Department of Physics and Astronomy

PhD student in two-dimensional quantum materials (MSCA COFUND project PRISMAS)

PRISMAS - PhD Research and Innovation in Synchrotron Methods and Applications in Sweden – is a new doctoral network training the next generation of 40 leading synchrotron experts and is co-funded by the Horizon Europe MSCA COFUND Programme. As a PRISMAS PhD student, you will have the chance to conduct cutting-edge research in your field, taking advantage of state-of-the-art tools that will lead to attractive future job opportunities in academia or industry. Moreover, you are part of designing the future of synchrotron technology and instrumentation and using these to tackle some of the most significant global challenges the world faces today while acquiring interdisciplinary and intersectoral knowledge. Being part of the PRISMAS programme gives you a one-of-a-kind experience in the form of a secondment at the world´s first 4th generation synchrotron, MAX IV in Lund, Sweden. With a tailored training programme, including courses to build scientific and technical competence as well as strengthen transferrable skills, PRISMAS provides you with the skills, knowledge and competence needed to successfully achieve your doctoral degree.

The MSCA COFUND project PRISMAS offers you outstanding opportunities as well as a stimulating and inspiring surrounding for performing cutting-edge research. By supporting your mobility, it creates perfect conditions for strengthening your international network.

The research conducted at the Department of Physics and Astronomy encompasses a wide range of physics topics, distributed over nine divisions. The department is located in the Ångström laboratory and employs nearly 400 people, 100 of whom are doctoral students. It offers a broad physics curriculum to undergraduate and graduate students, participation in nationally and internationally leading projects for researchers, and opportunities for partnership with industry and various outreach activities. Here, the program Condensed Matter Physics of Energy Materials research aims to develop an understanding of electronic properties at the atomic level and new functional materials for energy and environmental applications. Read more on

The Quantum Material Device group at Uppsala University is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg (KAW) Foundation to push the boundaries of quantum materials research. The group's overarching research focuses on developing innovative quantum material devices, investigating charge, spin, and orbital quantum phenomena, and exploring their potential for various applications such as energy-efficient memory and logic devices, flexible spintronic devices, novel quantum sensors, and intelligent spin-integrated and neuromorphic circuits. The group employs two-dimensional (2D) crystals such as graphene, 2D semiconductors such as dichalcogenides MoS2 and MoSe2, 2D insulators like hexagonal boron nitride, and special laminates and precisely angle-oriented 2D van der Waal heterostructures. Experiments involve comprehensive low-temperature (down to 10 millikelvins) charge, spin (orbital) transport, and magneto-optics to uncover novel ordering, exotic charge and spin phenomena, and emergent physics. These experiments are enabled by developing custom-built in-house instrumentation and precision measurement techniques. In addition, the novel materials are also explored by advanced X-ray spectroscopic techniques.

The PI Assoc. Prof. Venkata Kamalakar Mutta (link to his interview in European Physical Society) from the X-ray Photon Science division of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University. He is an expert in quantum material device physics of nanoelectronics and spintronic devices, innovative device fabrication, synthesis of 2D materials, and instrumentation and precision charge, spin, and orbital measurements. He was awarded an ERC-consolidator grant in 2020 and leads the Quantum material device group (host group) with 4 Ph.D. students and 4 Postdocs.

Co-PI Dr. Zhaojun Li is known for her internationally recognized work on functionalized 2D material for optoelectronics. Co-PI Assoc. Prof. Andreas Lindblad is an expert on charge dynamics study with electronic structures probed by X-rays. He specializes in nanometric profiling of the elemental and chemical specificity of the novel hetero-layers we will produce in this project. Co-PI Dr. Anirudha Ghosh is an expert in the field of soft x-ray spectroscopy. He is currently stationed at Veritas beamline in MAX IV Laboratory, and specializes in understanding the charge and spin dynamics of correlated electron systems, 2D van der Waal materials, superconductors, etc. The secondments at MAX IV Laboratory will be under his supervision.

Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at Uppsala University.

