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The Quantum Nanomechanics group https://www.aalto.fi/en/department-of-applied-physics/quantum-nanomechanics at the Department of Applied Physics is looking for outstanding Postdoctoral researchers to carry out experimental research on different projects related to quantum micromechanical systems. In our team, we investigate how mechanical oscillators can be utilized for fundamental research probing quantum mechanics in massive systems, or for usage in quantum information processing. In our recent research, we have demonstrated quantum entanglement between two micromechanical oscillators realized as vibrating aluminum drumheads [Nature 556, 478 (2018), Science 372, 625 (2021)].
Project 1: Feedback-based preparation of nonclassical mechanical states
The next challenges in the field include measurement-based feedback, which can be used for preparing and steering mechanical quantum states. Strong measurements and feedback operations allow for novel ways of creating nonclassical mechanical states, for example squeezed and entangled states. A grand goal is to realize quantum teleportation of the state between two oscillators. We use “microwave optomechanics” setup, where drum oscillators interact with on-chip microwave cavity resonators. You will accommodate these devices into a quantum-limited detection system comprising of parametric amplifiers and real-time feedback realized with FPGA control.
Project 2: Gravitational coupling between nonclassical masses
In this project, the goal is to touch a hundred-year-old mystery of physics: Despite its success at describing phenomena in the low-energy limit, quantum mechanics is incompatible with general relativity that describes gravity and huge energies. The interface between these two has remained experimentally elusive, because only the most violent events in the universe have been considered to produce measurable effects due to the plausible quantum behavior of gravity. We aim at detecting gravitational forces for the first time within a quantum system. We use mechanical oscillators loaded by milligram masses and bring two such gravitationally interacting oscillators into nonclassical motional states. Initially, we will measure the gravitational force between gold particles weighing a milligram, representing a new mass scale showing gravitational forces within a system.
Project 3: Magneto acoustics
Besides electromechanics, we are building hybrid devices that aim on controlling ferromagnetic magnons using acoustic waves. Owing to the large speed of light, realizing cavity optomechanics in the microwave frequency range requires cavities up to several mm in size, hence making it hard to embed several of them on the same chip. An alternative scheme with much smaller footprint is provided by magneto acoustics, where the electromagnetic cavity is replaced by a magnet undergoing ferromagnetic resonance, and the optomechanical coupling originates from magnetic shape anisotropy. The small footprint of these hybrid devices shows promise for applications in novel signal processing. We use vibrating magnetic nanobeams, or multilayer structures consisting of magnetic and piezoelectric layers. In the latter structures, we couple magnons to longitudinal overtone (HBAR) acoustic modes, and to surface acoustic waves.
The experimental work in all these projects involves design of the samples and of the measurement setups, cleanroom fabrication, running microwave measurements in dilution refrigerators, and data analysis. You are expected to participate in instructing PhD students.
Your experience and ambitions
For this challenging research, we are looking for brilliant and energetic individuals who are motivated in experimental, low-temperature quantum physics. We require the candidates to have a proven track record in experimental research with similar or related topics, clean room microfabrication, and strong interest in micromechanical systems. Additionally, the candidates should be excellent team players. Experience with cryogenics and dilution refrigerators, and skill in theoretical understanding of the studied phenomena, are considered significant assets.
What we offer
The Quantum Nanomechanics team, ambitous but relaxed with a great team spirit, carries out top -notch experimental research on the foundations of quantum mechanics. With superconducting qubits, we explore processing of quantum information with mechanical motion. In our more applied research, we lay the foundation for a new generation of devices that use various types of microwave-optomechanical effects for efficient signal processing. We have realized quantum-limited microwave amplifiers and nonreciprocal components to be used in superconducting quantum technology.
The fixed term contract is typically initially for two years. Aalto University follows the salary system of Finnish universities. The starting salary for a Postdoctoral researcher is approx. 3700€/month. The salary ranges from 3700€ to 4000€ per month, depending on previous experience. The contract includes occupational healthcare.
The workplace will be the Otaniemi Campus of Aalto University, in the premises of the OtaNano national research infrastructure for micro- and nanotechnologies. OtaNano provides access to all the advanced nanofabrication, nanomicroscopy and measurement facilities and techniques. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland on campus leverages the bridge between research and innovation. Several startup companies working with electronics, cryogenics, and quantum technology have recently emerged in the community. Our team belongs to the national Centre of Excellence – Quantum Technology Finland that is harnessing quantum phenomena for solid-state-based quantum devices and applications. We also belong to the European Microkelvin Platform collaboration.
Ready to apply?
To apply for the position, please submit your application including the attachments mentioned below as one single PDF document in English through Aalto University web page here: Postdoctoral Researchers in Quantum Nanomechanics | Aalto University.
(1) Letter of motivation
(2) CV including list of publications
(3) Degree certificates and academic transcripts
(4) Contact details of at least two referees
The deadline for applications is September 30, 2022. The positions will be filled as soon as suitable candidates are identified. For additional information, kindly contact Prof. Mika Sillanpää, Mika.Sillanpaa@aalto.fi. Aalto University reserves the right for justified reasons to leave the position open, to extend the application period, reopen the application process, and to consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.
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