Postdoc Advanced Materials Characterization - Research position (QuT18-055)

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Postdoc Advanced Materials Characterization - Research position

Department/faculty: QuTech
Level: Doctorate
Working hours: 38.0 hours weekly
Contract: 1 year initially with prospect of extension
Salary: 2640 - 4166 euros monthly (full-time basis)


QuTech is a growing research institute, in the area of quantum computing. Established in 2013, QuTech is a public-private collaboration between Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). In 2014 the institute acquired the status of a national icon. Within QuTech a path is being laid from pure academic research to a combination of scientific research and professional technology development. QuTech's mission is the development of a quantum computer and quantum internet.

Within QuTech, a total of about 180 FTE scientists from TNO and the Faculties of Applied Sciences and Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science work in an international, inspiring, and innovative setting with much room for ambition, entrepreneurship and innovation. QuTech is organised into so-called Roadmaps: Fault-Tolerant Quantum Computing, Topological Quantum Computing, Quantum Internet and Computing, Shared Development, and the QuTech Academy.

The roadmap ”Topological Quantum Computing” is one of the leading groups in the field of topological condensed matter physics. Within this roadmap a group, led by Prof. Leo Kouwenhoven, of roughly 40 scientists, engineers and students, uses various semiconductor-superconductor hybrid systems to study the physics of Majorana zero modes. The aim of this research is to explore and develop the next generation of quantum hardware, based on topologically protected quantum bits (qubits). Within the QuTech/Microsoft partnership, the Topological Quantum Computing roadmap operates in close collaboration with the Microsoft Research Station Q in Delft.

Job description

Our research is focused on the development of new hybrid semiconductor-superconductor platforms to enable the application of Majorana bound states for topological quantum computing.

Material science and fabrication are the foundation and the enablers of qubit devices. We deal with complex stacks of different materials combined at the nanoscale and require state-of-the art metrology and in-depth morphological, structural and compositional analysis. Fabrication of qubit devices is a challenging, multi-step process pushing the boundaries of nanotechnology and nano-patterning techniques. You can play a key role in the development of our ground-breaking approach to quantum computing by helping to realize quantum devices with quality and control well beyond the current state of the art.

Your mission will be to develop and perform advanced electron microscopy analyses and research in Materials Characterization on structure comprising complex stacks of III-V semiconductors, superconductors, dielectrics, standard metals. You will work within a small team of materials specialists, with strong interactions with experimentalists working in device fabrication, low temperature quantum transport measurements and theory.

Your main activities will include:

  • To develop and operate a Materials Characterization platform including Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Focused Ion Beam, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Cathodoluminescence, Ultramicrotomy for applied research projects to deepen Materials properties knowledge;

  • Investigate- and report on the composition and structure of advanced materials to establish material and elemental properties, internal structure, suitability for use, and to explain anomalies;

  • To pursue intellectual property and/or publish in high-quality journals, and foster collaborative work both internally and externally to the university (including both academic and industrial relations) while inspiring others to do the same.


Our ideal candidate for this position is an experienced Materials Scientist specialized in state-of-the-art material characterization methodologies and techniques in the field of Transmission Electron Microscopy, coupled with strong materials preparation skills, an applied physics & devices interest, and an affinity for industrial R&D.

  • A PhD in Materials Science, Physics or Engineering with at least one year of relevant postdoctoral or industrial experience in transmission electron microscopy in compound semiconductors.

  • Well-established expertise and a significant portfolio of research achievement associated with advanced materials and nanostructure characterization such on materials such as III-Vs, Metals & Dielectrics stacks.

  • Proven expertise in technical aspects of lab equipment, including calibration, upgrades and maintenance.

  • Demonstrated expertise in materials characterization/ sample preparation using all or most of the following techniques: HAADF STEM, EDX, EELS, Holography, Focused Ion Beam, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Cathodoluminescence, Ultramicrotomy.

  • Experience in materials synthesis, device fabrication.

  • An excellent record of high-quality publications in major international journals or relevant intellectual property.

  • Proven ability to participate in a research team and to develop networks and interdisciplinary links with researchers in other station Qs and other institutes to enhance the overall strength of research.

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.

Proven experience with lab management duties would be a plus.

Conditions of employment

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Leo Kouwenhoven, e-mail: . To apply, please e-mail your CV, a list of publications, and the names and e-mail addresses of at least three references along with a letter of motivation addressed to Prof. dr. ir. Leo Kouwenhoven. Please e-mail the requested information to . Please refer to vacancy number QuT18-055 in your application. 

Screening of the applications will begin on July 20, 2018 and will continue until the position is filled. The anticipated starting date is as soon as possible.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

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