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PhD position (AMOLF, Amsterdam): Optomechanics at the nanoscale

When light is confined at the nanoscale, its interaction with matter is strongly enhanced. In this project, we will study the interaction of light with …

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Van Vollenhovenlaan, Utrecht, Utrecht
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 uur
€ 2937 - € 2937 per maand


When light is confined at the nanoscale, its interaction with matter is strongly enhanced. In this project, we will study the interaction of light with mechanical motion at the smallest possible scales. We will create new on-chip ‘optomechanical’ systems, in which optical fields are squeezed in ultrasmall volumes in the form of plasmons: excitations that live on nanostructured metallic surfaces. This will allow greatly enhancing the radiation pressure force that a photon can exert. With this force, light can couple to the motion of tiny mechanical resonators that range all the way down to the size of single vibrating molecules. We will explore this extreme coupling between photons and phonons at a fundamental level, and use them to create novel sensitive force and mass sensors. The project combines nanofabrication and advanced optical measurement techniques with a solid connection to the rich background theory of the topic. You will work in close connection to other group members, and be involved in all aspects of design, realization, and optical experiments.


We seek an excellent candidate with a background in physics, with relevant experience (preferably in optics, photonics, (nano)mechanics or general AMO physics). You will need to meet the requirements for an MSc degree, to ensure eligibility for a Dutch PhD examination.


When fulfilling a PhD position at 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 2,937 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.

Additional information

For additional information please contact Prof.dr. Ewold Verhagen Group leader Photonic Forces, 31 (20) 754 71 00.


AMOLF initiates and performs leading fundamental research on the physics of complex forms of matter, and creates new functional materials, in partnership with academia and industry. AMOLF is located at the Amsterdam Science Park, the Netherlands, and engages approximately 140 scientists and 70 support staff. See also http://www.amolf.nl/