PhD position in Delft, Otte lab: Probing Spin waves by ESR-STM


We are currently looking for a PhD candidate to join our team. In this position you will work as part of the recently granted NWO Vici project, which is aimed at studying spin waves in atomically crafted spin chains. To this end, you will use ESR-STM: a newly developed, promising technique for studying quantum spin interactions with very high precision.

The dynamics of magnetic materials, such as the flipping of a bit on a hard disk drive, are governed by the behavior of collective quantum excitations such as magnons (spin waves). Magnons can be viewed as quantum-mechanical quasiparticles propagating at tremendous speed through the material. Our research focuses on understanding the physics of these quasiparticles. To this end we use scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) to engineer and assemble artificial magnetic materials, literally one atom at a time. In particular, we aim to employ ESR-STM to see the quantum coherent behaviour of these states.

Job description
We recently upgraded both of our STM systems to be compatible with GHz-range high frequency signals, bringing them to an internationally state-of-the-art level. As a PhD candidate, you will use this unique equipment to perform experiments on artificial spin chains that you build yourself by manipulating individual magnetic atoms in place. This project allows for a lot of freedom and creativity in identifying research questions and designing exciting experiments.

The Otte Lab is focused research team, ensuring effective direct supervision. The group is part of the department of Quantum Nanoscience in the world-famous Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at Delft University of Technology. 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. Prior experience with (low-temperature) STM is desirable, but certainly not required. Most importantly, the candidate should be fascinated by quantum mechanics and condensed matter physics, and motivated to help solve its mysteries. Fluency in English is essential.

How to apply
In order to apply, please send your CV along with a motivation letter to

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