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PhD Research Fellow in Semiconductor Defects for Quantum Technologies

Deadline: 05.05.2024

Universitetet i Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest rated institution of research and education with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. Its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally esteemed research communities make UiO an important contributor to society. 

The research at the Department of Physics covers a broad range of subfields within physics and technology: From space research to medical physics.

A good proportion of the research is interdisciplinary, and conducted in close cooperation with collaborators in Norway and abroad. Education and teaching are other essential activities. We offer a broad range of courses, and the Department is involved in several study programmes at bachelor’s and master’s level. Some of the best lecturers in Norway are amongst our employees, and we are proud of our prizewinning teaching and learning environment. The Department has 200 employees, of which 50 are permanent scientific positions. On a yearly basis 20 students complete their Ph.D. and 50 finish their M.Sc. degree.

About the position

Position as PhD Research Fellow in Semiconductor Physics is available at the Department of Physics/Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology, University of Oslo. 

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo. Starting date no later than November 1, 2024.

The fellowship period is 3 years. A fourth year may be considered with a workload of 25 % that normally consists of teaching. This is dependent upon the qualification of the applicant and the current needs of the department.

Job description

The field of quantum technology (QT) aims to exploit the most exotic consequences of quantum mechanics for real-world applications, and promises massive impacts on fields ranging from communication and cryptography to sensing and computing. Importantly, quantum sensors harness the rapid interactions between quantum systems and their environment. They are expected to detect smaller changes, provide better spatial resolution, or measure physical effects that are not accessible with the sensor technology of today. Indeed, this could lead to imaging of interactions between neurons and improve our understanding of the brain, or mapping of magnetic fields for wider subsea and space exploration. However, it has been challenging to find the balance between control of the quantum state, robustness to noise, signal detection and, importantly, scalability. Thus, there is an ongoing race to discover and characterize new quantum compatible platforms that satisfy these fundamental criteria.

In this project, we will explore and develop point defects in semiconductors – imperfections in the material that are often seen as something to avoid – for QT applications. Point defect-based QT facilitates quantum bits based on either the electron spin or photon polarization and is well suited for optical readout using the single photon emitter (SPE) property. Importantly, point defect SPEs can operate at room temperature (RT), in contrast to most other available QT platforms that require milli-kelvin temperatures to function. 

Specifically, the current project is related to control and understanding of single-photon emitters in the technologically mature materials Si and SiC, and novel materials like AlN. We aim to achieve defect integration with electrical and photonic devices, and we will explore how quantum emitters in these materials can be utilized for quantum sensing applications. 

In this PhD Research Fellowship, we seek a candidate who will take part in the development of semiconductor point defects for QT applications. The work of the PhD candidate will mainly be of experimental character, and in particular related to electrical and optical characterization, as well as fabrication and modeling of test structures. 

Relevant tasks may be a combination of: 

  • Investigation of defect formation in Si, SiC, and other materials. 
  • Electrical and optical characterization of quantum emitters. 
  • Design and modeling of electronic and nanophotonic devices.
  • Use of large facilities (e.g., muon beamlines) for depth resolved studies of semiconductor defects and devices. 

The PhD Research Fellowship is funded by the Academia Agreement with the aim to develop semiconductor materials and devices for future generation quantum technology, with a particular emphasis on quantum sensors for the green transition.

The PhD Research Fellow will be closely knit with the supervisor’s other projects and activities, and in several cases work in a larger team with colleagues at the University of Oslo and partners internationally. 

The PhD research fellow will be affiliated with the semiconductor physics group LENS (Light and electricity from novel Semiconductors) with around 50 highly dedicated professors, researchers, postdocs, PhD fellows, engineers, admin and master students. The research group has an excellent infrastructure covering chemical, structural, optical and electrical characterization methods, device fabrication and simulations. The infrastructure includes the Micro- and Nanotechnology Laboratory (MiNaLab) with a clean room area in excess of 400 m2 with a multitude of modern fabrication and characterization facilities.

The LENS group is part of the Physics Department and the Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology (SMN). SMN is an interdisciplinary collaboration between five research groups in physics and chemistry, and spearheads the MN faculty’s efforts for sustainable energy solutions. The Centre comprises UiO’s focus on renewable energy, materials science, and nanotechnology. 

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition to be among Europe’s leading communities for research, education and innovation. Candidates for these fellowships will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.


  •  Master’s degree or equivalent in physics or materials science
  • Foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system
  • Solid background in semiconductor physics including experience with semiconductor processing or characterization
  • Strong data analysis skills, e.g., using Python or MatLab
  • The position's subject area may require licensing under the Norwegian Export Control Act. In order to be considered for the position, it is a prerequisite that UiO must be able to be granted such licence

Candidates without a Master’s degree have until 15 August, 2024 to complete the final exam.


Two or more of the following;

  • Well-documented experience with processing in a cleanroom facility
  • Experience with optical characterization, particularly using luminescence spectroscopy (or related techniques). Experience with quantum emitter characterization, such as photon correlation measurements, is a plus
  • Experience using electrical characterization of semiconductors, from conventional capacitance-voltage and current-voltage measurements to spectroscopic techniques like deep level transient spectroscopy (DLTS)
  • Experience with semiconductor device modeling such as TCAD

Grade requirements:

The norm is as follows:

  • The average grade point for courses included in the Bachelor’s degree must be C or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The average grade point for courses included in the Master’s degree must be B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The Master’s thesis must have the grade B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • For candidates who would like to apply for a fourth year including teaching, good knowledge of Norwegian or another Scandinavian language is strongly preferred.
  • English requirements for applicants from outside of EU/ EEA countries and exemptions from the requirements

The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree. 

The fellowship requires admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The application to the PhD programme must be submitted to the department no later than two months after taking up the position.

For more information see here.

Personal skills

  • We seek a candidate who is flexible, good at taking initiative and has excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Having to work in a setting with many co-workers, we seek a candidate who enjoys working in a team

We offer

  • Salary NOK 532 200 – 575 400 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement 
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • Career development programmes
  • Oslo’s family-friendly surroundings with their rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Cover letter - statement of motivation and research interests
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work)
  •  Copies of the original Bachelor and Master’s degree diploma, transcripts of records and letters of recommendation
  • Up to one letter of recommendation from a direct supervisor/mentor (optional)
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • List of any publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)
  • Applicants who are interested in teaching need to add to this application a description of their motivation for and (if any) experience with teaching.

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system (please follow the link “Apply for this job”). Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English or a Scandinavian language.

Interviews will be part of the hiring process.

The research area for the position may include technologies referred to in the Ministry's export control regulations and all candidates will be evaluated in accordance with these regulations.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

UiO has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. Furthermore, we want employees with diverse professional expertise, life experience and perspectives.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

Contact information

For further information please contact: Marianne E. Bathen, phone: +47 99107859, e-mail: m.e.bathen@fys.uio.no  

For questions regarding Jobbnorge, please contact HR Adviser Elin Thoresen, e-mail: elin.thoresen@mn.uio.no

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