PhD position - Magnetic Proximity in Semiconductor–Superconductor–Ferro Magnetic Epitaxial Systems

Context & Job description

You will join the LSS group and more specifically D17’s team at the ILL. D17 is a powerful polarized neutron reflectometer and can be exploited to investigate buried magnetic and structural interfaces. The aim of the PhD project is observing and quantifying the extent of magnetic proximity in semiconductor-superconductor-ferromagnetic epitaxial systems across hybrid interfaces, with the goal of realizing topologically protected quantum states.

The research will be carried out with systematic and iterative ‘material synthesis-characterization-analysis’ loops, to obtain insights in novel material system grown by molecular beam epitaxy at University of Copenhagen & Microsoft via use of polarized neutron reflectometry (PNR) at ILL to obtain depth resolved magnetization profiles and X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) techniques at ESRF to acquire element specific magnetic moments. This insight will result in fast & tremendous progress towards the zero-field topologically protected quantum bits, required for error-corrected scalable quantum computing.

You will also learn about various complementary techniques to quantify structural and electrical properties of the material systems such as high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy, where-in the experiments will be performed in collaboration with in-house experts. This PhD project will have strong competitive advantages and is expected to be marked by new findings in the field of quantum technologies, resulting in numerous high-impact factor publications.

Further information may be obtained from Nina-Juliane Steinke (tel.: +33 (0) 4 76 20 7638, email:, from Kim Lefmann (+45 29 25 04 76, email: and from Peter Kogstrup (

Expected profile

  • Degree allowing enrolment for a PhD (such as MSc, Master 2 de Recherche, Laurea or equivalent) in Physics, materials science or closely related science
  • A background in experimentation is desirable,
  • Manual skills and rigorous attention to detail are essential in this work environment
  • Proficiency in English (A proof of upper-intermediate level would be advantageous and can be provided in the application. Applicants originating from native-English-speaking countries can apply without the need for proof of level. An official degree conducted in English will be also accepted as a proof; Students without proof upper-intermediate level may still apply and their level of English will be checked during the interview).
  • Compliance with the Marie Sklodowska-Curie mobility rule: candidates may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than twelve months in the three years immediately before the date of recruitment.
  • At the date of recruitment, early-stage researchers must be in the first four years of their research careers and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • Candidates must satisfy eligibility criteria according to the partner university requirements for PhD enrolment.

More details about the application procedure on

Working conditions

The successful candidate will be enrolled in the doctoral school of University of Copenhagen (Copenhagen, Denmark) and based full-time at the ILL (Grenoble, France), other than a 3-months minimum secondment at Microsoft (Microsoft Quantum Materials Lab, Lyngby, Denmark) Additional visits totaling no more than 3 months may be made to the University of Copenhagen. when needed. Furthermore, a varied pedagogical training programme will be offered to the successful candidate throughout the 3-year PhD project.

More details on the InnovaXN programme on

Company description

InnovaXN is a Horizon 2020 MSCA COFUND programme providing an opportunity for 40 industrial companies to work with 40 PhD students, performing advanced research and exploiting the unique characterisation techniques of the ESRF and ILL. Through collaborations with industry, innovation will be the central theme of the programme. This will provide a unique cross academic-industry science setting, secondment opportunities and society-relevant research, training the future key researchers able to tackle major research and societal challenges.

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