Ph.D. candidate (f/m/d) in Integrated Photonics

The Leibniz Institute of Photonics Technology (Leibniz-IPHT) offers the following position (part-time, 50 - 75%) in the Research Department of Smart Photonics, starting on July 1th, 2024 or at the next possible date:

Ph.D. candidate (f/m/d) in Integrated Photonics

The position is initially limited to 3 years. An extension will be sought if suitable.

The Leibniz-IPHT is a university independent research institute with a close connection to the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena and a member of the Leibniz association.

Job description:

Computing with light has long been science fiction. This fiction is about to become a reality - thanks to nature-inspired computing paradigms based on mimicking the neuronal activity in our brains. The Smart Photonics group at Leibniz-IPHT, led by Dr. Mario Chemnitz, aims to crack this neural code with light to (a) implement sustainable hardware for the artificial intelligence (AI) of the future and (b) develop autonomous diagnostic methods for environmental and health care. For this endeavor, we seek motivated individuals from all STEM fields passionate about programming, teamwork, and technological innovation.

Specifically, we are looking for a Ph.D. student with a strong interest in computer & natural sciences, an excellent research background, and an urgent desire to expand his/her field of knowledge. The goal of the PhD student will be the implementation of integrated optical modules, such as nonlinear waveguides, fiber-to-chip couplers, and spectrometers, on innovative photonic chip platforms. In addition to the research goal, there is a special focus on the personal development of the PhD student. Methods to be learned include: (a) the design and numerical modeling of monolithic and hybrid-material waveguide structures, (b) the execution of certain tasks in the fabrication of lithographically structured wafers in a clean room environment (all supported by decades of expertise of the Competence Center for Micro- and Nanotechnology), (c) the characterization of optical losses and nonlinearities of waveguides, and (d) the application of the chip systems for optical neuromorphic computing. The project thus offers the successive development of all relevant steps of the integrated photonics fabrication chain and thus represents a unique training opportunity for a scientific or industrial career in the photonics and semiconductor sector. 

The group aims at scientific work at the highest international level. To this end, the candidate is expected to work independently and contribute actively to the group's research activities. This includes traveling to project meetings, workshops, conferences worldwide as well as producing reports, high-profile scientific publications and presentations, and making effective contributions to the group's public relations work.

Your field of activity:

  • Learning about the current state of research and basic concepts of integrated photonics
  • Design and implementation of nonlinear waveguides and various optical components on innovative material systems (e.g., including the addition of liquids)
  • Optical characterization of on-chip layer systems and waveguides
  • Application of photonic chip systems for the generation of ultra-broadband supercontinuum spectra
  • Proof-of-concept of a multi-functional, optical on-chip processor for neuronal-inspired computing
  • Independent expansion of the field of application on request
  • Support in the organization of the optical labs and the code and data repositories
  • Support of the team in questions of integrated and nonlinear optics

Your qualification:

  • Master of Science or Engineering with a strong background in physics, electrical engineering, or related fields

Your knowledge and skills:

  • Sound knowledge of programming (especially Python or Matlab)
  • Research experience in one of the fields of fibre technology, optics, photonics, materials science or physics and work experience in a clean room
  • Good communication and writing skills in English (working language)

We offer:

  • A genuinely integrative and interdisciplinary work environment: Being situated on the Beutenberg Campus in Jena, the Leibniz IPHT hosts more than 400 employees from around the world who work at the interface of physics, biochemistry, technology, data sciences, and medical sciences to develop the sensing solutions of tomorrow. The Smart Photonics group, in particular, currently comprises a diverse team of Ph.D. and master's students from physics, electrical engineering, photonics, and biophotonics.
  • A thorough and comprehensive personal training: Our primary focus points are transferring good practices in scientific working and outreach. We'll teach everything that is needed for a career inside and outside of academia respectfully and enjoyably. Moreover, plenty of workshops and opportunities for scientific exchange are offered by the Leibniz IPHT, the Abbe School of Photonics, and the Graduate Academy of the Friedrich-Schiller University Jena.
  • World-class equipment and facilities: The Leibniz IPHT offers a large variety of physics, chemistry, and biology labs at the highest standards. Moreover, it holds state-of-the-art fiber-drawing and clean-room facilities (incl. lithography units), microfluidics fabrication and big-data computing facilities. Simply everything your interdisciplinary heart beats for. The Smart Photonics group in particular has access to fiber optic laboratories with pulsed laser sources, programmable fiber modules, optical diagnostics, and a large repertoire of special functional fibers. The extensive work with fiber-coupled modules enables a low entry level into working with optical systems, ideal for interdisciplinary career changers.
  • A family-friendly working environment with various offers for families: parent-child room, campus kindergarten places, family events and more.
  • Flexible working time models, 30 days vacation/year, special annual benefit, bridging days and much more.
  • Jena – City of Science: A young and lively town with a vibrant local cultural agenda!


Salary is in accordance with the regulations of the TV-L and your qualifications and experience.

About us:

We are a modern, internationally oriented research institute. The compatibility of work and family is one of our central concerns. We value diversity and therefore welcome all applications - regardless of gender, disability, nationality or ethnic and social background. If women are underrepresented in the area of ​​the advertised position, they will be given preferential consideration if they are equally qualified.

Further information:

If you have any questions, please contact Prof. Dr. Mario Chemnitz, Email:


A compelling personal letter of motivation, which concretely states a personal research and development goal in the Smart Photonics group, is a prerequisite for a job interview.

Simply apply via our job portal ( or send your application with the usual documents (personal letter of motivation, CV, certificates, references) until June 30, 2024 by e-mail, preferably as one pdf file, quoting reference number 1267 to the:

Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena e. V.

Human Resources

Albert-Einstein-Straße 9, 07745 Jena


Code: 1267

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