PhD position: Detection of magnon motion

The dynamics of magnetic materials, such as the flipping of a bit on a hard disk drive, are governed by the behavior of all kinds of collective excitations such as magnons (spin waves). Magnons can be viewed as quantum-mechanical quasiparticles propagating with tremendous speeds through the material. Our research focuses on understanding the physics of these quasiparticles. To this end we use scanning tunneling microscopy to assemble artificial magnetic materials, literally one atom at a time.

Job description
In order to visualise the motion of magnons, you will explore possibilities to construct atomic scale detectors that can probe the local presence of a magnon and store this data until it can be read out by the electronics. If successful, this technique would have tremendous impact on the study of magnon dynamics, similar to how single photon detectors revolutionised the study of quantum physics. For this research you will make use of our state-of-the-art scanning tunneling microscopes operating at temperatures near 1 Kelvin. This unique equipment, combined with our recently developed know-how to position thousands of atoms, gives our lab a worldwide leading position in the field of atomic scale engineering.

The Otte Lab is part of the department of Quantum Nanoscience in the world-famous Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at Delft University of Technology. In our lab we are interested in study of physics phenomena on atomic scale. Delft is a lively university town close to larger cities as The Hague and Rotterdam (both <15 minutes by train) and with Amsterdam within about an hour train distance.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, talented candidate with an MSc degree in physics or a related field. Experience with scanning probe microscopy, UHV and/or cryogenics is desirable, but certainly not required. Most importantly, the candidate should be fascinated by quantum magnetism and motivated to help solve its mysteries. Fluency in English is essential.

How to apply
For more information, see In order to apply, please send your CV along with a cover letter to

back to positions


26 - 30 June 2017

BioBusiness Summer Schoollink

21 - 25 August 2017

Topological Matter School 2017link


29 March 2011 - 1 January 2018

Casimir Course: Hot Topicslink