Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest institutions of higher education with over 37,000 students and 4,800 faculty and staff. We are characterised by world-leading research in several scientific fields and a multitude of educations ranked highly in international comparison. Umeå University is also the site of the pioneering discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors - a revolution in genetic engineering that has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

At Umeå University, everything is nearby. Our cohesive campus environment makes it easy to meet, collaborate and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture where we rejoice in each other's successes.

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At the Department of Physics, strong and expanding research is conducted in several different research subjects, e.g. organic electronics, nanotechnology, photonics, space physics and theoretical physics. The department is part of the Chemical Biological Centre at Umeå University. We have a strong focus on interdisciplinary research and excellent access to modern instrumentation and infrastructure for analysis.

The Department of Physics at Umeå University ( conducts strong research in the areas of condensed matter physics, nanotechnology, photonics and theoretical physics. We announce a PhD position for a project focusing on ultrafast charge and spin dynamics in nanoscale condensed matter. Last day to apply is December 15, 2022.  Starting date is February 1, 2023, or by agreement.

Project description
The ‘Ultrafast Nanophotonics and Advanced Functional Materials’ group at Umeå University is looking for a brilliant PhD candidate interested in performing research on ultrafast charge and spin dynamics in nanoscale condensed matter. The PhD project interfaces exciting fields of research, including ultrafast science, photonics, magnetism and chemistry, with an overarching goal to understand the dynamics of electronic degrees of freedom (charges and spins) in nanostructured materials. 

The PhD student will study the physical mechanisms underlying light-matter interactions in nanoscale materials. By combining time-resolved (pump-probe) spectroscopy, finite element method, micromagnetic modelling and other advanced numerical techniques, the candidate will unveil how ultrashort light pulses interacts with charges and spins of electrons on timescale below 100 fs, thus unveiling the origin of a plenty of phenomena happening in the so-called nonthermal regime. Concurrently, the PhD student will develop from scratch analytical quantum models of charge and spin dynamics in plasmonic nanostructures made of different materials, including metals, semiconductors and strongly correlated materials. Finally, the PhD student will also explore the possibility of using these materials to control the charge and spin degrees of freedom in molecular systems coupled to light, the so called polaritons. The project will disclose novel nanoscale mechanisms which might have a huge impact on forthcoming light-driven deterministic ultrafast data processing nanotechnologies, as well as future nanodevices which make use of polaritonic chemistry in view of controlling molecular photoswitches for applications in quantum computing and/or optical transistors.

The project foresees ample collaborative opportunities with other research groups in Europe, such as the University of Padova (Italy), the Materials Physics Center (Spain), Lund University (Sweden) and the University of Luxembourg (Luxembourg).

Competence requirements
To be admitted for studies at third-cycle level you are required to have completed a second-cycle level degree or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits. The recruitment procedure will follow the Higher Education Ordinance (Högskoleförordningen). Prerequisites include 240 ECTS credits (högskolepoäng) of higher education studies, of which 60 should be on an advanced level (Master’s level), or equivalent. In addition to these requirements, 120 ECTS need to be in physics. The requirements do not need to be fulfilled at the time of application but only at the enrollment. Fluency in English is mandatory. 

Candidates should have documented background in one of the following topics: 
·        theoretical condensed matter physics
·        electromagnetism
·        photochemistry
·        magnetism
·        plasmonics
It will be considered a merit previous experience or knowledge in one of the following topics:
·        ultrafast optics
·        nonlinear optics
·        magnetoplasmonics
·        nanophotonics
·        data analysis (e.g., MATLAB)
·        finite element and/or FDTD methods
·        basic programming/coding in C/Python. 

Willingness to work in an inter-cultural, international, and diverse group, and the ability to work independently or as part of a team, are fundamental.

Terms of employment
The employment is expected to result in a doctoral degree and the main assignment for the doctoral student is thus to be part of the research education, which includes participation in the described research project but also to take relevant courses. Teaching and other departmental work (up to a maximum of 20%) can be included. The employment is limited to four years at full time or up to five years if teaching and other departmental work is performed. The salary is fixed according to the established salary level for doctoral students. The employment starts in February 2023 or according to agreement.

The application
The application should contain:
1.           A cover letter with summary of research interests and motivation (max. 1 page)
2.          Curriculum Vitae.
3.          Certified copies of relevant degree certificate(s) translated to English or Swedish. 
4.          Transcripts with grades, with English or Swedish translation. Note that for international (extra-EU) applicants the grading system should be explained in brief.
5.          Copies of student theses and publications (if any)
6.          Names and contact information of at least one reference person.

More information
For further information contact the Principal Investigator of the project, Assistant Professor Nicolò Maccaferri,

You apply via our e-recruitment system Varbi. The deadline for applications is December 15, 2022. Log in and apply via the button at the bottom of the page. All documents should be uploaded in pdf format. Applications not containing all the requested documents will not be considered. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for online interviews within one week after the call deadline.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment February 1, 2023, or by agreement
Salary According to a local agreement for PhD students
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent Heltid
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-1734-22
  • Nicolò Maccaferri, 090-7867595
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-7865365
  • SEKO, 090-7865296
  • ST, 090-7865431
Published 10.Nov.2022
Last application date 15.Dec.2022 11:59 PM CET

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