Empa - the place where innovation starts
Empa is the research institute for materials science and technology of the ETH Domain and conducts cutting-edge research for the benefit of industry and the well-being of society.
The Low-dimensional quantum electronics group at the Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (D-ITET) of ETH Zürich and the Quantum Devices group at Empa are searching for
three PhD students in quantum heat engines
Our groups focus on the development of carbon-based (thermo)electric nanoscale devices and their application for energy conversion. Our research is at the interface between fundamental quantum physics, nanotechnology, nanofabrication and thermodynamics.Project background
Three PhD positions are financed by a recently acquired ERC Starting Grant and SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship. The overall aim of the project is to design, fabricate, and characterize quantum heat engines based on quantum dots formed from graphene nanoribbons, with as final goal to bring operation from cryogenic environments to ambient conditions. Quantum dots (QD) offer unique energy-filtering capabilities that can significantly enhance the conversion efficiency of quantum heat engines. Graphene nanoribbons (GNRs), atomically-precise narrow strips of graphene, are ideal QD candidates as they feature a bandgap that can be tuned by chemical design over an extremely broad range of energies, including those that are compatible with room temperature operation. The project is a collaboration with the nanotech@surfaces laboratory headed by Prof. Roman Fasel (Empa) for the synthesis of GNRs, and the computationally nanoelectronics group headed by Prof. Mathieu Luisier (ETHZ) for support with quantum chemistry calculations. The Quantum Devices group is part of the Transport at Nanoscale Interfaces Laboratory headed by Prof. Calame (Empa). To achieve its overall goal, the project consists of three related PhD projects, each having a specific aim and including to different levels the following activities: nanofabrication, characterization, modelling, and fundamental understanding.
The work will be carried out under supervision of Prof. Dr. Mickael Perrin (ETH Zurich and Empa). These fully-funded and full-time positions will be available from June 2022 on, with a planned project duration of four years. The working place will be at Empa in Dübendorf and ETH Zurich, which offer highly-stimulating research environments with state-of-the-art facilities and a broad interdisciplinary surrounding. In addition, the PhD students will have access to the advanced nanofabrication facilities available at the ETH FIRST Lab and at the Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center (IBM Research Zurich). The PhD student will develop expertise in the areas of thermoelectric characterization of nanodevices, energy conversion at the nanoscale, nanofabrication, and carbon-based nanoelectronics.
We are looking for highly-motivated students with a MSc degree in Physics, Nanoscience, Material Science, electrical engineering or a related field. Excellent communication skills and fluency in English (both written and oral) are mandatory. Experience in the field of nanofabrication and/or quantum device characterization is highly appreciated. We are looking for committed and creative individuals able to work in a team. The candidates will work in a top-level research environment with state-of-the-art laboratory infrastructure, offering a unique opportunity to develop their research abilities.