PhD Candidate in Experimental Physics: 2D Material Detectors

PhD Candidate in Experimental Physics: 2D Material Detectors

Published Deadline Location
26 Apr 31 May Amsterdam

Job description

The PhD project in which you will be participating aims to leverage the unique properties of 2D materials and their heterostructures for making ultrahigh-gain, ultralow-noise detectors for applications in high-energy physics. Recently, novel 2D material devices have been developed based on heterostructures of semiconducting 2D monolayers such as transition metal dicalchogenides (TMDSs). Similar to traditional Si and GaAs photodetectors, 2D material detectors can be built with internal amplification to produce avalanche photodiodes, while offering unique advantages in terms of low noise and high gain. In collaboration with the Institute for High-Energy Physics, we will investigate the potential of these novel 2D material devices to open up new realms in the detection of dark matter, particles and gravitational waves.

What are you going to do?

Recently, a new material class with excellent optoelectronic properties has been emerging. 2D materials, so-called van der Waals (vdW) layered materials, have prompted a revolution in optoelectronic devices such as photodetectors, solar cells and photon emitters. Among the many 2D vdW materials, transition metal dichalcogenides are of special interest due to the large range of electronic band structures and gaps. These 2D materials show great potential for high-performance avalanche photodetectors (APDs), promising a new paradigm in ultrahigh gain and low-noise detectors, operable close to room temperature. 2D APDs can operate within the visible (VIS), near-infrared (NIR) and mid-wavelength infrared (MWIR) range with high responsivity and gain, providing unique opportunities for (astro)particle physics applications.

In this project, we will develop high-gain, low-noise 2D material detectors and explore their suitability for applications in high energy physics.

You will:
  • Work in a collaboration between the optoelectronics group of Schall and van de Groep at WZI, and the detector R&D group at Nikhef, contact M.Vreeswijk;
  • Use the nanofabrication facilities at the Amsterdam Nanocenter, together with the optics labs at WZI to fabricate and investigate the 2D material devices, and the state-of-the-art detector facilities at Nikhef to characterize their detection performance in terms of gain, noise and time resolution;
  • Be fully integrated in both groups to bridge from material innovation to new applications in high-energy physics.

What do you have to offer?
You have:
  • Master degree in Physics, Physical Chemistry or Electrical Engineering;
  • Experience in the following fields: 2D materials, Nanofabrication, (2D material) devices/detectors, detector measurements.

You should be able to:
  • Work at the interface between Materials Science and High Energy Physics instrumentation;
  • Collaborate and adapt in an international team and possess very good communication skills in oral and written English.

Our offer
A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between € 2,770 to € 3,539 (scale P). This does not include 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end allowance. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands is applicable.

Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park we offer you multiple fringe benefits:
  • 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime) and extra holidays between Christmas and 1 January;
  • multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
  • a complete educational program for PhD students;
  • multiple courses on topics such as leadership for academic staff;
  • multiple courses on topics such as time management, handling stress and an online learning platform with 100+ different courses;
  • 7 weeks birth leave (partner leave) with 100% salary;
  • partly paid parental leave;
  • the possibility to set up a workplace at home;
  • a pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
  • the possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
  • help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you’re moving from abroad.

Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here.

About us
The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Institute of Physics (IoP) of the Faculty of Science combines the Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute (WZI), the Institute of Theoretical Physics (ITFA) and the Institute for High Energy Physics (IHEF) and is one of the large research institutes of the faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam. The institute hosts the quantum materials cluster with currently 8 groups working on electronic and optical properties of advanced materials with a strong focus on 2D materials.

The institute for High Energy Physics is part of the national Nikhef collaboration, in which several Dutch universities work on both theoretical and experimental particle and astroparticle physics. The detector R&D group focuses on new technologies in particle detection and is involved in the development of instrumentation for large scale facilities at CERN.

This PhD position on 2D Material detectors is available in the Quantum Materials cluster of the WZI in collaboration with the detector cluster at Nikhef.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

Any questions?
Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

Prof. Peter Schall, e-mail, or Prof. Marcel Vreeswijk, e-mail

Job application
If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including 31 May 2024.

Applications should include the following information (all files besides your cv should be submitted in one single pdf file):
  • A detailed CV including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience;
  • A letter of motivation;
  • A list of university grades
  • Contact details of two academic referees (who will be contacted when shortlisted)

A knowledge security check can be part of the selection procedure.
(for details: national knowledge security guidelines)

Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.

The selection process commences immediately, but will close when suitable candidates have been found. Any other correspondence in response to this advertisement will not be dealt with (Formal closing date: 31st of May).

Als werkgever handhaaft de UvA een beleid van gelijke kansen. We vinden diversiteit belangrijk en zetten ons volledig in om een plek te zijn waar iedereen zich thuis voelt. We koesteren de onderzoekende geest en het doorzettingsvermogen en laten de ruimte om door te vragen. Bij ons vormen nieuwsgierigheid en creativiteit de heersende cultuur.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 12825


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Science Park 904, 1098XH, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 31 May 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).