Postdoc: Light-induced superconductivity

Date posted February 12, 2020
Type Postdoc positions

In this project you will aim to induce superconductivity by shining light on materials inside an optical cavity.  The project leverages the strong coupling between excitons in semiconductors and photons in micro-cavities. This strong coupling results in hybrid light-matter quasi-particles known as polaritons. Recent theoretical works have shown that the coupling between polaritons and electrons in cavity-embedded materials can lead to a superconducting state for electrons. The transition to this superconducting state occurs as a function of the polariton density, which can be controlled with a laser.

Your tasks will include: i) depositing and electrically contacting  various materials on mirrors that will be used to make micro-cavities. ii) investigating the optical and electronic transport properties of these materials as they are strongly coupled to cavity modes. You will perform these experiments in the 4-290 K temperature range using a state-of-the-art cryostat designed for experiments demanding extremely high mechanical stability. This is a unique setup enabling independent translations and rotations of two mirrors with sub-nanometer precision, free-space optical excitation and collection, as well as conductivity measurements, all inside a closed-cycle cryostat.

You will be involved in all aspects of the design, realization, and analysis of experiments. Experimentally, you will collaborate with a PhD student  working on complementary aspects of strong light-matter coupling in similar systems. Theoretically, you will collaborate closely with leading groups working on aspects of quantum optics and condensed matter physics related to your experiments.

This project is part of the ERC Starting grant “Strongly CORrelated Polaritons In Optoelectronic Nanostructures”(SCORPION), which comes with a  very significant investment on equipment.  Therefore, you will have plenty of  resources to achieve your goals.

About the group

In the Interacting Photons group we are interested in nonlinear and quantum behaviour of light and matter.  We focus on tunable systems where light and matter interact strongly. We have strong connections to other groups in the Netherlands, France, and UK. 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 optical laboratories and cleanroom for nanofabrication and characterization.


You have (or will get soon) a PhD in Physics or closely-related discipline. The ideal candidate has lab experience in optics and device physics. Candidates with background in only one of the above areas will be considered if they are enthusiastic about getting experience in the other area.  This project involves diverse collaborations across materials science, device physics, and quantum optics theory. 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 Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) for the duration of 3 years, conditioned to satisfactory performance in the first year.  Starting date is flexible within the entire 2020 and early 2021. AMOLF assists any new postdoc with housing and visa applications and compensates their transport costs.

Contact info

Dr. Said R. K. Rodriguez
Group leader Interacting Photons
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

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

Applications without this motivation will not be taken into account. However, with this motivation your application will receive our full attention.

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.

Commercial activities in response to this ad are not appreciated.