Postdoctoral position in Terahertz dynamics on strongly correlated materials

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

In the Laboratory for Functional Ferroic Materials we investigate materials where strong coupling between electrons leads to novel types of ordering processes of their spins and charges. Our scope is to study the fundamental physics of these materials with a focus on experimental basic research, yet including the perspective on the theoretical background and on technological relevance. Our experimental core technology is pulsed-laser spectroscopy between Terahertz and ultraviolet frequencies. In addition we apply atomic force microscopy, standard magnetic and dielectric characterization methods, Monte-Carlo simulation, and pulsed-‚Äčlaser-deposition of oxide thin films.

Project background

The postdoctoral project unites our internationally leading expertise in pulsed-laser spectroscopy, ultrafast dynamical processes, and ferroic materials. Its aim is to explore novel states of matter generated and/or detected in materials with strong electronic correlations by optical stimulation in the range of Terahertz frequencies. Possible systems and phenomena are topological quantum matter (Kitaev materials), quantum-criticality, or non-Hermitian phase transitions.

Job description

The project is targeted at the investigation of dynamical processes occurring on picosecond time scales in materials whose properties are characterized by strong electronic correlations. The systems under study are generally little known and understood. The goal is to uncover novel states of matter or correlation phenomena and understand these at the microscopic level.

Radiative excitation drives the system away from equilibrium, and the resulting excited state and its relaxation are investigated in in pump-probe experiments with Terahertz fields on the pump and/or probe sites. Candidates design and set up their workplace for Terahertz spectroscopy. Lasers are not just a tool, but part of the setup where candidates have no reservations to carry out basic adjustments or maintenance. They will also learn to work with cryogenic environments. The systems investigated by the candidates are novel and largely unknown. Hence the door is wide open for groundbreaking discoveries, but their study also requires confidence, determination, flexibility and out-of-the-box thinking. Candidates are never afraid to tear everything down and try a new approach, should this become necessary. Despite the focus on laser-optical experiments, the involvement of other experimental techniques and in-depth discussion with theoretical groups are likely options.

Your profile

  • You have a doctoral degree in Physics or Materials Physics.
  • You have hands-on experience with class-IV lasers and related techniques, ideally including fs-laser-driven THz generation schemes.
  • You have good background knowledge in condensed matter physics.
  • You like to work on complex problems with an urge to understand phenomena at their roots.
  • You are highly motivated, self-organized, independent, creative, and used to thinking sideways.
  • You know how to organize your working day, your goals, your students, and you know how to reach your goals
  • You are a team player who likes to work in an interdisciplinary environment at the interface between optics and condensed-matter physics.
  • You are communicative with the ability to explain your project to non-specialists in simple words.

Your workplace

Your workplace




We offer

  • Outstanding lab facilities with several femtosecond and nanosecond laser systems.
  • An international environment of mutually supportive people
  • A flat hierarchy: everyone's opinion weighs the same in scientific discussions
  • Excellent working conditions and an internationally competitive salary
  • Support for attending international conferences and workshops
  • An extensive network of scientific collaborators
  • Access to the excellent technological infrastructure of ETH Zurich
  • Administrative support
Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application. Please submit the following.

  • A cover letter stating your motivation for this position and your experience in working with class-IV lasers
  • A CV including publications and presentations
  • Diplomas and a list of courses attended
  • References (optional) as PDF files

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal.

For further information please visit our website www.ferroic.mat.ethz.ch.

Questions regarding the position should be directed by email to Dr. Thomas Lottermoser (thomas.lottermoser@mat.ethz.ch) or Prof. Manfred Fiebig (manfred.fiebig@mat.ethz.ch). Selection will start immediately, so early submissions are strongly encouraged.

About ETH Zürich

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.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application. Please submit the following.

  • A cover letter stating your motivation for this position and your experience in working with class-IV lasers
  • A CV including publications and presentations
  • Diplomas and a list of courses attended
  • References (optional) as PDF files

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal.

For further information please visit our website www.ferroic.mat.ethz.ch.

Questions regarding the position should be directed by email to Dr. Thomas Lottermoser (thomas.lottermoser@mat.ethz.ch) or Prof. Manfred Fiebig (manfred.fiebig@mat.ethz.ch). Selection will start immediately, so early submissions are strongly encouraged.

About ETH Zürich

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.