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Ph.D. student position in EU International Traning Network on precision spectroscopy of a single trapped molecular ion

Düsseldorf (Germany)

A PhD student position within the Marie Curie Initial Training Network “Cold Molecular Ions at the Quantum limit” (COMIQ; is available in the group of Prof. Stephan Schiller at the Institute for Experimental Physics at the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf (Germany).

COMIQ is a European Commission funded network focused at educating Early Stage Researchers (ESR) aiming for obtaining a PhD degree, within a range of advanced cooling, trapping, and control techniques with the purpose of developing cold molecular ion research beyond its present state-of-the-art. The aim of COMIQ is to investigate and control a variety of molecular ion processes at the quantum limit. COMIQ will work on establishing cold molecular ions as new quantum objects for applications in quantum technology, precision measurements, and controlled chemistry. The network is highly interdisciplinary, combining quantum optics, quantum information sciences, molecular physics, and chemical physics in a novel and original fashion. Besides the research work in the group of Prof. Schiller, the ESR researcher will benefit from the participation in several training schools that will be organized by the COMIQ network on all aspects of cold molecular ion research.

The research project of the PhD thesis:

In our group we are initiating a new project based on a cryogenic ion trap that will combine cold Helium buffer gas cooling with sympathetic cooling by laser-cooled Beryllium ions. The application will be precision vibrational spectroscopy of quantum-state-prepared simple molecular ions such as HD+, H2+, D2+. The technique will be developed so as to be able to perform studies on single trapped molecular ions. The final goals are tests of QED theory in molecules and determination of fundamental constants.

The project is an extension of our long-standing research on quantum optics of cold molecular hydrogen ions. The work performed so far can be seen in the publication list on the group’s website (

The researcher will develop this project, characterize the performance of the experimental method, and perform a first spectroscopic study. In the course of the work, the researcher will develop his/her skills in vacuum, cryogenics, optics, laser, electronics, spectroscopy, and numerical modelling.

The team:

The researcher will work in a team of experts in sympathetic ion cooling, THz and mid-IR spectroscopy of molecular ions, molecular ion quantum state preparation, optical frequency measurements, ultrastable lasers, and molecular hydrogen ion theory. The team is complemented by strong electronics engineering support.


Salaray approx. 40.000 € per year (according to ITN regulations). Benefits as provided by the regulations of the university

Eligibility Criteria:

The positions are open to all nationalities. The candidate may already have up to 4 years of research experience after obtaining the Master degree. The researcher must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Germany for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account. How to apply?

Applications and inquiries should be directed to Prof. Stephan Schiller.

Applications should include the following documents:

Motivation for the application (approx. 1 page)

Transcripts of academic records including marks (both Bachelor and Master studies)

Master and Bachelor thesis (also if in a foreign language)

Curriculum Vitae, with description of skills

Contact details of at least two referees

Web site for additional job details:


Required Education Level:

Degree: Master Degree or equivalent

Degree Field: Physics

Required Languages: ENGLISH; Language Level Very Good

Contact information:

Prof. S. Schiller,

Institut für Experimentalphysik, Universitätsstr. 1/25.42.O1.22

40225 – Düsseldorf


mobile +49-176-43049716


Application deadline: 31. 12. 2014

Closing Date
31 Dec 2014

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