PhD and postdoc positions in molecular-ion quantum technologies for precision spectroscopy and molecular physics at the University of Basel (Switzerland)

PhD and postdoc positions are available in the group of Prof. Stefan Willitsch at the University of Basel (Switzerland) on the development of quantum technologies for single trapped molecular ions and their application in precision spectroscopy and the control of molecular collisions and interactions.

Project description

In recent years, impressive advances in the quantum control of ultracold atoms and atomic ions have been achieved which enabled measurements with an unprecedented precision. Similarly precise experiments on molecules open up a range of new scientific perspectives including tests of new physical concepts, the implementation of new frequency standards, accurate evaluations of physical theories such as quantum electrodynamics, precise determinations of fundamental constants and their putative time variation as well as exact studies of the dynamics of molecular collisions and chemical reactions. They also lay the foundations for applications of molecules in the realm of modern quantum science such as quantum information and quantum sensing.  

We have recently developed a new experimental approach enabling the readout of the quantum state of a single trapped molecular ion without destroying the molecule and even its quantum state. In the present project, the potential of this new method will be harnessed to perform highly sensitive and precise spectroscopic measurements and and probe molecular collisions and interactions at an unprecedented level of precision. We will introduce completely new methods for molecular spectroscopy and collision studies, further develop quantum technologies for molecular systems and establish new limits for the measurement precision of trapped molecules. 

Further informations and applications

For further information, please refer to recent publications, e.g.,
M. Sinhal and S. Willitsch, "Molecular-ion quantum technologies", arXiv:2204.08814,
M. Sinhal et al., "Quantum non-demolition state detection and spectroscopy of single trapped molecules”, Science 367 (2020), 1213, 
K. Najafian et al., "Identification of molecular quantum states using phase-sensitive forces”, Nat. Commun. 11 (2020), 4470,
consult the group’s website at or contact Prof. Stefan Willitsch.

Candidates for the PhD positions should have a MSc degree in physics or physical chemistry, preferably with experience in experimental quantum science, quantum optics or spectroscopy. The PhD positions will be embedded in the Basel PhD program on “Quantum Computing and Quantum Technology” (QCQT, and be part of the Basel Quantum Center (

Candidates for the postdoc positions should have a PhD in quantum science, quantum optics or atomic/molecular physics, preferably with a background in ion trapping.  

Inquiries and applications should be sent to Prof. Stefan Willitsch ( and include a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, transcripts of degree certificates and the contact details of at least two referees. Applications are accepted until all positions have been filled.