PhD fellowship on Topological Superconductivity in 2D van der Waals Heterostructures. A fellowship for an experimental PhD thesis work is now available in the Nano- and Quantum Electronics group at the Department of Physics of the University of Basel: www.nanoelectronics.ch. This PhD project is part of a recently funded ERC Advanced Research Grant. Topological matter is a new research focus with great perspectives. Of particular interest are topological insulators and superconductors where surface states appear within the gap yielding quasiparticles with new properties that are protected by symmetries. While the surface state in a topological insulator is composed of chiral fermions carrying charge and spin, in topological superconductors (SCs) it is pinned to zero energy due to particle-hole symmetry and composed of fermions that carry neither charge nor spin. Instead, they are non-abelian fermions: Majorana- and parafermions (MF/PF), that have been proposed for topological quantum computing. Evidence for MFs have been found in nanowires. The scaling-up challenge, however, requires a platform in which networks of MFs can be realized. In this project we will use graphene-based van der Waals heterostructure for this purpose. The ability of combining high-mobility graphene with other layered materials, such as transition-metal dichalcogenide, few-layer ferromagnets and SCs offers an unprecedented versatility in the design of topological systems by combining Zeeman energy, spin-orbit and superconducting pairing interaction.
Your position Design 2D quantum matter using different approaches, fabricate the respective van der Waals stacks and couple it to SCs to induce topological superconductivity. The fabricated devices will be measured by electrical transport experiments at low temperatures. Specifically, the current-phase relation of topological Josephson junctions and non-local properties of Majorana bound states are of interest. This project will be run by a team of 6-8 persons. The specific focus of this particular PhD project will be developed during the coarse of the project, but will be based on approaches loosely sketched in the figure below. The thesis will be funded for a maximum of four years during which the PhD should be defended.
Your profile We look for a highly motivated student (preferably a physicist) who is keen to explore fundamental aspects of quantum devices. You should have a dedication for experimental work in the field of quantum science and technology and be ready to collaborate and share your knowledge and experience in a team. We expect a strong dedication and commitment to push the frontiers of experimental physics. Requirement: you need to have a profound understanding of quantum and solid state physics as it is taught in a physics curriculum.
We offer you We offer state-of-the art infrastructure, a maximum if 4 years funding at a standard PhD salary level. Excellent support and supervision and a highly motivated team is waiting for you.
Application / Contact To apply, please email to Christian.Schoenenberger@unibas.ch a short curriculum vitae including names and contact info of referees and scanned copies of grades. Please add a short statement (few lines only) on your motivation and your education / background in quantum physics and solid-state physics.