VDS Open Call PhD Fellowships


The VDS program in Physics is offering new opportunities in various different research groups working in experimental, theoretical or computational physics!

The VDS program offers research opportunities in fifteen different research groups working in experimental, theoretical or computational physics. As a VDS fellow you will have a regular employment at the University of Vienna, will be part of a visible community of young scientists and you will have the opportunity to participate in transferable skills training and career development.

Application deadline: 31 December 2017 
Hearings: 22 & 23 February 2018 

More information on the admission procedure and eligibility criteria can be found here. Click here to go to the application form and kindly inform your academic advisors (2) to upload their recommendation via this link.

An overview of the open positions: 

  • (2) Open position(s) with Prof. Markus Arndt
    1. Cavity cooling of dielectric nanoparticles
    Our project focuses on novel techniques to launch and cool dielectric nanoparticles for advanced quantum interference experiments, aiming at pushing the interface between quantum physics and the classical world.
    2. Matter-waves interfacing with nanobiological matter
    Our project targets novel developments at the interface between quantum physics and nanobiological materials, aiming at extending our insight into coherence, measurement and the role of complexity in quantum physics.
    Website research group >>
  • Open position with Prof. Wolfgang Lang
    Trapping and manipulating superconducting vortices by artificial pinning landscapes
    Tailored artificial pinning defects allow to investigate many ways of flux quanta manipulation, like guided vortex motion, vortex ratchets, flux-flow transistors and other cutting-edge concepts. The critical state of a superconductor with a regular pinning array is different from the classical one and will be explored by various electrical transport measurements. The project will be embedded in a European research network (COST) that started recently and provides regular training schools and international contacts. The successful candidate should have a solid background in Solid State Physics. Experience in superconductivity, low-temperature techniques, and magneto-transport measurement methods is welcome.
    Website research group >>
  • (2) open position(s) with Dr. Nikolai Kiesel
    Stochastic and quantum thermodynamics with levitated particles
    Two research positions are open in research at the interface of experimental levitated optomechanics and stochastic thermodynamics. The successful candidates will further develop new experimental platforms for optical trapping in vacuum. In parallel we will design and implement experiments that apply the new technologies to tackle experimentally yet unexplored phenomena in single- and few particle statistical physics and investigate the interface of thermodynamics and information theory. We aim at pushing these experiments into the quantum regime.
    1. An SLM-based optical trap for levitation: Spatial light modulators (SLMs) have enabled an impressive level of performance in control and readout of optically trapped objects in liquid. Optical traps in vacuum have thus far made nearly no use of these possibilities. Within the project, an SLM based optical trap for complex potential landscapes will be developed.
    2. Reservoir engineering of levitated particles: Based on our know-how in cavity control of levitated particles, a platform to engineer non-thermal and non-classical baths for the center-of-mass motion of nanoparticles will be developed. This also includes the design of a superior mechanism to transfer nanoparticles to the optical cavity.
    Website research group >>
  • (2) Open position(s) with Prof. Thomas Pichler
    1. 1D, 2D and 3D Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs)
    MOFs represent a new class of compounds that consist of metal nodes and organic ligands to form various nanostructures. Our project, in cooperation with TU Wien and J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry in Prague, aims to study quantum confinement effects in MOFs for optoelectronic and spintronic applications.
    Link 1 Vienna
    Link 2
    Link 3 Prague
    2. Advanced nanochemistry and nanospectroscopy in filled nanotubes
    Website research group >>
  • Open position with Dr. Toma Susi
    Single-atom manipulation in the electron microscope 
    An experimental PhD position in the ERC Starting Grant project ATMEN. Despite more than fifty years of scientific progress since Richard Freynman's 1959 vision for nanotechnology, there is only one way to manipulate individual atoms in materials: scanning tunneling microscopy. Scanning transmission electron microscopy, on the other hand, has been able to resolve atoms only more recently by focusing the electron beam with sub-atomci precision. The scattering of the energetic imaging electrons was recently found to move a silicon impurity through the graphene lattice, revealing the potential for atomically precise manipulation using the Angström-sized elecron probe. To develop this into a practical technique, advances in heteroatom implantation and a concerted effort towards their characterization and manipulation are required. The ideal candidate is familiar with electron microscopy and/or ion implantation, but a strong background in material science or nanotechnology may suffice. 
    Website research group >>
  • (2) Open position(s) with Prof. Bernadett Weinzierl
    1. Airborne measurements of the complex refractive index of atmospheric aerosol layers
    In April 2017, the A-LIFE aircraft field experiment (www.a-life.at) was conducted in the Eastern Mediterranean to investigate the properties of absorbing aerosol layers (mineral dust-black carbon mixtures) during their atmospheric lifetime. The overall aim of this PhD project is to determine the complex refractive index of single aerosol particles in complex aerosol mixtures. This includes the characterization and further development of a novel instrument for vertically‐resolved measurements of complex refractive index and size of single aerosol particles, the analysis of data from the A-LIFE field experiment, and the collection and analysis of new data.
    2. Properties of aerosol mixtures in the Eastern Mediterranean during the A-LIFE aircraft field experiment.
    Recently it has been shown that the climate impact of black carbon (BC) is twice as large as originally thought. Due to the rather short lifetimes of BC in the atmosphere (on the order of days to weeks, compared to decades and longer for the main greenhouse gases) as well as its strong warming potential, BC reduction and mitigation strategies are expected to provide climate benefits. However, the attribution of absorption to different aerosol types is challenging. In particular in aerosol mixtures it is still an open research question whether mineral dust absorption is frequently misclassified as BC absorption. The overall aim of this ERC-funded PhD project is to study the partitioning between mineral dust and BC absorption in aerosol mixtures which we investigated during the A-LIFE field experiment (www.a-life.at) in the Eastern Mediterranean in April 2017. This project includes the analysis of in-situ size distribution data of total aerosol and BC, the derivation of optical properties, and the assessment of mineral dust and BC contribution to the total absorption for the investigated aerosol layers.
    Website research group >>
  • Open position with Prof. Paul Winkler 
    Nucleation and growth rate measurements from anthropogenic precursors in chamber and field experiments
    An open PhD position is currently available in the framework of a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network called CLOUD-MOTION. The successful candidate will conduct experimental studies of nanoparticle formation using cutting-edge instrumentation for nanoparticle detection and sizing. This work will partly be performed at the CLOUD experiment at CERN, Switzerland. In addition, field experiments in Vienna are planned to investigate urban nucleation.
    Website research group >>