E-Newsletter for members
Published monthly
Nr. 2 - September 2005

Editor : Anne Rougemont
Tel. 022 / 379 64 99
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Open PhD positions
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at the University of Geneva : Sinphonia Project
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at the ETHZ/PSI : 2 PhD positions still available


University of Geneva - Sinphonia Project
With the start of the specific targeted research project Sinphonia (Single-photon nanostructured detectors for advanced optical applications) funded by the EU (involving 9 European laboratories), the DPMC (Condensed matter physics department) and the GAP (Group of Applied Physics) optics section of the Geneva university have an open position for a PhD student.
Sinphonia's objectives :
- Fabricate single-photon optical detectors with unprecedented performance at telecom wavelengths (more efficient, much faster and less noisy than commercially-available avalanche photodiodes)
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Demonstrate their implementation in applications by industrial partners
The detectors are superconducting nanostructured meander.
The PhD student research activities will include :
- development and/or optimization of cryogenic test set up at low temperature (1 K)
- characterization of the devices produced by other participant labs (morphological, electrical, optical)
- study and/or modeling of the physical process involved in the devices operation
- device operation in a quantum cryptography setup
- optimization of the detection characteristics


The successful candidate must have a diploma or masters in physics, preferably in condensed matter physics, and show interest for experimental physics. The candidate should be able to communicate in English and French (or be willing to learn French).
Please send your resume which will include a short description of previous research experiences, a short letter of motivation and if possible letters of recommendation to : corentin.jorel@physics.unige.ch and hugo.zbinden@physics.unige.ch.
Expected beginning : December 2005.

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2 PhD opportunities in Quantum Magnetism - ETHZ/PSI
Two PhD positions are still available at the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering (ETH Zurich and Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen, Switzerland), for research in low dimensional and extended quantum magnetism. Quantum magnetism remains at the forefront of condensed matter physics, as the archetype of strongly correlated systems. Coupled to powerful experimental techniques, this field provides an ideal arena to develop and study new concepts in physics, as well as understanding more complex emerging materials.

We offer PhD projects in 2 important topics of current interest :

1 - Coupled and frustrated spin clusters : read all details
2 - Vibrating quantum magnets : read all details

The bulk of both theses will consist in neutron scattering investigations of the structures and spin-dynamics of magnetic compounds. Neutron experiments will be mainly performed at the Swiss spallation neutron source of the PSI, in an active research and social environment including 6-8 fellow PhD students. Supplementary experiments at other facilities (ILL, France and ISIS, UK) will provide additional international research experience. The neutron work may be combined with other experimental techniques and theoretical modeling, to which neutron scattering data are particularly suited.

Applicants must fulfill the requirements for a PhD candidate at ETHZ, including a master degree or diploma in Physics with good knowledge in condensed matter physics.

Starting date: September-December 2005 - Duration: 3 years.
Please direct applications and questions to : Henrik M. Ronnow, Oksana Zaharko or Joel Mesot.

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