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Doctoral candidate in the field of quantum logic spectroscopy of highly charged ions (21-417-QUEST) Monday, 13. December 2021

The Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) is the national metrology institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with scientific and technical service tasks. It furthers progress and reliability in metrology for society, the economy and science. The QUEST Institute for Experimental Quantum Metrology is a joint institution of Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) and PTB Braunschweig.


With a starting date as soon as possible, the QUEST Institute is looking for a candidate to fill the following position at our Braunschweig site for an initial duration of three years:



Doctoral candidate
in the field of quantum logic spectroscopy of highly charged ions

Remuneration Group 13 TVöD Bund (85 %) ○ fixed-term contract



Your tasks: 

Highly charged ions (HCIs) are ubiquitous in the observable universe and have many advantageous properties for fundamental physics tests and use as next-generation optical clocks. Building on our recent breakthrough in the clock-like laser spectroscopy of highly charged ions with a precision jump of nine orders of magnitude, the following tasks will be pursued:


  • Participating in the ERC project titled ‘FunClocks’ and in other international cooperation projects
  • Setting up an electron beam ion trap (EBIT) with an integrated optical resonator to investigate Doppler-free spectroscopy of HCIs in close cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (MPIK), Heidelberg
  • Participating in developing quantum logic search techniques to enable the rapid identification of narrow optical transitions in HCIs
  • Performing optical frequency measurements at the technological limit
  • Developing optical clocks based on HCIs with an uncertainty of 10‑18
  • Presenting the scientific results at international conferences


You will find more detailed information about the projects and our job advertisement on our QUEST website.



Your profile:

  • You have completed your university studies (master’s degree or German Diplom) in physics or a comparable field with a very good degree.
  • You are interested in developing and performing high-precision experiments.
  • You are highly committed and capable of working autonomously.
  • You are a strong team player with excellent communication skills.
  • You have a very good command of spoken and written English.
  • A good knowledge of atomic physics, quantum optics, laser cooling, laser spectroscopy, or related fields would be an advantage.
  • You are willing to travel within Germany and abroad within the scope of your assignment.
  • You must have the physical ability to work in a laboratory and perform experiments at external sites.



We offer:

  • A position at one of the world’s leading research institutions which has an excellent infrastructure
  • Excellent national and international connections
  • Intensive PhD supervision in an interdisciplinary team as well as practical training in modern experimental technologies of laser and quantum physics and frequency metrology
  • Research leave abroad via our wide-ranging network
  • Remuneration in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement for the public service (Tarifvertrag öffentlicher Dienst Bund – TVöD for the federal level)
  • Good transport connections (bus and bike); free parking
  • In-house daycare center and canteen



You will find further information related to this position at the QUEST Institute and by contacting:
Prof. Dr. P. O. Schmidt, phone: +49 531 592 4700, email: piet.schmidt(at)ptb.de or
Dr. S. King, phone: +49 531 592-4728, email: steven.king(at)ptb.de.


PTB promotes the professional equality of women and men and is thus especially interested in applications from women.
Within the scope of the official feasibilities, PTB offers flexible part-time work schemes in order to support in particular the compatibility of work and family life.
Disabled persons will be given priority if they have the same occupational aptitude.


Please use our

Alternatively, you can post your application to us at the following address:


Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
Referat “Personal”
Reference number 21-417-QUEST
Bundesallee 100
38116 Braunschweig


Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications sent via email.


Applications can be submitted from 29 October 2021 until 13 December 2021.