Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia - IIT

Post-doctoral position in Flat optics for complex light structuring

Salva tra i preferiti

Project: Structured light by means of dielectric optical metasurfaces

Commitment & contract: 1-year collaboration contract (renewable)

Location: Milan, Italy, CNST IIT@Polimi


At IIT we work enthusiastically to develop human-centered Science and Technology to tackle some of the most pressing societal challenges of our times and transfer these technologies to the production system and society. Our Genoa headquarter is strictly inter-connected with our 11 centres around Italy and two outer-stations based in the US for a truly interdisciplinary experience.


The Vectorial Nano-imaging Research Line ( is coordinated by Dr. Antonio Ambrosio ( ) who joined IIT from Harvard University in 2020.

With the external support of a competitive grant from the European Research Council (ERC consolidator grant METAmorphoses) and an IDEAS project from the European Space Agency, the research is oriented towards three main directions that, although diverse, often interestingly contaminate each other in the lab:

  • Structured light by means of dielectric optical metasurfaces – After introducing the first dielectric metasurface q-plate [Optics Express 25, 377 (2016)] and the metasurface J-plate for the most general spin to orbital angular momentum conversion [Science 358, 896 (2017)] while at Harvard University, Ambrosio’s group recently realized arrays of Orbital Angular momentum lasers. In a recent paper [Nature Photonics 16, 359 (2022)] they show 100 coupled lasers carrying orbital angular momentum. More interestingly, the laser network is tuned through the topological charge of the lasers. Moreover, healing effects restore the topological charge of each laser to that of the network.
  • Scanning Probe Microscopy of polymeric and 2D materials – The Vectorial Nano-imaging group is using Scanning Probe microscopy to investigate polaritonic waves in 2D materials. With respect to the observation of phonon polaritons that they demonstrated with different optical near-field techniques in the mid-IR [Light: Science and Applications 7:27 (2018); Science Advances 4:eaat7189 (2018); Science Advances 5:eaav8690 (2019)], they have now the possibility to target excitons in semiconductive 2D materials in the visible and near-IR. Moreover, the group is also complementing optical nano-spectroscopy with mechanical analysis at the nanoscale, on polymers and 2D materials, as this recent paper shows [ACS nano doi:10.1021/acsnano.1c11107 (2022)].
  • Reconfigurable flat optical devices – This is a research that strongly involves the unique characteristic of surface structuring in azobenzene-containing polymers. Antonio Ambrosio discovered and reported the crucial aspects of such phenomenon years ago [Nature Communications 3:989 (2012); Physical Review Letters 110, 146102 (2013)] and the group is now exploiting this possibility to create optical devices that are, in fact, not just tunable but shapeshifting: gratings can tun into lenses and back into gratings, if and when needed [Advanced Materials Interfaces 8, 2101375 (2021); Optics Express 30, 12695 (2022);  Laser and Photonics Reviews 16, 2100514 (2022)]. Introducing structured light in the process is the next step to achieve new schemes for several applications, from optics to microfluidics.

Within the team, your main responsibilities will be:

  • Participate in the modeling, fabrication and characterization of newly developed optical and optoelectronic devices.
  • Confer with principal investigator to review work assignment and develop plans for research experiments.
  • Review work of lower level laboratory personnel and assist in training new personnel.


  • A PhD in physics, nanotechnologies, photonics, engineering or related areas.
  • Proven nano-fabrication skills and backgrounds in photonics, plasmonics and optics.
  • Experience in using frequency and/or time-domain simulation methods and related software and CAD suits, including COMSOL Multiphysics, Lumerical – FDTD.
  • Experience in nano-fabrication of optical and optoelectronic devices using: Electron Beam Lithography; Photo-lithography; thin film deposition; Reactive Ion Etching; Atomic Layer Deposition.
  • Proven track record of publications in the relevant technical areas and projects.
  • The ability to properly report, organize and publish research data.
  • Documented experience in coaching junior scientists.
  • Proficiency in English is essential.


  • Good communication skills (oral and written).
  • Strong organizational skills and problem solving attitude.
  • High motivation to learn.
  • Spirit of innovation and creativity.
  • Good in time and priority management.
  • Ability to work in a challenging and international environment.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a highly interdisciplinary environment.


  • Competitive salary package for international standards.
  • Private health care coverage.
  • Wide range of staff discounts.
  • Candidates from abroad or Italian citizens, who permanently work abroad and meet specific requirements, may be entitled to a deduction from taxable income of up to 90% from 6 to 13 years.


  • An equal, inclusive and multicultural environment ready to welcome you with open arms. Discrimination is a big NO for us!
  • We like contamination and encourage you to mingle and discover what other people are up to in our labs!
  • If paperwork is not your piece of cake, we got you! There’s a specialized team working to help you with that, especially during your relocation!
  • If you are a startupper or a business-minded person, you will find some exceptionally gifted professionals ready to nurture and guide your attitude and aspirations.
  • If you want your work to have a real impact, in IIT you will find an innovative and stimulating culture that drives our mission to contribute to the improvement and well-being of society!
  • We stick to our values! Integrity, courage, societal responsibility and inclusivity are the values we believe in! They define us and our actions in our everyday life. They guide us to accomplish IIT mission!

If you feel this tickles your appetite for change, do not hesitate and apply!

Please submit your application using the online form and including:

  • A detailed CV with a full list of publications, plus a final section titled “Relevant skills” commenting on the strong points where your CV matches the required skills (list above).
  • Name and contacts of 2 referees.

Application’s deadline: August 14, 2022

The position will be open until a suitable candidate is found but preferential treatment will be given to applications received before July 10, 2022 with a possible starting date on September 16, 2022.

We inform you that the information you provide will be used solely for the purposes of evaluating and selecting professional profiles in order to meet the requirements of Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia.

Your data will be processed by Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, based in Genoa, Via Morego 30, acting as Data Controller, in compliance with the rules on protection of personal data, including those related to data security.

Please also note that, pursuant to articles 15 et. seq. of European Regulation no. 679/2016 (General Data Protection Regulation), you may exercise your rights at any time by contacting the Data Protection Officer (phone Tel: +39 010 28961 - email: - kindly note that this e-mail address is exclusively reserved for handling data protection issues. Please, do not use this e-mail address to send any document and/or request of information about this opening).

Primary Location MILANO POLIMI

Job Postdoc

Organization Vectorial Nano-Imaging

Job Posting May 18, 2022, 6:03:32 PM

Dettagli del lavoro

Salva tra i preferiti

Altri lavori per questo datore di lavoro

Informazioni sul datore di lavoro

IIT aims to promote excellence in basic and applied research and to promote the development of the national economy.

Visita la pagina del datore di lavoro

Storie rilevanti

Shining a Light on Next-Generation Microchips Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography ARCNL 4 min. di lettura
Solar Fuels: Harnessing Energy From the Sun Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER) 4 min. di lettura
The Power of Ultrafast Lasers Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography ARCNL 4 min. di lettura
Going Nuclear to Save Time University of Jyväskylä 5 min. di lettura
Making Perception Engineering a Reality University of Oulu 4 min. di lettura
Altre storie