Postdoc: Attosecond Nanoscopy of electron dynamics in strongly correlated materials (ANACONDA)

Postdoc: Attosecond Nanoscopy of electron dynamics in strongly correlated materials (ANACONDA)

Published Deadline Location
30 Sep 29 Mar Amsterdam

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Job description

The High-harmonic generation and EUV science group at ARCNL, Amsterdam, has an opening for a two-year postdoc position as part of the ERC-Starting Grant “Attosecond Nanoscopy of electron dynamics in strongly correlated materials (ANACONDA)”.

In this project you will contribute to building an attosecond microscope to follow ultrafast nanoscale material modifications between insulating and conducting states of a novel class of materials – the strongly correlated materials. This attosecond microscope will provide pictures with a time resolution of a billionth of a billionth of a second (10-18s, attosecond), and spatial resolution with a billionth of a meter (10-9 m, nanometer). This is needed to investigate and understand strongly correlated materials, which have drastically different properties than expected from conventional theories due to the complicated mutual interactions of their electrons.

The ultimate goal of the experiments in ANACONDA is to not only visualize in real-time how strongly correlated materials switch their resistivity, but also demonstrate that these materials may be entirely switched within the oscillations of the electric field of light pulses, thus enabling future oxide electronics with PHz speeds. More generally, the availability of attosecond and nanoscale visualization of electronics processes will have ample applications for investigating not only quantum materials, but also for real-life applications in the semiconductor industry, where current critical dimensions of chips are on the nanometer scale.

Experimentally you will be working with ultrafast lasers that will be used to generate attosecond soft-X-ray pulses by high-harmonic generation and use these in pump-probe transient absorption as well as transient holographic imaging experiments. Furthermore, we will explore solid-state high-harmonic generation as a probe for phase-transition dynamics.




You have (or will receive in near future) a PhD degree in physics, physical chemistry, electrical engineering, or a closely related subject. You enjoy performing experiments and analysis to stepwise build a deeper understanding of complex physical mechanisms. For this position, we are in particular looking for a candidate who can combine state of the art ultrafast spectroscopy with challenging problems in strongly correlated materials. Thus a solid background in both optics and condensed matter physics would be ideal. As such, experience in one or more of the involved topics (high-harmonic generation, ultrafast lasers and optics, condensed matter physics, strongly correlated materials, fundamental optical processes in solids, attosecond and femtosecond science, EUV and X-Ray spectroscopy and scattering, computational imaging, vacuum instrumentation), in particular experimentally but also theoretically, is required.

Very good verbal and written communications skills (in English) are required.

Conditions of employment

A postdoc position is intended as full-time appointment in the service of NWO for the duration of 2 years (initially 12 months and - after positive evaluation - extended to two years). We can assist international candidates with visa applications and ARCNL can assist in finding housing.

Do you come from abroad? We will assist you with visa applications and compensate your transport costs and furnishing expenses. A favorable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants.


High-Harmonic Generation and EUV Science

The High-harmonic generation and EUV science groups develops and utilizes new high-harmonic generation based extreme ultraviolet and soft-X-ray sources in the energy range from 10 – 600 eV for spectroscopy and metrology applications. Specific areas of interest are attosecond and femtosecond time-resolved spectroscopy of complex chemical and solid-state dynamics, new strategies for efficient high-harmonic generation, as well as new routes for nanometer-scale imaging of semiconductor structures. Novel types of attosecond and femtosecond transient absorption and reflection spectroscopies, as well as scattering techniques, are developed, and applied to fundamental question with particular relevance to nanolithography.

The group is equipped with Ti:Sa (Titanium:Sapphire) lasers for high-harmonic generation. In addition, a unique 50 kHz, multi-mJ optical-parametric chirped-pulse amplifier system ia the main driver for this project.

The groups house state-of-the-art lab facilities at the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL). The Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL) focuses on the fundamental physics and chemistry involved in current and future key technologies in nanolithography, primarily for the semiconductor industry. ARCNL is a public-private partnership between the Dutch Research Council (NWO), the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the VU University Amsterdam (VU) and the semiconductor equipment manufacturer ASML. ARCNL is located at the Science Park Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and is currently housing about 100 scientists and support staff. We offer a dynamic and open environment, and aim to provide the optimum conditions for young scientists to do exciting research leading to high-impact results, which focus on fundamental physics and chemistry challenges, and might also have direct technological relevance.


  • Postdoc
  • 1197365


Science Park 106, 1098 XG, Amsterdam

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