The Italian Institute of Technology is an interdisciplinary research institute based in Genoa/Italy with activities in Nanomaterials, LifeTech, Computational Sciences and Robotics. The Optoelectronics research group focuses on the investigation of emerging nanomaterials and nanodevices and employs state-of-the-art spectroscopies and nanofabrication for the development of proof-of-concept devices. We are looking for talented, enthusiastic young scientists who are highly motivated to boost their research career in the areas of nanosciences, photonics and nanotechnology.
The successful candidates will be part of an emerging project carried out at the Optoelectronics group at IIT with supervision from Prof. Roman Krahne and Prof. Denis Garoli with the funding of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Networks HORIZON-MSCA-DN-2021 project called DYNAMO.
DYNAMO is designed as an innovative and pioneering training network, with the unique vision of developing the next-generation hybrid nanopore technology exploiting DNA nanostructures integrated with multifunctional solid-state platforms.
Research / Job description
The Optoelectronics group has developed a strong expertise in nanopore technologies and optical spectroscopy of nanomaterials. Within the DYNAMO our task is the design, development and fabrication of nanopores that integrate plasmonic nanostructures for optical and magnetic trapping and promote near-field enhancement to enable the detection of single molecules.
Design and modelling for nanopore single molecule sequencing with a focus on hybrid plasmonic nanopores for engineered electromagnetic field confinement
Objectives: Based on our consolidated experience on solid state and plasmonic nanopores for single molecule spectroscopies and trapping, this project aims at modelling, designing and validating hybrid plasmonic nanopores that integrate functional components from noble metals, and 2D- and magnetic materials. The candidate will identify different configurations for optimized single molecule manipulation and detection. The simulations will explore how the electromagnetic field can be localized and phenomena such as enhanced spectroscopies, thermophoresis, optical and magnetic forces. The designed structures will be fabricated in clean-room facilities. In collaboration with the other partners in DYNAMO, the plasmonic nanopores will be employed to perform translocation control and single molecule detection. The modelling will also include data analysis to reconstruct the information obtained from the nanopore with the potential use of machine learning models.
Expected Results: To have validated plasmonic nanopore approaches for single molecule spectroscopy. To have a full comprehension of the physical phenomena that can be obtained in a hybrid plasmonic nanopore.
Fabrication of hybrid Plasmonic nanopores for engineered electromagnetic field confinement and single molecule experiments
Objectives: This project aims at the fabrication of solid-state nanopores with integrated plasmonic and magneto-optical structures, such as nanoantennas and designs that act as optical tweezers. The design concept of such functional nanopores will also comprise the integration of biomolecules (such as DNA origami) toward hybrid structures. The candidate will mainly work on the design and fabrication of the plasmonic nanostructures, which eventually shall also be extended to large arrays. The designed and prepared samples will be shared within the partners of the DYNAMO project in order to perform translocation control and single molecule detection.
Expected Results: To have reproducible methods to fabricate hybrid plasmonic nanopore arrays for single molecule spectroscopy and to have a robust platform to perform single molecule studies (considering trapping effect and electro-optical detection).
Both position will profit from the Planned secondments in the frame of DYNAMO, where the successful candidates will visit the groups of Chirmin Joo at Delft University, Jerome Wenger at CNRS Marseille, Ulrich Keyser at Cambridge and Paolo Vavassori at CIC nanoGUNE.
Both positions will profit from the Planned secondments in the frame of DYNAMO, where the successful candidates will visit the groups of Chirmin Joo at Delft University, Jerome Wenger at CNRS Marseille, Ulrich Keyser at Cambridge and Paolo Vavassori at CIC nanoGUNE.
The DYNAMO consortium groups 9 hiring Universities/Research Centers: Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) - Genova; TU Delft (NL), University of Cambridge (UK), CNRS (Marsille - France), CIC nanoGUNE (San Sebastian - Spain), University of Leipzig (Germany), University of Berlin - Humboldt University (Germany), University of Milano Bicocca (Italy). Together, these universities have a proven track record in the single molecule analyses, spectroscopies and manipulation and are the leaders in their field in Europe. 1 Industrial Partner is completing the Doctoral Network, with a view to the commercial applications of the technologies under development.
Each of the 11 DYNAMO Doctoral Researchers will be trained to work in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams. For this inclusion to occur, each Doctoral Researcher will develop through their research the missing dedicated materials, tools and techniques, and apply them to a representative set of solutions under development. This hands-on training is supplemented with several scientific professional courses and an immersive training where the Doctoral Researchers can fine-tune their skills for the Jobs of tomorrow, while addressing the societal challenges of the DYNAMO program.
Opportunities for JRs when joining DYNAMO
The successful candidates will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for Doctoral Researchers. The exact (net) salary will be confirmed upon appointment and is dependent on local tax regulations and on the country correction factor (to allow for the difference in cost of living in different EU Member States). The salary includes a living allowance, a mobility allowance and a family allowance (if married). The guaranteed PhD funding is for 36 months (i.e. EC funding, additional funding is possible, depending on the local Supervisor, and in accordance with the regular PhD time in the country of origin). In addition to their individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences. In particular:
Participate in a highly committed network of academic and industrial leaders in the field of nanopore technology, single molecule spectroscopies and advanced nanostructures design and fabrication.
Participate in a worldwide unique training programme, comprising individual research projects, interactive and hands-on courses, workshops and secondments covering the entire route to application of material sciences:
In-depth knowledge on the potential and limitations of state-of-the-art nanopore technologies.
In-depth knowledge on single molecule spectroscopies and single molecule electrical measurements.
Training in intellectual property, business models, and regulatory approval pathways.
Personalised training with room for development of personal and transferable skills (leadership, analytical, communication, interpersonal, free thinker mindset, creativity).
Initiate network-wide events, such as workshops and symposia.
Prepare for excellent performance in academia, industrial R&D, project management, consultancy and beyond.
Career stage: Early Stage Researcher
To apply for a PhD fellowship, candidates must hold an internationally-recognized Master-equivalent degree in physics, nanoscience or engineering.
Experience in experimental and/or theoretical research on nano-optics and/or nanofabrication will be highly appreciated, but is not mandatory.
Supported researchers must be doctoral candidates, i.e. not already in possession of a doctoral degree at the date of the recruitment.
Conditions of international mobility of researchers: researchers are required to undertake trans-national mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up the appointment. No restrictions of citizenship apply to the PhD fellowship.
At the time of selection by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.
English language: candidates must demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training.
Terms of employment – PhD fellowship
The position is intended as full-time (38 hrs / week, 12 months / year) appointment under IIT contract. The fellowships are offered for periods up to three years.
The selected PhD student will work under close supervision of Denis Garoli and Roman Krahne and benefit from direct mentorship. He/She will also benefit from several symposia and courses specially developed for them within the DYNAMO network (6 weeks planned over the duration of the PhD program).
A PhD degree from The University of Milano-Bicocca will be granted after successful completion of the PhD research.
The employment is to start as soon as possible and on February 1st 2023 at the latest.
a Curriculum Vitae
a presentation letter with declaration of interests and a description of your past achievements (max. 1 page)
contact email of two potential references
a scanned copy of your university academic transcripts in English
a scanned copy of the Master degree, if available at the time of application
a scanned copy of standardized English test results (TOEFL, TOEIC,…) if available
Applications should be submitted by email to
Selection is based on merit and potential, measured in terms of academic record and personal achievements. Proactivity, participation in community activities, and capacity for teamwork are also taken into account.
The call will remain open until the position is filled.