PhD Candidate for Magnetically Sensitive Low-temperature Atomic Force Microscopy of Individual Atoms

PhD Candidate for Magnetically Sensitive Low-temperature Atomic Force Microscopy of Individual Atoms

Published Deadline Location
2 Mar 15 Apr Nijmegen

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Job description

With leading research into Fundamental Physics, we can answer important questions about the world of today and tomorrow. This requires curious individuals who want to push the experimental boundaries of science with their talent and expertise. As a PhD Candidate at the Scanning Probe Microscopy department, you get to explore the future of nanoelectronics with our state-of-the-art facilities.

One route of nanoscale magnetic data storage is to use novel types of non-collinear magnetic ground states - e.g. skyrmions - to store information. The stabilisation of non-collinear ground states in atomically thin magnetic films strongly depends on the interplay between isotropic and anisotropic exchange interactions in between individual atoms as well as on the interaction with the substrate. During the past years, we have focused on developing the new combination of spin-polarised scanning tunnelling and magnetic exchange force microscopy (SPEX) to probe non-collinear magnetic ground states with atomic-scale resolution and quantify the different magnetic exchange forces. We demonstrated that SPEX can decouple the geometric structure from the electronic and magnetic properties and delineate the geometric corrugation from an increased spin-resolved local density of states. We further used SPEX to resolve a cycloidal spin spiral with unprecedent resolution and quantified both the direct and indirect contributions to the magnetic exchange force field above the chiral magnetic structure. For the PhD thesis, you will use SPEX to quantify the different exchange forces in between individual magnetic atoms. Your teaching load may be up to 10% of your working time.

Relevant references:

N. Hauptmann et al., Nano Lett. 17, 5660-5665 (2017).
N. Hauptmann et al., Phys. Rev. B 97, 100401 (2018).
N. Hauptmann et al., Nature Communications 11, 1197 (2020).


Radboud University


  • You hold a Master's degree in Physics and have completed a Master's thesis on an experimental research topic.
  • You have a good command of spoken and written English.
  • You are open to further developing your scientific communication skills through presentations and publications.
  • You have a strong interest in fundamental condensed matter physics and curiosity-driven research.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract).

  • It concerns an employment for 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,541 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,247 in the fourth year (salary scale P). 
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.
Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.


You will join the Scanning Probe Microscopy department (SPM). The SPM department consists of many international scientists and students. We utilise SPM techniques beyond the state of the art to study numerous problems in fundamental physics and chemistry. Our expertise focuses on high-precision magnetic and electronic imaging of single atoms, molecules and 2D materials in cryogenic ultra-high vacuum environments and in magnetic fields, often related with single-atom manipulation.

The Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM) is one of the major research institutes of the Faculty of Science at Radboud University. IMM is a research institute in chemistry and physics, which fosters interdisciplinary research. Its mission is to design and create functional molecules and materials to fundamentally understand their behaviour. IMM comprises 19 research groups in areas ranging from condensed matter science to organic chemistry and biochemistry. Its focus is on fundamental research with an open eye for societal applications, and educating the next generation of leaders in science and innovation. IMM distinguishes itself from similar institutes by close collaborations and rich interactions between chemists and physicists and/or experimentalists and theorists, and an excellent infrastructure including the Scanning Probe Microscopy Laboratories, Laser Labs, Magnetic Resonance Research Center, High Field Magnet Laboratory and Free Electron Laser Laboratory (HFML-FELIX).

The Faculty of Science is a complete, student-oriented science faculty where research and education are closely intertwined. The faculty aims to form an academic community with an international character, where staff members from different backgrounds can combine their talents with the common goal of being among the leading science faculties in Europe.

Radboud University

We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1205891



Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen

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