Open positions

Interested in nanoscience research? Please remember to check this page where we regularly post job offers for PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and senior scientists at the Adolphe Merkle Institute. Chemistry, materials science, analytics, physics, and biophysics are all at the core of our scientific projects. We offer a uniquely stimulating interdisciplinary research environment, state-of-the-art laboratories, excellent working conditions, competitive salaries, and outstanding career prospects. Our alumni regularly take up attractive positions in academia, public research organizations, and industry around the world.

  • PhD position: theory and simulations of plasmonic networks

    The Adolphe Merkle Institute's Soft Matter Physics group has an opening for a PhD student to investigate theory and simulations of plasmonic networks within the Swiss National Science Foundation funded project "Chiral optical metamaterials and metasurfaces" (project 188647). 


    Metamaterials are artificial structures that provide a custom-designed environment for light beyond the properties of natural materials. Metamaterials are traditionally based on isolated structures that are made of plasmonic metals and arranged on a sub-wavelength lattice. We investigate the fundamental physics of network-like metamaterials, which consist of one or more percolating plasmonic domains rather than isolated metallic objects. Next to the traditional use as optical components, we are interested in exploiting network metamaterials to engineer quantum emission.  Among the promising geometries are multiple network morphologies, and those with strong anisotropy and chirality.


    The project aims at the computation of the plasmonic modes and semi-classical quantum emission within the metamaterials in question to facilitate physical understanding and guide nano-fabrication and experiments. Possible directions include, but are not restricted to:

    • Development of a semi-bulk mode solver and connecting these modes to experimental observables
    • Development of a dynamic non-linear solver based on the Maxwell Bloch equations to model and understand pumping of active media infiltrated networks
    • Enumeration of basic physical properties for different multiple network morphologies, including homogenization, and symmetry and topological classification

    Collaboration & Infrastructure

    The successful candidate will be fully integrated in our team and work closely with ongoing experimental activities, including microwave (bound states in the continuum), near-IR (thermal emission) and optical studies. Commercial simulation tools are available in-house and will be used to guide and interpret both experimental and theoretical efforts.

    Supervisors: Prof. Ullrich Steiner and Dr. Matthias Saba

    Please send any questions, expression of interest, and/or your CV to


  • Postdoc position (100%) – Nanoparticle synthesis and analysis

    The Adolphe Merkle Institute's BioNanomaterials group research aims to study the synthesis and characterization of highly complex inorganic nanoparticles designed for biomedical applications and their behavior in biological system and their interaction with cells. In order to study ultrasmall particles in complex biological and physiological fluids, stringent control over particle synthesis parameters is required.  In addition, particle characterization is crucial during all steps and in particular in the final chemical environment the particles are exposed to. This can range from simple buffers and cell culture media to protein crowded plasma, food matrices, or cosmetic products.

     We aim to attract the best talents in the respective research field and expect:

    • A PhD degree in natural sciences/engineering with proven track record in mechanistic particle synthesis
    • Very strong knowledge in scattering techniques, electron microscopy, sample preparation, spectroscopies
    • Fluency in English – written and oral, Candidates with working knowledge in French or German will be preferred
    • Supervision of Master and PhD students in the group, involvement in teaching activities
    • An integrative and cooperative personality with excellent communication and social skills;

      We offer:

    • Excellent research facilities
    • A one year contract with the possibility for prolongation and – if successful with high impact publications and acquisition of own funding – promotion to group leader with the opportunity for a Habilitation
    • Full funding (according to the SNSF guidelines)
    • Supporting curriculum with many optional courses
    • International environment with English as the working language

     Start date:

    • To be discussed.

    Application Procedure

    Please email your application to including your CV, a cover letter, and contact information of (at least) two references with the subject title “Postdoc position (100%) BioNano group”.