matter quasi-particles, known as polaritons, can enable electrons to pair and transition to a superconducting state. Since the critical temperature depends on the polariton density, this type of light-induced superconductivity can potentially be realized at much higher temperatures than in standard systems.
This project is part of the ERC Starting grant “Strongly CORrelated Polaritons In Optoelectronic Nanostructures”(SCORPION), which comes with substantial funds for equipment. Therefore, you will have plenty of resources to achieve your goals.
Your tasks will include: i) depositing and electrically contacting various materials on mirrors that will be used to make micro-cavities, and ii) performing various optical and electrical measurements while you controllably mix optical and electronic degrees of freedom. You will perform these experiments at various temperatures (4-290 K) using a tunable cavity in a closed-cycle cryostat. This unique setup enables independent translations and rotations of two mirrors with sub-nanometer precision, free-space and fiber-coupled optical excitation and collection, as well as conductivity measurements, all inside a closed-cycle cryostat. The setup also includes state-of-the-art lasers and detectors.
You will be involved in all aspects of the design, realization, and analysis of experiments. You are expected to collaborate with a PhD student working on complementary aspects of strong light-matter coupling, and to co-supervise Masters students. You will also have the opportunity to collaborate with world-leading theory groups working on related topics.
About the group
In the Interacting Photons group we are interested in nonlinear and quantum behaviour of light and matter. We mainly work with tunable cavities where light and matter can strongly interact in a controllable way. You will have extensive support from the group leader and the technical staff (software, mechanical, electrical) at AMOLF. You will have access to state-of-the-art cleanroom for nanofabrication and characterization.
You have (or will get soon) a PhD in Physics or closely-related discipline. The ideal candidate has experience with optical and electrical transport measurements. Candidates with a background only in optics, or in superconductivity, will be considered if they are driven and capable of quickly learning new experimental and theoretical skills. This project involves diverse collaborations across materials science, device physics, and quantum optics. Therefore, we are looking for a team-player with multidisciplinary interests and abilities.
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 two years. AMOLF assists any new foreign postdoc with housing and visa applications and compensates their transport costs and furnishing expenses.
Dr. Said R. K. Rodriguez
Group leader Interacting Photons
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100
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