PhD openings

The Nanoionics group currently has two PhD student openings:

Cleaning with analytes/cathalytes

An extreme example of an ionic suspension is when the suspension is made of nanoscopic (~100nm) gas bubbles. How is the solution stable to dissolution, or coalescence, or ripening? Moreover, how do the bubbles interact with a wall? For sure it is known from experiments on the macroscale that bubble interfaces are charged. Why is this, is it still true on the nanoscale, and can it be controlled? Further, do charged bubbles (where we expect the surface charges to be mobile) behave according to traditional expectations for electrokinetic effects? We aim to answer these questions using state-of-the-art experimental tools. The application perspective of these solutions is seemingly limitless, including flotation (for bacteria), accelerated germination, reduced plant disease in hydroponics, and cleaning. This project is funded by industry.

Single-molecule, real-time electronic DNA sequencing

Over recent years, our group has developed fluidic nanodevices that count among the most sensitive electrochemical sensors built to date. We have pushed this approach to its ultimate limit, namely, the electrochemical detection of single molecules in nanofluidic devices. We are now interested in adapting this approach for a specific high-end application: sequencing of DNA at the single-molecule level using electrical signals in a manner suitable for large-scale integration on a chip. From a technical point of view, the project involves developing a microfluidic interface to our nanogap sensors and optimizing fluid transport so as to suppress random fluctuations due to Brownian motion. Conceptually, this requires developing a deep understanding of stochastic signals including their measurement and analysis. This project is a collaboration with several academic and industrial partners including Intel Labs.

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How to apply

For PhD positions, a background in physics or applied physics is highly desirable. Candidates from related disciplines such as biophysics, (physical) chemistry, electrical engineering and nanoscience are also welcome. While our primary focus is on experiments, interests and aptitudes in theory are also desirable. The PhD positions are for 4 years. We aim at research at the highest international level, and candidates who fit into this environment are invited to submit an application letter, CV, and names/contact information of 3 or more references to Prof. Serge Lemay (

Postdoc openings

We are always on the lookout for excellent scientists who share our interests. While we formally have no postdoctoral opening at the moment, suitable candidates – in particular with a background in microfabrication or electrochemical measurements – are invited to contact Prof. Serge Lemay ( to explore possibilities. Please include a CV, publication list and names/email addresses of 3 or more references.