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PhD scholarships for a new research field in Nanophotonics: Extreme Dielectric Confinement of Light

PhD scholarships for a new research field in Nanophotonics: Extreme Dielectric Confinement of Light

A recent discovery has shown that it is possible to confine light at length scales much below the conventional diffraction limit in semiconductors. Previously, this was only considered possible in metals through the excitation of plasmons, which unfortunately are associated with large optical losses. This new discovery opens tremendous possibilities for realizing a new regime of strong light-matter interaction, with important applications in quantum technology as well as the “holy grail” of integrating photonics and electronics. Enabled by a major grant from the Danish National Research Foundation, a number of Departments at the Technical University of Denmark are joining forces in the Center for Nanophotonics (NanoPhoton) to explore this new research field, that we have coined Extreme Dielectric Confinement (EDC).

We are looking for 5 PhD students, with a physics or engineering degree, who have excelled in their studies and are now interested in working at the forefront of a new research field. The research in NanoPhoton addresses several fields, and we are therefore interested in students with strong background or interest in diverse fields, including quantum optics, mathematical optimization, laser physics, integrated photonics, semiconductors, nanofabrication, and spectroscopy. The successful candidates will interact with a dedicated team of highly motivated researchers, where we emphasize strong interaction between experiment and theory, independent thinking, and team spirit.

Responsibilities and tasks

Brief descriptions of the 5 PhD projects are given below. In your application, please indicate which of the projects you are interested in. While prior knowledge in one or more of the topics is an advantage, we welcome applications from students who have demonstrated excellent academic performance in adjacent fields, are highly motivated, and interested in teamwork.

  • Project A: Fabrication and experimental characterization of EDC-structures based on silicon. Investigation of fundamental limitations to confinement and nonlinearities.
  • Project B: Fabrication and experimental characterization of EDC-structures in III-V semiconductors including active quantum wells and quantum dots. Investigation of laser and photodetector operation.
  • Project C: Development of mathematical tools for inverse design by the technique of topology optimization. Design of new structures with optimized nonlinearities and light-matter interaction.
  • Project D: Development of the quantum theory of new EDC-structures with extremely strong light-matter interaction. Application to few-photon scattering and laser-noise squeezing.
  • Project E: Epitaxial growth of III-V nanostructures and nanoimaging of EDC structures through the techniques of electron-energy-loss spectroscopy and cathodoluminescence.


Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. Candidates with strong background within optics and photonics, quantum optics, nanofabrication, materials science, laser physics, applied mathematics or finite-element simulations are preferred. In the application, please indicate which of the project(s) above you are interested in.


To apply, please read the full job advertisement at

Application deadline: 31 January 2020.

You can read more about the participating research groups here: Nanophotonics, Nanolab, Topology optimization, Electromagnetic field theory.

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