PhD position in dynamics of quantum materials under pressure

Updated: about 16 hours ago
Job Type: Permanent

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Quantum Material Dynamics group (Prof. Elsa Abreu) in the Department of Physics of ETH Zürich has an open PhD position in dynamics of quantum materials under pressure.

Project background

Quantum materials exhibit rich phase diagrams, strongly sensitive to external parameters, which include intriguing and technologically relevant properties. Learning how to understand, modify and control these phases and their properties is at the heart of many current scientific endeavors, both experimental and theoretical. The interesting macroscopic physics of these materials arises from complex interactions between microscopic degrees of freedom, which are challenging to identify and to decouple. One approach that has proven successful in decoupling the effect of different degrees of freedom is to perform time-resolved measurements, which yield the non-equilibrium response of different components of the system following an ultrafast perturbation. Adjusting external parameters, such as temperature and pressure, sets the ground state of the system and is therefore an essential first step in these measurements.

Job description

The aim of this project is to investigate ultrafast dynamics of quantum materials under pressure. Pressure is a crucial parameter in setting the ground state of the material in thermodynamic equilibrium. Our goal is to investigate the dynamical response of the system once it is brought out of equilibrium following excitation by an ultrashort pulse of light. The knowledge acquired from this study will enable a better control of the properties of quantum materials and will inform theory developments that seek to model ultrafast material responses.

This project will be based in Prof. Elsa Abreu’s Quantum Material Dynamics group at ETH Zürich, in the Institute for Quantum Electronics.

This PhD position is full time, with possible starting dates after July 2024.

  • holds a Master’s degree preferably in physics, alternatively in material sciences
  • has a background in condensed matter physics
  • ideally has experience with time-resolved experiments or with performing measurements under high pressure
  • must demonstrate proficiency in oral and written english
  • must be enthusiastic, creative and self-motivated



We offer

Through this project you will develop and improve

  • your experimental skills, for time-resolved measurements at low temperature and under pressure
  • your analytical skills, for data analysis and modeling

More broadly, this position will enable you to 

  • be part of a diverse and dynamic team
  • join discussions and collaborative efforts ranging from technical issues to full experiments or data analysis
  • collaborate with experimental and theory groups, both in Switzerland and abroad
  • connect to ETH students through attending and teaching courses
  • define, jointly with the rest of the group, a work schedule that best fits your preferences and constraints

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Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application including the following documents:

  • CV
  • letter of motivation
  • brief statement of research interests
  • names and contact information of at least two academic referees, optionally reference letters
  • copies of Bachelor and Master’s degree transcripts

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email will not be considered.

For further information regarding the position and the group please contact Prof. Elsa Abreu at [email protected] (no applications).

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

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