PhD position in (opto-)spintronics in van der Waals heterostructures (1.0 FTE)

PhD position in (opto-)spintronics in van der Waals heterostructures (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
25 Apr 19 May Groningen

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Job description

We are looking for PhD candidates for our research on combining light, electronics and spins in two-dimensional materials. The goal of the project is to explore the electric control over magnetization through spin-orbit torques using van der Waals heterostructures containing ferroelectrics and/or ferromagnets. We aim to control the spin-orbit torque strength through the electric polarization of a ferroelectric or using (circularly polarized) light, and through van der Waals heterostructure engineering exploiting their angle-dependent moiré patterns. Experience with van der Waals heterostructures/2D materials, optics and/or electronics are a plus, but not a must.

You will use advanced nanofabrication and characterization techniques to fabricate nanodevices based on van der Waals heterostructures which combine strong light-matter interaction, high spin-orbit coupling and magnetism. You will characterize your devices using a combination of optical, electronic and optoelectronic measurement techniques. You will perform measurements at cryogenic temperatures and high magnetic fields using state-of-the-art experimental setups for optical and electronic measurements already present at the OptoSpintronics of Quantum Materials group. You will also have the opportunity to interact with the diverse community of researchers of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, and to disseminate your research results at international conferences.

The OptoSpintronics of Quantum Materials is a research group at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials focusing on the interplay between light, charge and spin/magnetism at the nanoscale. The group has a strong expertise on the fabrication and characterization of high-quality van der Waals heterostructures using (time-resolved) optical and (opto)electronic techniques. The research group is very diverse, consisting of researchers from different backgrounds and cultures. Finally, we have strong collaborations with other groups at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials performing research on two-dimensional materials and spintronics, as well as with the world-leading company on van der Waals materials growth – HQ Graphene.
Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 34,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global center of knowledge.


University of Groningen


The ideal candidate has

- a master’s degree in physics, electrical engineering, materials science, or another related field
- previous experience in optics, electronic transport, optoelectronics, magnetism, nanofabrication, or two-dimensional materials and heterostructures are a plus
- some computer programming (e.g. Python) knowledge is appreciated
- good spoken and written English proficiency is required.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 48 months.

The University of Groningen offers

- a salary of € 2,770 gross per month in the first year to a maximum of € 3,539 gross per month in the final year (salary scale Dutch Universities), based on a fulltime position (1.0 fte) excluding a 8% holiday allowance and a 8.3% end of the year bonus
- a position for four years. Each successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected
- a PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of the Faculty.

The conditions of employment are available at the University of Groningen website under Human Resources:


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • V24.0244


University of Groningen

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Broerstraat 5, 9712 CP, Groningen

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