Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven)

PhD position: functionalization of 2d materials using ion implantation

KU Leuven

Leuven, Belgium

You will be part of the department of Physics and Astronomy of the KU Leuven which is the largest university in Belgium. You will join several other postdoctoral researchers, PhD students and staff carrying out experimental research on low-dimensional condensed matter physics. Your PhD research will be embedded in a large collaborative project involving various partners from the KU Leuven, IMEC (research center for nanoelectronics and digital technologies in Leuven), and various international partners.


2D materials, such as graphene, transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) and boron nitride hold great potential for application in nanoelectronics, spintronics, valleytronics, and quantum technologies. Towards such applications, it is crucial to understand how 2D materials can be functionalized, i.e. how to tune their electronic properties and even induce new phenomena, for example, to modify the conductivity (e.g. n-type or p-type doping), the magnetic behavior (e.g. induce ferromagnetism), or valley polarization (e.g. in TMDs). This project deals with understanding the how the electronic properties of 2D materials are modified or induced by dopant atoms (e.g. foreign atoms replacing boron or nitrogen in boron nitride). The dopants are introduced using ultra-low energy ion implantation, a novel technique for modification of 2-dimensional materials. Among a wide range of complementary experimental techniques, we rely on scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM and STS) and (angular-resolved) photo-emission spectroscopies (XPS, XPD, ARPES) for revealing the (local and non-local) electronic and magnetic properties. This fundamental understanding of the electronic and magnetic properties of the doped 2D materials will be used to explore new functional phenomena, in particular in the context of nanoelectronics, spintronics, valleytronics and quantum technologies.

At the KU Leuven, you will have access to a wide range of in-house experimental facilities for sample preparation and characterization (e.g. and scanning probe microscopy/spectroscopy ( In addition, you will have the opportunity to use unique experimental techniques in international large-scale facilities, such as synchrotron light sources and the ISOLDE facility at CERN.


Candidates must hold a Masters degree in Physics or an equivalent degree, with a strong background in solid state physics.

Proficiency in the English language is also required, as well as good communication skills, both oral and written.

We are looking for a highly driven candidate, motivated to work in an international research team, in an international environment.


We offer a full-time, 4-year PhD student position, in a dynamic scientific environment, in a top international university.


For more information please contact Prof. Lino Pereira, mail: or Mrs. Fabienne Vanalphen, tel.: +32 16 32 72 63, mail:
You can apply for this job no later than May 31, 2019 via the online application tool
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