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PhD Candidate in Experimental Physics: 2D Material Detectors

Posted 18 May 2024
Work experience
1 to 3 years
Full-time / part-time
Job function
€2,770 - €3,539 per month
Degree level
Required languages
English (Fluent)
Dutch (Fluent)
31 May 2024 00:00

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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.

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.

The University of Amsterdam is one of the largest comprehensive universities in Europe. With some 40,000 students, 6,000 staff, 3,000 PhD candidates, and an annual budget of more than 850 million euros, it is also one of Amsterdam’s biggest employers.
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