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  • Phd
  • Researcher

Apply by: 2021-05-31

PhD position: Flexible optical metasurfaces

Published 2021-03-22

JOB DESCRIPTION
Are you a highly motivated physicist with a strong interest in blurring the boundaries between photonics and mechanics? We are seeking an excellent and ambitious PhD candidate to carry out interdisciplinary research on flexible optical metasurfaces.
A long-standing challenge for both fundamental and applied sciences is to devise new tools to actively manipulate physical signals – such as light, sound, or motion. During the past 20 years, metamaterials have become a particularly fruitful paradigm to control light or motion in unprecedented ways. By patterning materials at a length scale much smaller than the typical interaction length in the material, metamaterials can be designed that have man-made properties that cannot be found in nature. For instance, optical metasurfaces can now redirect and pattern light beams with nm-thick layers, and mechanical metamaterials can exhibit extreme and programmable shape-changes. Yet, despite these impressive advances, metamaterials research has so far been focused on restricted sets of properties: metamaterials allow the control of either light or motion, yet never simultaneously.
In this project, you will merge optical metasurfaces and mechanical metamaterials and leverage their combined advantages to realize mechanical programming of light fields.
Merging mechanical and optical metamaterials offers tantalizing prospects. Can the large and programmable deformations of mechanical metamaterials be transferred to the scale of photonic chips? How do mechanical reconfigurations of optical arrays change the nature of light-matter interactions? How to construct a multiscale description that captures hybrid mechanical-optical properties? We anticipate that addressing these fundamental research questions will lead to a new subfield for metamaterial research, that of flexible optical metasurfaces. This research will pave the way to the grand goal of realizing on-the-fly programmable control of optical wave fronts.
You are expected to perform fundamental research to push the limit of active metamaterials.
You will:
  • develop and fabricate micron-scale kirigami metamaterials and nanophotonic optical metasurfaces in the cleanroom of the AMOLF NanoLab Amsterdam;
  • design and create mechanically-programmable active optical metasurfaces;
  • perform optical experiments with mechanical stimuli;
  • construct a multiscale hybrid mechanics/optics model to support and guide the experiments;
  • present your results in international workshops and conferences;
  • work collaboratively between two research groups;
  • take part in the teaching efforts of both groups, including supervision of Bachelor and Master students.
REQUIREMENTS
We are looking for a candidate with:
  • a creative, curious and driven nature;
  • a strong background in physics and a Master’s degree in Physics, Mathematics, Engineering, Computational Science or a related field;
  • an eagerness to learn new techniques and to combine numerical simulations, theory and experiments;
  • excellent written and oral communication skills in English.
Other skills, experiences, and documents that would benefit your application:
  • previous experience in an optics lab, mechanics lab, or cleanroom fabrication;
  • demonstrated experience with programming and modelling software (matlab, python, Comsol, Lumerical);
  • scientific publications.
CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
 Fixed-term
contract: 4 years.
Our offer
We offer 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 can be extended for a total duration of 4 years). This 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 €2,395 to €3,061 (scale P) gross per month, based on a full-time contract of 38 hours a week. This is 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? Take a look here.
EMPLOYER
 University of Amsterdam

With over 5,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad.
The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.
DEPARTMENT
 Faculty of Science – Institute of Physics

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.
This four-year PhD project will be carried out jointly in the 2D Nanophotonics lab headed by Jorik van de Groep and in the Machine Materials lab headed by Corentin Coulais, within the Institute of Physic of the University of Amsterdam. Both laboratories respectively focus on photonic and mechanical metamaterials and benefit from an exceptional scientific environment, in hard and soft condensed matter, computational physics and advanced materials. The Institute of Physics is part of 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:
Dr Jorik van de Groep, Assistant Professor
Dr Corentin Coulais, Assistant Professor