PhD Position: Magnetic force microscopy with nanowire transducers (P1905) 100% positions for 4 years, earliest starting date: 1. January 2020

Updated: over 1 year ago
Deadline: 01 Jan 2020

PhD Position: Magnetic force microscopy with nanowire transducers (P1905)

100% positions for 4 years, earliest starting date: 1. January 2020

The Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI) at the University of Basel invites highly motivated scientists to apply for the SNI PhD program in Nanoscience.

Your position
Recent years have seen rapid progress in nanometer-scale magnetic imaging technology, with scanning probe microscopy driving remarkable improvements in both sensitivity and resolution. Among the most successful tools are magnetic force microscopy (MFM), spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy, as well as scanning magnetometers based on nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond, Hall-bars, and superconducting quantum interference devices. Here, we propose the development and application of recently developed nanowire (NW) force sensors as MFM probes. Using NWs functionalized with magnetic tips, we will realize MFM capable of mapping magnetic fields and dissipation with enhanced sensitivity and resolution compared to the state of the art. With these new capabilities, we will image mesoscopic current flow, magnetism, and dissipation in 2D van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures with well-defined twist angles, which allow for control over strong electronic correlations. These structures include 'magic-angle' twisted bilayer graphene, which – in a major breakthrough – recently showed gate-controllable superconductivity.
Until now only one proof-of-principle NW MFM experiment has been carried out on the well-known
magnetic field profile of a current-carrying wire. We now intend to move past this demonstration
stage by:
1. optimizing the magnet-tipped NW transducers to achieve the highest possible sensitivity and resolution;
2. using the new scanning probes to image current flow and magnetism in 2D vdW systems.
Although MFM is already applied to a wide array of samples for its ability to work at various temperatures, some materials remain out of reach because of limitations in resolution and due to the perturbative effect of conventional tips. High force sensitivity coupled with small tip size should allow magnetic NW sensors to work both close to a sample, maximizing spatial resolution, and in a regime of weak interaction, remaining noninvasive. These characteristics will allow NW MFM to provide magnetic contrast, which has not been available through existing techniques. These include spatial maps of Biot-Savart fields, magnetic stray fields, and dissipation tied to the various strongly correlated states, which have recently been discovered within of 2D vdW materials.

Your profile
We are looking for a very motivated researcher with a Master's degree in Natural Sciences. The project requires the abilities to work independently, interact with other researchers, presentation skills, and a solid basis in scientific research.

We offer you

  • Excellent scientific and social environment
  • Very competitive employment conditions
  • Membership in a very supportive and recognised community

The successful candidate will join an attractive interdisciplinary programme together with the ~30 currently supported scientists. The SNI covers a wide variety of topics, including cutting edge quantum physics and chemistry, material science, nanotechnology, biochemistry, cell biology, or medical research.

Application / Contact
More information and the online application platform can be found at For questions please contact the head of the SNI PhD programme, Dr. Andreas Baumgartner (, or directly the respective project leaders. The complete application has to be submitted before 31 December 2019. Please note that the decision to fill a given vacancy can be taken at any time from now.

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