PhD Candidate in Condensed Matter Physics for the Synthesis of 2D Materials

Research / Academic

The goal of this PhD project is to develop, build and operate a vacuum compatible exfoliation center for the creation of heterostructures constructed from reactive 2D materials.

Recently, two-dimensional (2D) materials, e.g. graphene, have gained much attention in research for their special physical properties compared to their three-dimensional counterparts. Halides or transition metal dichalcogenides in particular, but also many other material compounds, show great potential for future device applications because of their special superconducting, magnetic or transport properties. However, typically these materials are very reactive and deteriorate quickly under ambient conditions or even in the dry atmosphere of a glove box.

Your goal will be to establish a new synthesis method and subsequently investigate these materials using local probes at ultra-low temperatures, including scanning probe microscopy and magneto-transport. Using these newly developed material systems, you will investigate physical phenomena such as superconductivity, charge transport, and unconventional memory/computing. Your teaching load may be up to 10% of your working time.

Our Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) group has long-standing expertise in developing very specialised and world-class scientific instruments [1]. Furthermore, we have successfully explored the surface properties of bulk black phosphorus [2] and demonstrated its potential as a platform for orbital memory [3] and even brain-inspired computing [4]. The next natural step is to investigate materials mentioned above in their 2D limit [5].

Relevant references:

[1] Allwörden et al., RSI 89, 033902 (2018), Design and performance of an ultra-high vacuum spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscope operating at 30 mK and in a vector magnetic field..

[2] Kiraly et al., Nano Lett. 17(6), 3607 (2017), Probing Single Vacancies in Black Phosphorus at the Atomic Level.

[3] Kiraly et al., Nat. Commun. 9, 3904 (2018), An orbitally derived single-atom magnetic memory.

[4] Kiraly et al., Nat. Nanotechnol. 16, 414 (2021), An atomic Boltzmann machine capable of self-adaption.

[5] Kamlapure et al., Nat. Commun. 13, 4452 (2022), Tuning lower dimensional superconductivity with hybridization at a superconducting-semiconducting interface.


  • You obtained a Master’s degree in physics with a Master’s thesis on an experimental research topic.
  • You have good English communication skills (verbal and written).
  • You are keen to further develop your scientific communication skills through presentations and publications.
  • You have a strong interest in condensed matter physics.

Salary Benefits:

  • We will give you a temporary employment contract (1.0 FTE) of 1,5 years, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, your contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4-year contract).
  • You will receive a starting salary of €2,770 gross per month based on a 38-hour working week, which will increase to €3,539 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • You will receive an 8% holiday allowance and an 8,3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Support Service. The Dual Career Programme assists your partner via support, tools, and resources to improve their chances of independently finding employment in the Netherlands. Our Family Support Service helps you and your partner feel welcome and at home by providing customised assistance in navigating local facilities, schools, and amenities. Also take a look at our support for international staff page to discover all our services for international employees.
  • You will receive extra days off. With full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the statutory 20.

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week


Houtlaan 4