PhD positions in Leiden, Bhattacharyya lab: quantum transport in van der Waals heterostructures


Two PhD positions are available in the new Bhattacharrya lab at the Quantum Matter & Optics group at Leiden University on "Quantum transport in van der Waals heterostructures".

Are you a highly-motivated aspiring PhD students interested in pursuing cutting-edge experimental research in the area of quantum transport in an der Waals heterostructures? Are you interested in asking fundamental questions in the area of emerging quantum states driven by proximity effect? We have openings for 2 PhD positions at Dr. Semonti Bhattacharyya’s group in Leiden Institute of Physics (LION).

Exfoliation of graphene, followed by other layered materials have ushered in a new era of experimental physics, where designer new hybrid materials can be created by pick-and-drop van der Waals assembly of 2D materials with completely different properties. Recently, it has been discovered that properties of such heterostructures can be tuned by introducing a twist angle between two van der Waals materials.

Van der Waals stacking is a unique route to create defect-free, smooth interface between to materials with completely different properties. Hence, these type of assemblies are ideal fertile ground to study mechanisms of proximity effect and interaction different quantum phases without the presence of significant amount of disorder. However, understanding and harnessing of such proximity effects and interaction are at a nascent stage. The PhD research topic involves (i) experimental detection and (ii) manipulation of new emergent quantum phases in such hybrid heterostructures as a function of twist angle and pressure. Experimental techniques will involve van der Waals stacking, nanofabrication, and low temperature magnetotransport measurements.

Key responsibilities:

  • Conducting Experiments in the lab including fabricating van der waals heterostructures, nanolithography, electrical transport measurements;
  • Instrument design;
  • Data Analysis;
  • Contributing to publication in high-quality journals.
Essential selection criteria:
  • Masters degree in the area of Physics, Nano-science or Materials Science;
  • Previous experience with experimental condensed matter research;
  • Experience in at least one of the following- nanofabrication, clean-room, low-temperature electrical transport measurement;
  • Motivation and grit to pursue rigorous experimental research;
  • Good communication skills;
  • Ability and willingness to work in a team.
Desirable selection criteria:
  • Experience with van der Waals stacking;
  • Experience in atomic force microscopy, Raman Spectroscopy and photoluminescence;
  • Experience of working in a glove box;
  • Publications in scientific journals, or at least experience of writing scientific publications;
  • Experience in collaborative research.
Applications: To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to Dr. Semonti Bhattacharyya (email: with “Application PhD” in the title. Please ensure that you attach the following documents:
  • CV (contact of at least one reference, preferably two references);
  • 1 page document on how you address the selection criteria;
  • Please explain in the body of the email why you are interested in this position;
  • Academic transcripts.

We start reviewing applications immediately and until the positions are filled. The starting date is September-October 2022, but it is flexible. A PhD program in the Netherlands takes 4 years.


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