PhD position in Quantum physics of indirect excitons in microscopic traps

Job type: 


Application deadline: 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

ICFO - The Institute of Photonic Sciences (, in collaboration with the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), is offering a predoctoral fellowship to a well-qualified, highly motivated and dynamic graduate student who wishes to enhance his/her scientific career in a friendly and stimulating environment, as well as to obtain a doctoral degree in Photonics. The students at ICFO benefit from the extensive course offerings of local universities and focused instruction by ICFO professors while carrying out research activities at ICFO groups with local and international collaborators.

The successful candidate will be working on an experimental project that is targeted to the study of exciton condensation phenomena in double quantum wells. In particular, quantum coherence of exciton gases confined in such heterostructure will be emphasized. To that aim, the fluorescence emitted by indirect excitons will be studied by optical interferometry in the sub-Kelvin temperature regime.

The PhD will focus onto experimental studies of ultra-cold indirect excitons confined in semiconductor double quantum wells. The experimental work will be performed in an fully operational experimental setup where the dynamics of exciton gases is studied at temperatures as low as 300 mK and with high spatial, temporal and spectral resolutions.

An important aspect of the PhD will be dedicated to the development of novel techniques to control the confinement of cold exciton gases. Precisely, exciton traps or circuits will be realized and studied. To that aim, the student will be trained to perform advanced numerical simulations. These will serve as the basis for the realization of devices dedicated to manipulate the transport of cold exciton gases. The fabrication of devices will also be realized by the student who will learn how to master cutting edge nano-fabrication techniques.

This PhD program will take place at ICFO, The Institute for Photonic Sciences (Barcelona-Spain). The experimental work includes measurements on the existing experimental set-up and analysis. The trainee will benefit from the local expertise on optical spectroscopy of nanostructures, nano-fabrication and cryogenic techniques. The project further builds upon theoretical support within ICFO and particularly with the group of Prof. Maciej Lewenstein as well as upon existing collaborations with groups in Paris and Montpellier (CNRS-France).

Candidates must hold an internationally-recognized master’s degree (or evidence of its completion in the nearest future) in a related field.
Selection of ICFO PhD-fellows is based on merit and potential, measured in terms of the academic record and personal achievements. Proactivity, participation in community activities, and capacity for team-work are also taken into account.
No restrictions of citizenship apply to the ICFO fellowships.

Conditions of fellowships
The fellowship is offered for a period of three years; the envisaged starting date is July 01, 2012, at the latest. The monthly gross salary will be of 2500 €, and is subject to the national income tax deductions.
Support for travel to conferences, dedicated budget for research activities, involvement in European network on exciton coherent phenomena, mobility, travel and career exploratory allowances.

Application procedure
To apply, suitable candidates are requested to submit (in English):
- A presentation letter with declaration of research interests,
- A Curriculum Vitae, including contact details,
- Scanned copies of your complete (Bachelor and Master equivalent) University academic transcripts in English or Spanish,
- Scanned copies of the degree certificates, if available at the time of application,
- The contact e-mail of two potential referees.
- If available, scanned copy of standardized test results (GRE, TOEFL, etc.). Note that submission of test results is optional, but they can be particularly helpful for evaluating candidates with degrees obtained outside the European Higher Education Area.

Note that the applications shall be submitted exclusively online via Required application material (see above) must be complete in order to be considered.

Please note that candidates should be willing to be contacted by phone during the entire selection process.

Deadlines and contacts
Review of applications will be accomplished on a rolling basis and continue until the position is filled.

Candidates may contact for informal inquiries regarding the application procedure. Informal (project-related) inquiries may be addressed to Dr. Francois Dubin at

For further information about ICFO, please visit