Positions for one PhD student and one post-doc are available at the Condensed Matter Physics Center (IFIMAC) of the Autonomous University of Madrid within the framework of the ERC Starting Grant project TOPOQDot (A bottom up topological superconductor based on quantum dot arrays) directed by Dr. Eduardo J. H. Lee.

Topological superconductors are currently a topic of strong research interest, largely due to their exotic boundary states known as Majorana zero modes. Apart from being a solid-state analog of a Majorana fermion (a particle that is its own antiparticle), Majorana modes hold great promise for applications in topological quantum computation, where information is stored and processed non-locally, rendering it robust against local sources of decoherence.

While topological superconductors are not readily available in nature, experimental efforts (guided by theory) are currently directed towards engineering them from existing materials. Hybrid superconductor-semiconductor nanostructures are one of the most promising platforms in this respect. First experimental signatures of Majorana modes have been reported in this system, although a fully conclusive demonstration is still missing.

This project will focus on a yet unexplored methodology towards engineering a topological superconductor, by controllably assembling it from arrays of quantum dots. Indeed, the sub-gap Andreev states of a quantum dot in contact with an “ordinary” superconductor are known to be “atomic” precursors of a topological superconductor. By studying the hybridization of Andreev states, this project aims to shed light on the fundamental mechanisms of the formation of a topological superconductor, and to provide a demonstration of its realization. The project builds on some of our previous work, which focused on the single dot limit (Lee et al, PRL 2012; Lee et al, Nature Nanotech. 2014; Lee et al, PRB 2017).

The experimental work will involve the nano-fabrication of hybrid superconductor-semiconductor quantum dot devices (using optical and e-beam lithography), and low temperature quantum transport experiments.

We are looking for highly motivated collaborators to join this project. Requirements for the PhD position: master´s degree, preferably in physics or a closely related discipline. Prior experience in (experimental) condensed matter physics will be valued. The selected candidate will receive funding for 4 years. Requirements for the post-doc position: PhD degree preferably in condensed matter physics or a closely related discipline, and experience in at least one of the following topics: quantum transport, cryogenic techniques and nano-fabrication. The selected candidate will receive funding for 3 years.

For further information and to apply, please contact Eduardo J. H. Lee (eduardo.lee@uam.es). Applications should include a cover letter, CV, contact information for at least two references and grade transcripts. Applications received by July 31st, 2017 will receive full consideration.