2 PhD Positions Nonlinear Dynamics of 2D Nanomechanical Systems

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


2 Mar 2024
Job Information

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
Research Field
Researcher Profile
First Stage Researcher (R1)
Application Deadline
15 Apr 2024 – 21:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract
Job Status
Not Applicable
Hours Per Week
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?

Offer Description

Micro and nanomechanical systems are being adopted in billions of products, that address a wide range of sensor and actuator applications in modern technology. The advent of two-dimensional materials, and the ability to fabricate atomically thin membranes like graphene, promises further device downscaling, enabling ultimate sensing capabilities that until recently were only dreamed of. However, owing to their small size, these membranes exhibit nonlinearities at nm amplitudes and obtain a wealth of nonlinear phenomena whose potential in sensing applications are to be explored. Unlike common practice, this project will consider nonlinear dynamics not as phenomena to be avoided, but rather as new tools that can be exploited for betterment of nanomechanical performance. The project will include 2 PhD positions. The first PhD topic revolves around using nonlinear phenomena resulting from mode coupling, nonlinear dissipation or phase transitions to improve the performance of resonant sensors in closed loop. And for the second PhD topic the goal would be to understand and elucidate the phenomena that arise from the interplay between fluctuations and nonlinear dynamics. This will be achieved by thinning down 2D materials and manipulating their geometry such that intrinsic fluctuations already drive them into the nonlinear regime. Both projects will thus involve fabrication, testing, and nonlinear dynamic characterization of 2D material resonators and oscillators.

The vacant positions are in the Dynamics of Micro and Nanosystems (DMN) group. The group focuses on exploiting dynamics of small-scale systems to create technologies that can lead to new products in the fields of scientific instrumentation, consumer electronics and healthcare. Our research spans from measuring and manipulating materials at the micro and nano scale, to the design of world-class MEMS and NEMS sensors and actuators.

You will be working in an international environment in one of the leading technical universities of Europe, with access to state-of-the art micro-nano testing facilities and advanced numerical modelling tools. You will be contributing to a challenging topic related to a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator grant together with a team of 3 PhD students and 2 postdocs.

As a PhD student your tasks will include but not limit to:

  • Mastering concepts from nonlinear dynamics, fluctuations, nanoresonators, and oscillators,
  • Extending our existing theoretical and experimental frameworks in investigating dynamics of 2D materials,
  • Contributing to the teaching and assisting with nonlinear dynamics and experimental modal analysis relevant courses at the department,
  • Writing a PhD thesis, publishing in renowned computational journals, and presenting your research at international meetings.

Website and References for further reading: https://www.tudelft.nl/staff/f.alijani/

  • Manzaneque, Tomás, et al. “Resolution Limits of Resonant Sensors.” Physical Review Applied 19.5 (2023): 054074.
  • Belardinelli, P., et al. “Hidden mechanical oscillatory state in a carbon nanotube revealed by noise.” arXiv preprint arXiv:2312.14034 (2023).
  • Keşkekler, Ata, et al. “Tuning nonlinear damping in graphene nanoresonators by parametric–direct internal resonance.” Nature communications 12.1 (2021): 1099.
  • Šiškins, Makars, et al. “Nonlinear dynamics and magneto-elasticity of nanodrums near the phase transition.” arXiv preprint arXiv:2309.09672 (2023).
  • Requirements
    Specific Requirements

    We are looking for applicants with the following qualifications:

    • MSc university degree in physics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering or a related area,
    • High motivation for teamwork and good communication skills,
    • Proven experimental experience, preferably at micro and nanoscale, is essential,
    • Experience in nonlinear dynamics and /or random vibrations,
    • Good programming skills with experience in reduced-order modelling techniques is a plus,
    • Prior experience with micro/nanoresonators and oscillators is an advantage.

    Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements .

    Additional Information

    Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

    Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

    The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

    For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

    Selection process

    A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.

    Additional comments

    For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr Farbod Alijani ([email protected] ).

    Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 15 April 2024 via the application button and upload your motivation letter, MSc transcript, CV, and provide names and email adresses of 2 references.

    Only selected applicants will be contacted for an interview.

    For information about the application procedure, please contact Linda Verhaar, HR Advisor ([email protected] ).

    – You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
    – Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

    Website for additional job details

    Work Location(s)

    Number of offers available
    Delft University of Technology
    Postal Code
    2628 CD
    Mekelweg 2

    Where to apply



    Mekelweg 2
    Postal Code
    2628 CD


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