Postdoctoral Researcher positions in quantum technologies under the Finnish Quantum Flagship programme at University of Jyväskylä

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 15 Mar 2024

13 Feb 2024
Job Information

University of Jyväskylä
Research Field

Physics » Optics
Physics » Other
Researcher Profile

Recognised Researcher (R2)

Application Deadline

15 Mar 2024 - 21:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Hours Per Week

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

The Finnish Quantum Flagship (FQF)brings together leading quantum experts in physics, computational science, mathematics, nanoscience and nanotechnology and economics to consolidate and expand Finland’s national ecosystem for quantum technology. Through cutting-edge research, the Flagship aims to boost the emergence of new businesses and secure Finland’s position as a leading quantum-enabled society.

As participants of the Finnish Quantum Flagship programme, we are seeking talented postdoctoral researchers who will focus on research in the field of quantum technologies and quantum materials. The candidates can select between three projects/groups at the Nanoscience Center of JYU they are applying to, depending on their interest and their backgrounds that fit the project requirements.

Project 1.Spin-optomechanics in silicon, PI Professor Juha Muhonen

One of the most pertinent challenges currently facing quantum technologies is the lack of “quantum transducers”, objects that can transform quantum states between different forms. Classical bits are easy to convey between multiple different forms: as an electronic transistor state, light modulation state, magnetic state etc. Moving quantum information between different domains is a completely another type of problem as the transducing must be done without the possibility to learn anything about the content of the information. Hence, quantum transducers need to be systems that can be coherently coupled to both the source and the target system. One promising platform for quantum transduction are (nano-)mechanical modes as they can be straightforwardly coherently coupled to various systems and can be controlled on quantum level using e.g. cavity optomechanics.

In this project, the aim is to realize a quantum transduction between spin qubits in silicon and optical telecom-range photons using mechanical modes. Spin qubits in silicon are one of the most promising qubit platforms that combine long coherence times and high control fidelity with well-known fabrication methods and easy integration with classical electronics and photonics components. Here a mechanical mode will be coupled to the spin-qubits and to telecom photons, allowing for the transduction. The aim is to both create the needed scalable and controllable coupling mechanism between spins and take advantage of the other functionalities offered by a spin-mechanical interface: quantum memory, sensitive detection, error correction, among others.

In the longer term, the purpose of the project is not only to advance the technological applications but also create an on-chip platform where one can start to study the foundational questions of quantum mechanics. Having a system where long coherence times qubits (spins) are coupled to semi-macroscopic objects (mechanical resonators) with quantum level control, opens the experimental space into studying the appearance of unconventional decoherence mechanisms, spontaneous collapse models, and gravitational induced entanglement.

In the Hybrid Quantum Technologies in Silicon Group we study the quantum potential of silicon technologies, concentrating especially on optical interfaces for silicon spin qubits and on optomechanical systems. The motivation comes from both enabling practical quantum sensors and quantum computing components and from studying fundamental physics in these on-chip quantum physics testbeds. Fundamental questions that we aim to investigate include the ultimate quantum coherence limits and possibilities for superposition states in macroscopic systems. The group was started in 2018 when the group leader Prof. Muhonen arrived to Jyväskylä. Since then, a state-of-the-art measurement laboratory has been built, and our experimental infrastructure includes 3K and millikelvin systems with both optical and electrical (DC and microwave) access. We also use extensively the cleanroom facilities at the Nanoscience Center.

What we expect from candidates?

  • You have a doctoral degree (or are close to getting one) in physics or related engineering sciences and have research experience in an international environment. We seek an excellent candidate with relevant experience, preferably in experimental quantum information, quantum optics, nanophotonics, low temperature physics or other AMO physics.
  • In the project, you will need to combine advanced optical and microwave methods at low temperatures, strong theoretical understanding about the physics involved, and skills in numerical modelling (Python preferred). Preferably, you would already master some of these, but the rest can be learned during the project.
  • You will guide PhD and MSc students and can drive the project forward. You have an experimentalist mindset but you are not shy about putting pen to paper for some calculations. Proactivity is a must.

Project 2.Designer quantum matter in van der Waals heterostructures, PI Assistant Professor Kezilebieke Shawulienu

Van der Waals heterostructures offer an ideal platform for engineering quantum materials with specific properties. By stacking atomically thin layers of different materials, we can precisely tailor electronic structure and interactions, resulting in exotic electronic and magnetic behaviors like topological superconductors, heavy fermions, and Mott insulator phases. The candidate will employ state-of-the-art molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) and cryogenic Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) to fabricate and investigate these quantum phenomena in various 2D heterostructures. The STM platforms include 1K-STM under an external magnetic field up to 8T and 4K-STM combined with optical spectroscopy, enabling STM-induced luminescence and tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy with sub-angstrom spatial resolution.

In the Synthetic Quantum Materials Group our focus is on understanding the emergence of novel states of matter, such as topological insulators and topological superconductors. We leverage van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures and atom manipulation as a platform to create, characterize, and manipulate these states and their excitations.

What we expect from candidates?

  • A PhD in Condensed Matter Physics, Materials Sciences, or a closely related field.
  • Experience in low-temperature STM and MBE.
  • A strong record of productive and creative research is demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at scientific conferences.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory.

