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PhD Student on Electron Paramagnetic Resonance using Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

At the Magnetism and Interface Physics group ( we investigate magnetic phenomena in materials with novel structural and electronic properties. Within the activities of the scanning tunnelling microscopy lab, we conduct state of the art research on magnetic properties and interactions of single atoms and molecules at surfaces. We also pursue the further development of the experimental techniques to advance our capabilities to novel measuring methods as well as material systems.

Project background

Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) is a sensitive technique that allows for measuring the magnetic moment, g-factor, and relaxation time of spin systems with high precision. It is widely used to reveal the electronic environment of paramagnetic defects in dielectric crystals as well as to manipulate the electron and nuclear spin states of solid-state and molecular qubits. Recently, the technique was combined with scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) to perform EPR with atomic-scale spatial resolution on single spins. First EPR-STM investigations include the investigation of dipolar fields, hyperfine fields, magnetic resonance imaging and coherent spin manipulation of paramagnetic atoms on surfaces. In our laboratory, we have recently implemented EPR-STM using a novel antenna coupling scheme that provides high excitation power levels, as required for coherent manipulation of individual spins, as well as quantitatively evaluated the EPR driving force for single atoms. See also

Job description

As a successful candidate, you will explore the application of state-of-the art EPR-STM instrumentation from single atoms adsorbed on surfaces to two-dimensional solid-state systems with emphasis on low-energy excitations due to weak intrinsic interactions. A major part of the project entails the further development of EPR-STM measurement protocols to determine the weak perturbations with high precision and relate the characteristic energy scales and associated spin relaxation times to the electronic, magnetic, and vibrational environment. The research will be at the forefront of ongoing research activities in the nascent field of EPR-STM combining different scientific backgrounds from surface science, nanoscale magnetism and magnetic resonance techniques.

Your profile

You have an outstanding track record of your studies in condensed matter physics, physical chemistry, electrical engineering, or a closely related area and a strong interest in the experimental realization and development of new methodologies. Ideally, you have previous experience in EPR, low-temperature STM spectroscopy, and surface science. A solid background in quantum physics or nanoscale magnetism is an asset. 

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.
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We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • a detailed CV,
  • a statement of research interests, containing a short description of your background, motivation and skills
  • pdf copies of transcripts/certificates from undergraduate studies (both Bachelor and Master’s) as available,
  • names of at least two contacts for references.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about the Magnetism and Interface Physics group can be found on our website Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Sebastian Stepanow, Tel +41 44 633 07 41 or email (no applications).

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