PhD position in Terahertz Probe and Control of Quantum Excitations in van der Waals Layers (1.0 FTE)

PhD position in Terahertz Probe and Control of Quantum Excitations in van der Waals Layers (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
31 Oct 27 Nov Utrecht

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Help us develop advanced terahertz spectroscopies to track and manipulate quantum excitations and charges flow dynamics in two-dimensional monolayer materials!

Job description

Layered two-dimensional (2D) materials are emerging as building blocks for the next generation of optoelectronics. The conversion of light into electrical currents is a fundamental process that underlies the operation of various 2D optoelectronic devices, including photovoltaics and photodetectors. Understanding the underlying photophysics, e.g. generation and transport of charge carriers following photoexcitations, is crucial for integrating 2D materials for optoelectronic devices. For this PhD position you will join Dr Hai Wang in the newly established research group “Quantum Materials and Spectroscopy”. This group is part of the Nanophotonics group at the Debye Institute for Nanoscience at Utrecht University.

The current research focus of Dr. Wang’s group lies in understanding the fundamental principles of charge transport phenomena in low-dimensional quantum nanomaterials and interfaces for developing novel electronics and optimising the efficiency of energy harvesting and storage devices. This will contribute to the ongoing energy transition towards a more sustainable society. Complementary to conventional electrical transport studies, the group employs a contact-free, purely optical approach to investigate the dynamics of transient (photo)conductivity to understand microscopic charge transport mechanisms by state-of-the-art, primarily terahertz-based, ultrafast spectroscopies. THz photons possess an extremely small amount of photon energy (on the order of meV), enabling them to interact strongly with and be absorbed by free charge carriers. THz spectroscopy provides not only microscopic transport information (e.g., short-range charge carrier mobility) but also sub-picosecond time resolution to capture, for example, how charge carriers are “scattered” or “dressed” by the lattice and how charge carriers flow across hybrid interfaces following light absorption.

In this project, you will set up an ultra-broadband THz spectrometer over 30 THz spectra range. Such a large probing bandwidth will allow a direct snapshotting of charge carrier dynamics (e.g. excitons and their complexes e.g. charged excitons), via probing intra-band transition of many-body excitations in the THz or NIR frequencies. Besides “passively” watching the evaluation of charge carriers, we aim to go beyond the state-of-the-art to generate strong and frequency-tunable THz pules to either coherently “ionise” low energy excitations or “shaking” lattice vibrations, which will allow us not only control of transient electronic phases but also how the charge and energy flow through the 2D layers. 


Utrecht University


For the position, we are looking for a candidate:

  • with a Master’s degree in Physics, Physical Chemistry, Materials Science, or a closely related field, and a solid background in semiconductor, solid-state physics and optics;
  • who is proficient in spoken and written English;
  • desirably has previous experience in optics, laser spectroscopy, nanofabrication and electrical and optical catheterizations of 2D materials;
  • ideally has knowledge about (instrumentation) programming e.g. in Python;
  • who enjoys working in a team.

Conditions of employment

We offer:

  • a dynamic, friendly, and collaborative working environment;
  • a position (1.0 FTE) for 1 year, with an extension to a total of four years upon successful assessment;
  • a full-time gross salary between €2,770 in the first year and €3,539 in the fourth year of employment in scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities;
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

    In addition to the employment conditions from the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. These include agreements on professional development, leave arrangements, sports and cultural schemes and you get discounts on software and other IT products. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment through the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we encourage you to grow.

    For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.


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    • PhD
    • Natural sciences
    • 38—40 hours per week
    • €2770—€3539 per month
    • University graduate
    • 1216336



    Heidelberglaan 8, 3584CS, Utrecht

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