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PhD Scholarships in Quantum Sensing with Colour Centres – DTU Physics

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
Copenhagen, Hovedstaden (DK)
Closing date
31 Jul 2024

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Job Type
PhD Position
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term
Are you fascinated by the potential of quantum technology, in particular quantum sensing, to revolutionize the way we study and understand complex biological systems? Would you like to exploit quantum sensing for delving into the intricate workings of the brain or spin- and charge-dynamics at the molecular scale?

The section for quantum physics and information technology (QPIT) at the Department of Physics, Technical University of Denmark (DTU Physics) is seeking highly motivated candidates for PhD positions within experimental quantum technologies. We offer several PhD projects with the focus on exploring quantum sensing to provide fundamental understanding of bio-physical processes. Towards this goal, the projects will apply state-of-the-art quantum sensors based on nitrogen-vacancy colour centers in diamond capable of quantum sensing of physical parameters.

The concrete projects are within the following research areas:

  • Visualizing neuronal activity in brain tissue: you will develop a quantum microscope capable of imaging magnetic field with high sensitivity and µm-scale resolution to visualize neuronal activity in brain tissue, offering unprecedented insights into brain function and neural dynamics. This research could ultimately provide valuable insights into the underlying mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, potentially unraveling the long-standing mysteries of their causes and progression.
  • Witnessing quantum coherence in radical pairs: you will develop quantum protocols and measurement sequences to sense radical pairs hosted by single and small ensembles of molecules. Your work will focus on observing quantum coherence in these radical pairs, advancing our understanding of molecular processes and quantum phenomena. This study might resolve long-standing puzzles, such as whether migratory birds use quantum coherence for migration and whether the process of photosynthesis exploit quantum coherence.

The successful candidates will be enrolled in the QPIT section at DTU Physics and affiliated with the recently established Novo Nordic Centre for Biomedical Quantum Sensing and national centre of excellence for macroscopic quantum states, bigQ. The projects will be carried out in close collaboration with national and international collaborators in the areas of quantum sensing, neuroscience and molecular biology.

Responsibilities and qualifications
Your overall focus will be to strengthen our research in micro- and nano-scale quantum sensing based on diamond nitrogen-vacancy centres. You will be responsible for operating an experimental setup with capability for spectroscopy, single photon and magnetic resonance detection over a broad frequency range. Biological sample processing will be done together with our local and international collaborators.

You have obtained excellent grades in your Bachelor/Master education, you have a background in experimental physics, and you are curios to explore in detail the intricate workings of physical processes in biological systems. Ideally, you have experience in optics, spectroscopy and electronics and you enjoy applied quantum physics. You preferably have training in programming, for example in Python for hardware control and data analysis. You are highly motivated for conducting experimental research, you are willing to work in a team and you have a ‘can do’ attitude. Good communication skills in both spoken and written English are a requirement. You are expected to teach and supervise BSc and MSc students.

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU's rules for the PhD education.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Alexander Huck together with Ulrik L. Andersen.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

The period of employment is 3 years. Starting date is 1 October 2024 (or as soon as possible). The position is a full-time position.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Alexander Huck, or Ulrik Lund Andersen

You can read more about the QPIT section at DTU Physics at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 31 July 2024 (23:59 Danish time). Apply online here: PhD Scholarships in Quantum Sensing with Colour Centres.

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply now", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English) including official description of grading scale
  • Two references for the inquiry of recommendation letters

In the field “Please indicate which position(s) you would like to apply for”, please indicate which project you are applying for (title from the above list of PhD projects or individual research projects).

Incomplete applications will not be considered. You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear mission to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That mission lives on today. DTU has 13,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

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