Two-dimensional (2D) material van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures exhibit extraordinary quantum traits for next-generation nanoelectronics, spintronics, and optoelectronic applications. The project aims to investigate the quantum (electronic, phononic, and magnonic) properties and phenomena in novel directly-chemical vapor deposited 2D material heterostructures and their functionalized defect-passivated systems, and develop innovative devices. Here we will explore a new direct growth of 2D material heterostructures, for example, semiconducting MoS2 on graphene. Recently, we have innovated the growth of composite 2D heterostructures by nucleation-defined chemical vapor deposition. In this project, we specifically aim to probe the electronic structure of these new quantum materials via advanced x-rays spectroscopic tools, such as angle-resolved photoemission (ARPES), resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS), ambient pressure x-ray photoemission spectroscopy (APXPS), nano and micro-(ARPES), to uncover the band structure and surface charge transfer in directly CVD-grown 2D heterostructures of MoS2 over graphene and 2D magnets (Chromium Telluride) over graphene. This will help in understanding spin-orbit coupling and its influence on the electronic and magnonic (involving magnetic 2D materials) band structure in 2D heterostructures. In addition, the project will involve the investigation of defect passivation by chemical treatments on CVD-grown 2D materials. These objectives will impact the understanding of the properties of the directly grown 2D heterostructures and engineering their properties for efficient next-generation optoelectronic and spintronics devices, which will be innovated with these quantum materials. This project is expected to significantly contribute to pushing the boundaries of 2D quantum materials.

The focus of the project will be to synthesize innovative two-dimensional (2D) material heterostructures and characterize them using advanced transport, magneto-optic, and x-ray spectroscopic techniques. The student will be part of exciting developments at Uppsala University in 2D material research and get an exciting opportunity to learn, employ, and innovate the growth of 2D materials by chemical vapor deposition techniques, and various in-house measurement and characterization techniques at the Quantum Material Device laboratory. In addition to growth, this project would involve significant utilization of X-ray spectroscopic techniques to uncover the band structure of the novel 2D heterostructures, 2D passivated materials, finding intricate details using advanced spectroscopic techniques in achieving the project objectives.

The training implies a secondment of 3-12 months at MAX IV laboratory in Lund, Sweden. Additional secondments and/or short stays may be arranged in agreement with the supervisor of the research project. Moreover, you will attend international conferences, participate in periodical project meetings and training schools as well as in specialised courses at different universities to complement your knowledge.  A certain amount of travelling is foreseen in relation to these activities.

To meet the entry requirements for doctoral studies, you must

  • To comply with the mobility rule of the MSCA COFUND programme, you are eligible if you have not resided in Sweden for more than 12 months during the period 2020-10-30 to 2023-10-31 for work or studies as main occupation.
  • By the employment date (before 2024-03-01) you must have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, have been awarded a Master´s degree in Physics or have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.
  • Within the required education, you need specialization in one of the subjects such as solid-state physics, condensed matter physics, materials science, or other appropriate discipline.

Additional qualifications

  • Experience and exposure to X-ray spectroscopic technique are beneficial.
  • Experience in graphene and 2D materials, nanodevices, flexible electronics, and cleanroom experience will be considered a merit.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines.

About the employment
The employment is a temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. The position is a full-time, fixed term employment for four years, forseen to start on 1 March 2023. Admission to the doctoral studies takes place at Uppsala University.

The holders of these positions have a primary obligation to successfully fulfil their postgraduate (third cycle) education ending with a doctoral degree (PhD). A position as doctoral student can contain some limited teaching or other departmental work at the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The maximum amount of such work is 20%.

How to apply
Applications are to be submitted via the VARBI and must include the following documents:

  • CV in Europass format
  • A two-page cover letter, justifying your interest in the position and how it matches your qualifications as well as the prioritization in case of applying to several PRISMAS positions.
  • at least one reference letter
  • an evidence of English 3 proficiency (minimum B2 level)
  • Copy of academic records, including marks for all coursework with a transcript of diploma in English,
  • and any other document to which you would like to draw attention (details of referees, letters of recommendation, etc.)

All documents should be uploaded (pdf) in the job application portal. Exam certificates and other documents on paper should be scanned or photographed before being uploaded.

In regard to incomplete applications (especially if lacking the abovementioned documents), the PRISMAS Management reserves the right to exclude them in the selection process, without any additional notification to the applicant. 

The application will be evaluated based on scientific excellence, the adequacy of your career plan and your thesis project as well as your research experience.

Details on the novel, unique and common selection process for all the PRISMAS positions can be found here: How to apply – MAX IV (

For further information about the position, please contact:
 Venkata Kamalakar Mutta,

If you have questions on the selection process, please contact:

For questions on the employment conditions and the university, please contact:

Please submit your application by 17 november 2023, UFV-PA 2023/3221

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? Find out more about what it´s like to work and live in Sweden.

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2024-03-01 or as agreed
Salary Fixed salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Uppsala
County Uppsala län
Country Sweden
Reference number UFV-PA 2023/3221
Union representative
  • ST/TCO,
  • Seko Universitetsklubben,
  • Saco-rådet,
Published 13.Sep.2023
Last application date 17.Nov.2023 11:59 PM CET

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