Superconducting spectrometer for cosmology (DESHIMA)


Department/faculty:  Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, Applied Sciences

Level: Master or doctor’s degree   

Working hours: 38 hours per week

Contract: 4 years (PhD) or 3 years (Post-doc)

Salary:  €2042 to €2612 (PhD) or €2977 (Starting Post-doc)

Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at Delft

    The Kavli Institute of Nanoscience is part of the Faculty of Applied Sciences at TU Delft. It has a strong internationally very well-respected research program on quantum nanoscience and bionanoscience. The research group Cosmonanoscience (formerly called Physics of Nanoelectronics) focuses on new principles and nanodevices relevant for astronomical and cosmological observations in particular using superconductivity. The research is carried out in collaboration with the Sterrenwacht at the University of Leiden and the Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON). The group has, apart from based on its fundamental nanoscience, contributed to the Herschel Space telescope as well as to the Atacama Large Millimeter Array. The strength of the group is that it combines a thorough understanding and continuous contribution to fundamental physics with a willingness to embark on intensive collaborations towards a real instrument.


Job description

The PhD student or Postdoc will develop and study a new type of superconducting on-chip spectrometer. A signal around THz frequencies from the universe will be decomposed in different frequency components by superconducting striplines and detected with unprecedented sensitivity. Through this technique it will become possible to measure the distance of ‘early’ galaxies. The candidate will become part of a team for a new instrument called Delft-SRON High-redshift Mapper (DESHIMA), which will be realized by TU Delft in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON). The instrument will be tested on the Swedish-German Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) or the Japanese Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment (ASTE). The candidate is expected to be able to deal conceptually and practically with photons, microwaves, superconductivity, nanoscience and nanotechnology, while being aware of and participate in the use for cosmological goals. The latter will be in collaboration with the Astronomy Department of the University of Leiden.


We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate with strong experimental skills and an excellent training in solid state physics, instrument science, and general physics, at a level depending on the degree. The candidate should have an MSc or PhD in (applied) physics, astronomy, and/or electrical engineering. The candidate should be able to be focused and at the same time have a broad interest. He/she should also be able to communicate easily with people from other disciplines and different research-priorities. Obviously, the candidate should have excellent writing and oral communication skills in at least English.

Conditions of employment

TU Delft offers an attractive benefits package, including a flexible work week, free high-speed Internet access from home (with a contract of two years or longer), and the option of assembling a customized compensation and benefits package. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities. Delft University of Technology strives to increase the number of women in higher academic positions; women are therefore especially encouraged to apply.


Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Akira Endo, phone: +31 (0)15-2786113, e-mail:, or prof. T.M.Klapwijk phone: +31 (0)15-785926, To apply, please e-mail a letter of application, a detailed CV, your grades in your BSc and MSc studies, your MSc thesis, publication list, PhD Thesis and letters of recommendations. Please e-mail your application materials by 31 Aug 2012 to When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number TNWQN…..

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