The Photonics and Semiconductor Nanophysics group at the Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands, http://www.tue.nl/psn) has an open PhD student position on nanophotonic spectrometers
Background: A spectrometer in every smartphone
By measuring the spectrum of light reflected, transmitted or emitted by a material we can in many cases determine its chemical composition. Due to its simplicity and non-invasive nature, spectral sensing is becoming a major analytical method in industrial applications, e.g. for controlling chemical processes, analyzing gasses, monitoring crops. The next step is consumer applications: with a simple measurement of the reflectance spectrum we could determine the nutritional properties of an apple or check the composition of a pill. However, this can only happen if spectrometers can be produced at very low cost and integrated within our smartphones, which also provide the requiring processing capability and connectivity. This calls for a radical change in the approach we use to measure the different spectral components of light. Nanophotonics, the science of controlling light propagation on the subwavelength scale, can provide the required solutions. Indeed, in previous work  our group has demonstrated that a spectrum can be measured with high resolution in a narrow wavelength range using a <100 micron-size integrated device. This was obtained by combining a nanophotonic cavity with an electromechanical (MEMS) structure. In this project we intend to apply more advanced concepts in order to greatly extend the wavelength range and thereby applicability of these integrated spectrometers.
The selected candidate will perform fundamental research in nanophotonics and optical sensing. He/she will conceive, realize and characterize integrated spectrometers where a novel design of the optical structure allows gathering information over a very broad spectral range (e.g. 1100-1600 nm), well beyond the limitations of present integrated spectrometers. The project, supervised by Prof. A. Fiore, includes both fundamental aspects of nanophotonics and practical, application-oriented goals. Substantial opportunities for transfer to industry exist upon a successful completion.
We welcome applications from candidates with a Master degree in physics or electrical engineering with top marks and with a background and interest in optics or photonics. Candidates must prove a strong attitude towards experimental physics and the drive and capacity to tackle different aspects of a complex problem with large independence.
Please apply through this link:
The names and contact information of two academic references should be indicated. Candidates are urged to apply as soon as possible, as selection will start immediately.
 Z. Zobenica et al., “Integrated nano-opto-electro-mechanical sensor for spectrometry and nanometrology”, Nature Communications 8, 2216 (2017)Continue reading