26 January 2024

PhD Project in Laser Enhanced Fabrication of Quantum Devices


NQCP invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in Laser Enhanced Fabrication of Quantum Devices


About us

The newly established Novo Nordisk Foundation Quantum Computing Programme (NQCP) is building a talented and diverse international team to create a cutting-edge program in the heart of Copenhagen, Denmark. At the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, where the formulation of Quantum Mechanics was born 100 years ago, the ambition is to build a mission-driven full-stack approach which will involve exciting innovations at every level, from the quantum processor to the quantum-classical interface all the way to quantum algorithms and applications. The vision of the programme is to enable the development of fault-tolerant quantum computing hardware and quantum algorithms that solve important problems in the life-sciences.

Start date is 1 June 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project

State-of-the-art quantum devices will need state-of-the-art fabrication tools. In this project we will combine methods of quantum optics to enhance tomorrow's fabrication tools.  

This challenging and interdisciplinary PhD project will combine the fields of nanofabrication and laser technologies to explore fabrication methods that leverage the clean, precise and selective nature of lasers at the scale of individual atoms. The development of this technology is crucial for the next generation of quantum device fabrication techniques and has great commercial interest and potential for patenting. The skills and experience you will gather will make you highly valuable in the rapidly growing field of quantum technologies.

The 3-year project will bridge the gap between research and application, and the activities you will contribute to, and lead, include:

  • Building and operating ultra-high vacuum and laser systems.
  • Building electronics and automation schemes.
  • Learning/operating fabrication and characterization equipment e.g. STM.
  • Simulating fabrication methods.
  • Collaboration with other groups at NQCP/DTU and companies/academic groups in and around the Copenhagen area, e.g., quantum optics group, nanofabrication group, Quantum Foundry Copenhagen, Danish Fundamental Metrology (DFM) Institute etc.

Join us in this major confluence of exciting physics, brilliant minds and cutting-edge technologies backed by huge investment at the Niels Bohr Institute.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for candidates within the fields of AMO physics, device fabrication, or material science. We are looking for applicants who have:

  • Experience with using and building optics/lasers (important).
  • Experience with atomic physics and laser spectroscopy (important).
  • Experience with building UHV systems.
  • Experience or a desire to learn about quantum device fabrication.
  • Experience in modeling with 3D CAD like autodesk inventor.
  • A strong grasp of written and spoken English.
  • Fluent in a computer coding language (python or Matlab or C++ or etc).

The Scientific environment
We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment hosted by the NNF Quantum Computing Programme (NQCP) at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen.

Principal supervisor is professor Jan Westenkær Thomsen

The PhD programme

Depending on your level of education, you can undertake the PhD programme as either:

Option A: three year full-time study within the framework of the regular PhD programme (5+3 scheme)if you already have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master’s degree.

Option B: An up to five year full-time study programme within the framework of the integrated MSc and PhD programme (the 3+5 scheme), if you do not have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master´s degree – but you have an education equivalent to a Danish bachelors´s degree.


Option A: Getting into a position on the regular PhD programme

Qualifications needed for the regular programme
To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. Physics. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

Terms of employment in the regular programme
Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

The terms of employment and salary are in accordance to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure. Appointment will be subject to receipt of a security clearance.

Option B: Getting into a position on the integrated MSc and PhD programme

Qualifications needed for the integrated MSc and PhD programme

If you do not have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master´s degree, you might be qualified for the integrated MSc and PhD programme, if you have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish bachelor´s degree. Here you can find out, if that is relevant for you: General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.  

Terms of the integrated programme
To be eligible for the integrated scholarship, you are (or are eligible to be) enrolled at one of the faculty’s master programmes in Physics.

Students on the integrated programme will enroll as PhD students simultaneously with completing their enrollment in this MSc degree programme.

The duration of the integrated programme is up to five years, and depends on the amount of credits that you have passed on your MSc programme. For further information about the study programme, please see: www.science.ku.dk/phd, “Study Structures”.

Until the MSc degree is obtained, (when exactly two years of the full 3+5 programme remains), the grant will be paid partly in the form of 48 state education grant portions (in Danish: “SU-klip”) plus salary for work (teaching, supervision etc.) totalling a workload of 150 working hours per year.
A PhD grant portion is currently (2022) DKK 6.397 before tax.

When you have obtained the MSc degree, you will transfer to the salary-earning part of the scholarship for a period of two years. At that point, the terms of employment and payment will be according to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure. Appointment will be subject to receipt of a security clearance.

Responsibilities and tasks in both PhD programmes

  • Complete and pass the MSc education in accordance with the curriculum of the MSc programme (ONLY when you are attending the integrated MSc and PhD programme)
  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project

We are looking for the following qualifications:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other relevant professional activities
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in Physics
  • Good language skills



Application and Assessment Procedure

Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  2. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  3. Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
  4. Publication list (if possible)
  5. Reference letters (if available)

Application deadline

The deadline for applications is 5 March 2024 23:59 GMT +2.

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process

After deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment.

The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified and, if so, for which of the two models. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.


For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact Julian Robinson-Tait by email julian.robinson-tait@nbi.ku.dk.

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website: https://www.science.ku.dk/phd/.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position.


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 05-03-2024
Employment start: 01-06-2024
Department/Location: The Niels Bohr Institute