Project 3.Next generation superconducting qubits, PI Professor Ilari Maasilta

Quantum devices, for example superconducting qubits, exploit genuine quantum-mechanical features, such as coherence and entanglement, to create functionalities that are not available classically. Next generation superconducting quantum hardware requires advances in device physics to decrease the complexity of fabrication and interference of ubiquitous and unwanted decoherence mechanisms. Novel ideas for the design and fabrication of such devices must employ latest knowhow from material science and nanotechnology, to provide a scalable platform for studying fundamental physics as well as implementing quantum algorithms. In this project, you will advance such quantum technologies by developing helium-ion beam based fabrication of Josephson junctions in qubits using advanced superconducting materials such as NbTiN, which you will grow in house with pulsed laser deposition (PLD). In addition, you will leverage the existing computational and fab expertise in the group to study a hybrid phononic crystal-qubit device designed to suppress two-level system (TLS) mediated decoherence. 

The Thermal Nanophysics and Superconducting Devices Group has been an established research group since early 2000s. It is one of the heaviest users of the NSC nanofab and cryogenic infra. It has currently three main research directions: 1. Development of new superconducting materials and devices, especially superconducting junctions for quantum technology (qubits) and ultrasensitive superconducting radiation detectors (such as TESes); 2. Nanoscale thermal transport, especially focusing on phononic crystals and near-field phonon tunneling across vacuum; 3. Utilizing novel nanofabrication and imaging techniques for interdisciplinary projects, such as nanoscale biological imaging with helium ion microscope (HIM) and 3D laser lithography. The group runs a lab with several dilution refrigerators, one of them containing SQUID amplifiers, and has particular expertise in advanced nanofabrication using pulsed laser deposition, helium ion-beam direct writing and 3D laser lithography.  

What we expect from candidates?

  • You have a PhD (or are close to getting one) in experimental physics or related engineering sciences and have research experience in an international environment. We seek an excellent candidate with some project-relevant experience, preferably in experimental quantum or other superconducting devices, advanced nanofabrication. (experience with HIM, PLD and/or e-beam lithography is a benefit), low temperature physics, phononic crystals, and/or microwave measurements.
  • You are self-motivated with the ability to work independently, drive the project forward and participate creatively in collaborative teams including MSc and PhD students.
  • You have an experimentalist mindset but are not shy to do some calculations, including numerical modelling. 

What does the University of Jyväskylä offer as an employer?

At the University of Jyväskylä, you are a recognized member of our community with a unique opportunity to influence international research. You will be part of our international and multidisciplinary community where everyone’s well-being is important. At the University of Jyväskylä, we offer a magnificent and lively campus area with the opportunity to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

Finland has a high standard of living, with free schooling (also in English), affordable childcare, good family benefits, and healthcare. Jyväskylä is located in central Finland in the Finnish Lake District having excellent opportunities for different nature, outdoor, and sports activities. The City of Jyväskylä is a major educational center with a large student population and a vibrant cultural atmosphere. For more information regarding the University of Jyväskylä, the City of Jyväskylä, and living in Finland, see the Handbook for international staff and visitors .

The contract

  • The contract will be initally for two years, starting on 1 May 2024, or as mutually agreed.
  • The annual salary will be approximately 43,300 - 50,400 EUR (gross income, including a holiday bonus), depending on the qualifications and experience of the candidate.
  • A six-month trial period will be implemented at the beginning of the employment.

The duties, qualification requirements and language skills of a postdoctoral researcher are stipulated by the University of Jyväskylä Regulations and language skills guidelines . The doctoral degree required for the position must have been completed before starting the position.

How to apply?

The application documents that should be included in PDF format

  • Curriculum vitae (CV), composed according to good scientific practice and considering the template for researcher´s curriculum vitae by The Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity and including contact information of two academics who can provide reference letters
  • Cover letter including a statement of research interests.
  • A numbered list of publications (if applicable)
  • Relevant certificates/diplomas (if applicable)
  • Research plan is not mandatory. Please submit your motivation/cover letter here again if our application form requires it.
  • Applicants MUST specify the project name(s) and group(s) to which they are applying in their cover letter. If your background fits several projects, you can apply for more than one project, but you must then indicate prioritization of the projects.

    For further details, please contact according to the project of interest: 1. Professor Juha Muhonen, [email protected] , 2. Assistant Professor Kezilebieke Shawulienu, [email protected] or 3. Professor Ilari Maasilta, [email protected] .

    Department of Physics

    The primary areas of research at the Department of Physics  are materials physics, nuclear physics and particle physics. In materials physics, the core research fields are the physics of nanomaterials and thin films, quantum matter and quantum technologies, light-matter interaction and physics and chemistry of nanoparticles. Nuclear physics concentrates on nuclear astrophysics, nuclear structure and applied accelerator-based research, and particle physics on the physics of the strong interaction and ultrarelativistic heavy-ion collisions, particle cosmology and neutrino physics. The department hosts an Academy of Finland Center of Excellence in Quark Matter. Experimental research at the Department is conducted in the Accelerator Laboratory, the multidisciplinary Nanoscience Center (NSC) and in foreign research centers such as CERN and FAIR.

    The University of Jyväskylä is a human-centered environment of 2,500 experts and 14,500 students. Our goal is to create wisdom and well-being for all. JYU's naturally beautiful campus is located in the heart of the city of Jyväskylä. JYU is the third largest employer in Central Finland.

    Location: Seminaarinkatu 15

    The application form cannot be saved as draft. However, you have 6 hours to complete your application before the timeout. After submitting you can return to edit your application via the link you receive by email. The application can be edited until the application deadline.

    Research Field
    Years of Research Experience
    4 - 10

    Research Field
    Years of Research Experience
    4 - 10

    Additional Information
    Website for additional job details

    Work Location(s)
    Number of offers available
    University of Jyväskylä
    Seminaarinkatu 15

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