PhD candidate in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics

Faculty of Science – Institute of Physics

Publication date
3 August 2017
Level of education
Master's degree
Salary indication
€2,222 to €2,840 gross per month
Closing date
15 October 2017
38 hours per week
Vacancy number

The Quantum Matter Amsterdam (QMA) cluster of the Institute of Physics (IoP) is looking for a highly-motivated student who wants to be the driving force behind a collaboration between the optical spectroscopy lab at the University of Amsterdam and the EUV targets group at the Advanced Research Centre for Nanolithography (ARCNL).

The optical spectroscopy lab, supervised by Dr. Erik van Heumen, is part of the QMA cluster and focusses on spectroscopy of topological and strongly correlated electron materials. The EUV targets group, supervised by Prof. Dr. Paul Planken, is part of ARCNL and focusses on the interaction between intense laser light and metals.

More information on our research can be found on the QMA or EUV targets webpages.

Project description

The project will focus on determining nanoscale resolved optical properties of metals, electronic devices and thin films using near-field optical techniques. You will take the lead in the further development of the near-field optics lab and will develop expertise in turning raw materials, single crystals grown in the QMA group, into field effect devices that can be used to tune their electronic properties. The aim of your work will be to uncover the dielectric and other physical properties of nanometre-sized metal particles for terahertz emission applications, and the impact of confined geometries on the electronic structure of topological and correlated materials. You will use this knowledge to develop new methods to enhance correlations or tune between topological phases of matter.

Relevant references:

  • Huth, F. et al. Nano-FTIR Absorption Spectroscopy of Molecular Fingerprints at 20 nm Spatial Resolution. Nano Letters 12, 3973 (2012)
  • McLeod, A.S., E. van Heumen et al. Nanotextured phase coexistence in the correlated insulator V2O3. Nature Phys. 13, 80 (2017)


You hold a MSc. in (theoretical) physics or physical chemistry and are requested to motivate why you apply for the position and to supply a curriculum vitae. Applicants with a degree in chemistry are also requested to detail their affinity with condensed matter physics and motivation for pursuing a PhD in experimental physics.

Other skills/experiences/documents that would benefit your application are:

  • previous laboratory experience using some form of spectroscopy;
  • working knowledge of a programming language (phyton, C++ or equivalent);
  • a background in theoretical condensed matter physics;
  • excellent English oral and written communication skills;
  • scientific publications and/or a reference letter from your MSc. thesis advisor.

Further information

For informal enquiries about the position please contact:


The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a period of 4 years (initial appointment will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it can be extended for a total duration of 4 years) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). An educational plan will be drafted that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. The PhD candidate is also expected to assist in teaching of undergraduates.

Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from €2,222 in the first year to €2,840 in the last year. The Collective Employment Agreement for Dutch Universities is applicable. Favourable tax agreements may apply to non-Dutch applicants.

Job application

Please apply using the link below. Applications must include:

  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a motivation letter that explains why you have chosen to apply for this specific position with a statement of your research experience and interests and how these relate to this project;
  • title and summary of your Master thesis.

Applications will be processed on a rolling basis, and the position will remain open until a suitable candidate has been identified. (Formal closing date: 15 October 2017). #LI-DNP

No agencies please

Published by  University of Amsterdam