PhD: Next-Generation Quantum Thermometers using Ultra-Thin Microresonant Sensors

Department/faculty: Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Level: University Graduate
Working hours: 38-40 hours weekly
Contract: 4 years
Salary: 2266 - 2897 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

Department of Precision and Microsystems Engineering (PME) of the faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering focuses on developing knowledge and methods for innovative, high-precision devices and systems, such as precision equipment and scientific instrumentation for the high-tech industry. Increasing miniaturisation and function density, and improving precision, speed and reliability are the key topics in our work. Our approach is multidisciplinary, fundamental, and inspired by industry needs.

The vacant position is in the Dynamics of Micro and Nanosystems (DMN) section in the Department PME. The group focuses on exploiting dynamics of nanophotonic systems to create microchip technologies that improve the accuracy and reliability of scientific instrumentation. Our research topics range from measurements of micro and nanodynamical systems using laser light, to the design of world-class MEMS and NEMS devices for applications like sensors. 

You will be working in an international environment in one of the leading technical universities of Europe, with access to state-of-the art cleanrooms, micro-nano testing facilities and advanced numerical modelling tools. You will be contributing to a challenging topic in a team comprising of mechanical engineers, physicists, and nanotechnologists. Your work will be carried out in close collaboration with a consortium of European universities and metrology institutes, as part of the project PhotoQuant, that aims at the advancement of on-chip thermometry.

Job description

The ability to accurately measure temperature with thermometers has revolutionized our understanding of science and is now an important capability in nearly every aspect of our technologies. As heat can be viewed as the vibrating motion of atoms in a material, the newest technologies aim to measure temperature at the level of single quanta of vibration (phonons). Micromechanical thermometers on a silicon chip are emerging as an exciting and powerful tool towards measuring temperature at this unprecedented quantum level. In this project, we will be further engineering the world’s best micromirror sensors to measure temperature at the quantum limit with lasers. This will also improve the accuracy of measurements, by facilitating traceablity to standards and fundamental constants of nature. Your task as a PhD will be to design novel nanostructures using computer simulations, bring your designs to life in a cleanroom and apply and test them in an optical setup for temperature measurements. 

It is expected that you will:

  1. Develop state-of-the-art micromechanical mirrors for quantum thermometry.  

  2. Design novel nanostructure structures using computer simulated models.

  3. Bring your new designs from simulation to reality at the nanoscale using cutting-edge cleanroom techniques.

  4. Build optomechanical characterization setups for nanophotonics.

  5. Write a doctoral dissertation, publish results in renowned peer-reviewed journals, and present research in international conferences.


Applicants should have the following qualifications:

  • MSc university degree in mechanical engineering, physics or a related area, with a solid background in dynamics, optics, MEMS or NEMS.

  • Experience in numerical modelling and analytical/computational tools. 

  • High motivation for teamwork and good communication skills. 

  • Experience in optical measurement techniques, experimental dynamics at the microscale and microfabrication are an advantage.

Conditions of employment

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Richard Norte, phone: +31 (0)6 44488945, e-mail: or contact Prof. dr. Peter Steeneken, To apply, please e-mail name of three references, a complete CV with transcripts, list of publications (if any) and a letter of motivation by 31 January 2019 to Irina Bruckner,
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number 3mE18-54.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
University Graduate
Working hours
38-40 hours weekly
4 years
2266 - 2897 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Closing date
Feb. 1, 2019
Vacancy nr.


For more information about this job, please contact Dr. Richard Norte.

T +31 (0)6 44488945

For more information about the application procedure, please contact: