Postdoctoral Fellow in Physics

Catholic University of Leuven Department of Physics and Astronomy

Quantum Solid-state Physics (QSP) is a section of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, one of the five departments of the Faculty of Science of the KU Leuven. We are specialized in experimental research of functional electronic properties of solid-state systems. We focus in particular on quantum phenomena at the atomic and macroscopy scale. Eight members of academic staff lead an integrated community of more than fifty doctoral students, post-doctoral researchers and visiting professors. The research is supported by a dedicated team of instrument specialists, technicians and administrative staff. We operate a wide range of in-house facilities dedicated to thin film growth (of magnetic, superconductor, semiconductor materials) with extensive in-situ characterization capabilities, ion implantation and ion beam analysis, atomic cluster production, mass spectrometry and spectroscopy, nanolithographic patterning and device fabrication, scanning-probe microscopy and spectroscopy, low-temperature transport and magnetization measurements. A significant part of the research is also carried out using complementary techniques at international large-scale facilities, such as the ISOLDE facility at CERN, synchrotron facilities, free-electron lasers and neutron sources.


Focus of the project will be on the construction of a unique setup combining a laser-ablation cluster source with a cylindrical ion trap and a storage ring device. In this setup, small metal clusters will be trapped and excited by tunable pulsed laser light, which will allow performing very detailed spectroscopic experiments. While the cluster source is fully operational, the ion trap and the storage ring devices are currently under construction. Hence, your primary task will be to assemble and test the different components and to commission the setup. First experimental studies will include the measurement of photofragmentation channels of small metal and alloy clusters, including radiative decay. As a subsequent step, a photo-detection system needs to be designed which will be coupled to the storage ring, allowing for direct observation of photons emitted by the decaying clusters.


You are a motivated experimental scientist with a PhD in Physics or Engineering Science who loves spending time in the lab solving problems. The tasks require experience with ultra-high-vacuum technologies, high voltage devices, and signal detection electronics. Prior experience with molecular beam setups, pulsed laser systems, ion guiding and trapping, and electromagnetic simulations using software package such as Comsol or Simion are strong assets. You work in a structured, transparent and accurate way. You are a constructive team player and actively share experience and knowledge with colleagues. Your networking skills, creativity, persistence and passion for what you do are highly valued. We are looking for good communication skills in English, as you will work in a multicultural team and in international collaborations.


We offer a postdoctoral fellowship position initially for one year, which can be extended for a second year. You will receive a competitive scholarship and will be able to join a dynamic team of scientists. You will work in Leuven, a historic, dynamic and multicultural city located in the heart of Europe, within 20 minutes from Brussels, and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam. Start date is as soon as possible, the position is available immediately.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Peter Lievens, tel.: +32 16 32 84 98, mail: or Dr. Piero Antonio Ferrari Ramirez, tel.: +32 16 37 75 03, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than August 31, 2020 via the
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  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: August 31, 2020
  • Tags: Natuurkunde en Sterrenkunde
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