PhD scholarship on Interfacing a Single Spin with a Mechanical Oscillator

torsdag 10 sep 20

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Frist 31. oktober 2020
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Over the last decade, the initialization and coherent control of individual spins in room temperature solid-state systems have significantly matured – it is now possible to coherently control, at room temperature, a single electron spin in a bath of million other electrons. In order to allow for new functionalities in the areas of quantum information processing and quantum sensing, it is important to be able to coherent couple this single electron spin to other physical systems such as a macroscopic harmonic oscillator. In this way, coherent control techniques of single spins can be transferred to the oscillator system, allowing for instance for the generation of non-Gaussian quantum states. Our goal is to steer the macroscopic mechanical oscillator (visible to the eye) by the single electron into a designable pure quantum state.

In this experimental PhD project, you will work with mechanical oscillators fabricated in-house, possessing state-of-the-art quality factors and functionalised with magnetic nano-structures. Using the Zeeman effect, you will investigate the coupling strength of the mechanical mode to a single electron spin associated with a nitrogen-vacancy center in a diamond crystal located in the close vicinity. The ultimate goal of the project is to coherently control and manipulate the oscillator motion using the spin.

The PhD position is offered in the section for Quantum Physics and Information Technology (QPIT) and the centre of excellence for macroscopic quantum states (biQ) at the Department of Physics of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). In QPIT we conduct widely recognised research in a range of diverse topics including quantum enhanced sensing, solid-state quantum optics and continuous variable quantum information.

Responsibilities and tasks
We are seeking a highly motivated candidate with a passion for experimental physics to construct and be in charge of an experimental setup involving state-of-the-art optics, electronics and mechanical components. In more detail, you will:

  • Expand and operate a confocal microscope setup suitable for the initialization, control and readout of single electron spins associated with nitrogen-vacancy centres,
  • Work closely together with nano-fabrication specialists and determine the field gradient of magnetic nano-structures,
  • Investigate and maximize the interaction between a single spin and a mechanical oscillator, and
  • Aim at the coherent control of the oscillator system by using the spin.

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) in physics or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. In addition to that, you should have:

  • a passion for quantum and experimental physics,
  • experience with programming languages such as Python or Matlab, and
  • great self-motivation, the ability to work independently and to solve experimental challenges.

It is an advantage if you have experience with constructing experimental setups and working on advanced optical systems.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide

The applicants will be assessed by Prof. Ulrik Lund Andersen, centre leader and head of section, and Assoc. Prof. Alexander Huck. 

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility. 

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here

Further information
For obtaining further information, please contact Prof. Ulrik Lund Andersen, or Assoc. Prof. Alexander Huck,

You can read more about DTU Physics at

Please submit your online application no later than 31 October 2020 (local time)Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply. 

QPIT's vision is to understand, engineer and control complex quantum systems of light and matter, and to exploit these systems for quantum information processing and quantum metrology. We are a large, highly international research group of students and staff with diverse backgrounds. We have a friendly and dynamic research environment with close, daily interaction among all group members and strong collaborations with many academic and industrial partners. Technical support is excellent with electronics and process engineers embedded in the section and a large capacity, skilled mechanical workshop at the Department.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,000 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.