PhD student position in Optical Spectroscopy of Tunable van der Waals Quantum Materials

PhD student position in Optical Spectroscopy of Tunable van der Waals Quantum Materials

starting February 2025 (or as agreed)

The newly-established “Quantum Opto-Electronics” research group of Prof. Tomasz Smoleński at the Department of Physics, University of Basel, Switzerland (, is looking for a highly-motivated and self-driven PhD candidate. The group will utilize low-temperature magneto-optical and quantum-optical spectroscopy to investigate strongly correlated electronic, excitonic, and spin phenomena in newly-engineered, tunable, low-dimensional quantum materials based on van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures. The overarching goal of our research is to realize new phases of matter and explore their stability, quantum phase transitions, and quasiparticle excitations with implications for novel quantum technologies. To this end, we will design and assemble new classes of gate-tunable vdW devices and investigate them in cryogenic experiments using newly-implemented optical sensing techniques.

Your position

The successful candidate will become an essential member of our fast-growing research team exploring collective many-body phenomena in magneto-opto-electronic experiments that will be conducted under extreme conditions: at temperatures down to ~10 mK and magnetic fields up to ~10 T. The candidate will be involved in all aspects of research, from engineering and fabricating electrically-tunable vdW devices, through preparing experimental setups and performing optical measurements, to implementing custom-based software for automated data acquisition and analysis. They will have access to state-of-the-art apparatus, including dry low-temperature magneto-optical cryostats, dilution refrigerator units with fiber or free-space optical access, pulsed laser systems, and clean-room device fabrication facilities. They will also benefit from excellent mechanical/electronic workshop support.

Your profile

Key requirements:

  • Master's degree (held or near completion) in Physics, Nanoscience, Electrical/Optical Engineering, or related fields
  • Deep understanding and strong educational track record in condensed matter physics and optics
  • Familiarity with data analysis procedures and computer tools for automated data acquisition/processing (Python/C++/Labview programming languages)
  • Team player with excellent communication skills and collaborative working style
  • Strong self-motivation and commitment to performing research in a competitive field, high degree of independence, and creative approach for solving problems
  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Very good level of English (both written and spoken)


In addition, demonstrated track record of research papers or conference presentations in any field of condensed matter physics is highly appreciated. Outstanding candidates should also have experience in at least some of the following areas:


  • (magneto-)optical spectroscopy at cryogenic conditions
  • exfoliation and stacking of two-dimensional materials
  • design and handling charge-tunable semiconductor structures
  • exfoliation and stacking of two-dimensional materials and fabrication of vdW heterostructures
  • clean-room processing (reactive ion etching, optical/electron beam lithography, scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, metal evaporation, wire bonding)
  • performing computer-based simulations and modelling in COMSOL
  • physics of strongly correlated many-body systems

We offer you

  • PhD position at the Department of Physics at the University of Basel in Switzerland
  • Challenging research projects at the intersection of condensed matter physics, optics, and material science
  • Unique chance to participate in setting up a new magneto-optical laboratory as well as an access to state-of-the-art apparatus for ultra-low temperature magneto-optical spectroscopy and clean-room sample fabrication
  • Opportunity to join a dynamic, newly-established research team with collaborative team spirit and high level of interaction among all members,which creates an ideal setting for future development of your research career
  • Stimulating academic environment at the University of Basel with internationally recognized research groups in both experimental and theoretical condensed matter physics
  • Internationally competitive salary and social benefits according to the guidelines of the University of Basel (
  • Opportunity to work in the city center of Basel – an international city located at the intersection of Switzerland, France and Germany

Application / Contact


Please submit your complete application documents, including a CV detailing your academic background and research experience, a short (max. 1-page) statement summarizing your scientific interests and how they align with the research vision of our group, a complete list of publications, and contact details of at least 2 references via our online recruiting platform.


For further information please visit or contact directly Prof. Tomasz Smoleński (


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and the advert will remain open until the position is filled. Starting date is February 2025 or subject to an agreement.

University of Basel

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Deadline: 2024-12-31
Location: Switzerland, Basel
Categories: Condensed Matter Physics, Electrical Engineering, nanoscience, Optical Engineering, Optics, PhD, Physics, Quantum Materials, spectroscopy,


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