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  3. PhD candidate Spectroscopic searchlights for novel topological phases

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PhD candidate Spectroscopic searchlights for novel topological phases

Are you a highly-motivated MSc graduate in physics or closely related discipline with a strong affinity for quantum and condensed-matter physics experiments? …

4 maanden geleden


Science Park, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Vast contract
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 2325 - € 2972 per maand


Are you a highly-motivated MSc graduate in physics or closely related discipline with a strong affinity for quantum and condensed-matter physics experiments?

We are seeking an excellent and ambitious PhD candidate to perform fundamental research using state-of-the-art spectroscopies as searchlights for new topological quantum materials. The project is part of the research programme of the Quantum Materials Amsterdam (QMatA) research group, and is hosted by a combination of the angle resolved photoemission ARPES Lab [principle investigator (PI) Prof. Mark S. Golden] and Optical Spectroscopy Lab [PI Dr Erik van Heumen]. These labs focus on the experimental investigation of topological and strongly correlated quantum materials.

Topological phases emerge in materials where discrete symmetries combine to create twists in the electronic structure. These are omnipresent in quantum materials and provide an unexpected gateway for the experimental exploration of fundamental aspects of topological quantum field theories. The QMat group has long-standing experience in the growth and spectroscopic investigation of various topological materials (Bi based topological insulators and Dirac semimetals, half-Heusler materials, dichalcogenides etc). This 4-year PhD project is ideal for a physics or physics-oriented MSc graduate curious to explore how topological quantum materials work at the microscopic level and ambitious to carry out experimental condensed matter physics research at the highest level.

What are you going to do?

  • Hunt for new Weyl semimetals and signatures of axion electrodynamics;
  • use the state-of-the-art AMSTEL (Amsterdam Momemtum Space TELescope) laser-ARPES system to nail down the electronic structure of 3D Weyl and Dirac semi-metals;
  • use magneto-optics to establish and spectroscopically interrogate Weyl phases;
  • join experiments at international large-scale facilities such as synchrotron light sources;
  • further build on existing purpose-written data analysis software to extract maximal profit from your experimental data;
  • collaborate with other research groups (experimental and theoretical) within QMat, the IoP, as well as in the Netherlands and further afield;
  • present your results in national and international workshops/conferences;
  • take part in the teaching effort of the group, including supervision of bachelor and master students.

If you’re excited to learn how to use advanced electron and (magneto)optical spectroscopies to study a fascinating new class of quantum materials in a world-class scientific and cultural setting, then this could be the job for you.


You should:

  • hold an MSc. in physics or physical chemistry;
  • provide a motivation statement why you have chosen to apply for this particular position;
  • supply a full CV including a summary of your MSc thesis.

Applicants with a degree in chemistry are requested to additionally detail their affinity with condensed matter physics and motivation for pursuing a PhD in experimental physics.

Other skills/experiences/documents that would benefit your application are:

  • previous experience in a condensed matter physics / materials physics or spectroscopy lab;
  • working knowledge of a programming language (Igor, python, matlab, C++ or equivalent);
  • a background in theoretical condensed matter physics;
  • excellent English oral and written communication skills;
  • scientific publications and/or a reference letter from your MSc. thesis advisor.

The QMat group is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.


A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (initial appointment will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years) and 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 salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,325 to €2,972 (scale P) gross per month, based on full-time employment (38 hours a week). These amounts are exclusive 8 % holiday allowance and 8,3 end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Then find out more about working at the Faculty of Science.

Additional information

Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact: