PhD position in ultrafast imaging on ferroic materials

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

In the Laboratory for Multifunctional 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 PhD project aims at combining our internationally leading expertise in (non-)linear imaging of microscale ferroic structures with the high temporal resolution of optical pump-probe schemes. A key objective will be the investigation of dynamics in ferroic and/or phase-change materials with femtosecond temporal and micrometer spatial resolution. Candidates will explore how tailored optical, electrical, or magnetic excitations can be harnessed to actively manipulate ferroic states of matter and their domain structure far from thermal equilibrium.

Job description

To this end, they will design and realize their own time-resolved imaging setup. In this, 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. They 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 requirements.

Your profile

  • You have a masters degree in Physics or Materials Physics
  • You have hands-on experience with class-IV lasers and related techniques, ideally including pump-probe spectroscopy and/or laser-based microscopy
  • You have good background knowledge in condensed matter physics
  • You are keen to analyze complex data sets using Python, Matlab, or comparable programming environments
  • You are interested in developing new experimental methodologies
  • You like to work on complex problems with an urge to understand phenomena at their roots
  • You are highly motivated, self-organized, creative, and used to thinking sideways
  • 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 the titles and topics of your Bachelor's and Master's theses, as well as 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.

Selection will start immediately, so early submissions are strongly encouraged.

For further information please visit our website.

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).

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 the titles and topics of your Bachelor's and Master's theses, as well as 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.

Selection will start immediately, so early submissions are strongly encouraged.

For further information please visit our website.

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).

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.