PhD position: Interacting photons in cavity arrays
AMOLF scientists are continuously searching for the fundamental relationship between the architecture and interactions of complex matter and material systems and their purpose and function.
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Published: 2 months ago
Application deadline: Unspecified
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
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PhD position: Interacting photons in cavity arrays

In this project you will couple tunable optical microcavities with nanostructured excitonic materials to achieve strong photon-photon interactions. You will use these interactions to investigate phase transitions of light, and to evidence the conditions under which noise can enhance the transport of excitations in complex systems. By designing cavity arrays with different dimensionalities and geometries, you will tailor the potential landscape in which photons hop and interact. This will allow you to emulate the behaviour of condensed matter systems with light.

Job description
You will be primarily involved in all aspects of the design, realization, and analysis of experiments. In synergy with a postdoc and the group leader, you will build two optical setups: i) a tunable cavity system that can be moved to other labs at AMOLF. This will allow you to probe the nonlinear optical response of hybrid light-matter states using various ultrafast lasers and detectors. Here the aim is to investigate the physics of quantum fluids of light (e.g. a superfluid) at room-temperature. ii) a low-temperature tunable cavity system suitable for nonlinear and quantum optical experiments. Here the aim is to investigate non-equilibrium phase transitions by measuring the nonlinear dynamics of single and coupled microcavities under the influence of quantum fluctuations. You will control the strength of the photon-photon interactions via the tunable cavity, and the influence of the quantum fluctuations by tuning the frequency of the driving laser. Through these projects you will become an expert in hybrid light-matter systems, nonlinear optics, quantum optics, and condensed matter physics. You will collaborate with other AMOLF groups synthetizing organic and inorganic materials that you will place inside microcavities, and with colleagues at the University of Oxford in the design novel microcavity arrays. You will also develop theory, and work closely with theoretical groups, to interpret your experimental results.

The Interacting Photons group is part of the Center for Nanophotonics at AMOLF. Our activities officially start on November 1, 2017, but we are already preparing our labs for 'hitting the ground running'. We are interested in the fundamental physics, but we also value applications. We have strong connections to other groups in the Netherlands (particularly at AMOLF), in France, and in the UK. You will have extensive support from the group leader and the technical staff at AMOLF. You will have access to state-of-the-art nanofabrication and characterization methods at the Amsterdam NanoLab. In collaboration with other AMOLF groups you will have access to setups with a wide range of capabilities.

Job requirements
You have an MSc in Physics or closely-related discipline. Lab experience in optics/photonics is preferable but not strictly necessary. A background or strong interest in any of the following is valued: nonlinearity, quantum optics, coupled systems, condensed matter, stochastic systems. This project involves multiple collaborations, so we are looking for a team-player.

Conditions of employment

When fulfilling a PhD position at the NWO Institutes Organisation (NWO-I), you will get the status of junior scientist. 
You will have an employee status and can participate in all the employee benefits NWO-I offers. You will get a contract for four years. Your salary will be up to a maximum of 2,834 euro gross per month.The salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8 percent and an end-of-year bonus of 8.33 percent. 
You are supposed to have a thesis finished at the end of your four year term with NWO-I. 
A training programme is part of the agreement. You and your supervisor will make up a plan for the additional education and supervising that you specifically need. This plan also defines which teaching activities you will be responsible (up to a maximum of ten percent of your time). The conditions of employment of NWO-I are laid down in the Collective Labour Agreement for Research Centres (Cao-Onderzoekinstellingen), more exclusive information is available at this website under Personeelsinformatie (in Dutch) or under Personnel (in English).
General information about working at NWO-I can be found in the English part of this website under Personnel. The 'Job interview code' applies to this position.

Dr. Said R.K. Rodriguez 
Group leader Interacting Photons  
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100 
You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below. Please annex your: – Resume; – Motivation on why you want to join the group (max. 1 page). Applications without this motivation will not be taken into account. However, with this motivation your application will receive our full attention. Online screening may be part of the selection. Commercial activities in response to this ad are not appreciated.

Please go to the AMOLF website, choose this job ad and use the button 'Apply for this position' at the bottom of that advertisement.

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