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ESR fellows

Project no. Host Supervisor Name

ESR1 AU Michael Drewsen Steffen Meyer
ESR2 UNIBAS Stefan Willitsch Kaveh Najafian
ESR3 CNRS/LKB Laurent Hilico Johannes Heinrich
ESR4 UOXF Timothy Softley Lorenzo Petralia
ESR5 UDUS Stephan Schiller Ivan Kortunov
ESR6 UIBK Franco Gianturco Ibrokhim Iskandarov
ESR7 UULM Johannes Hecker Denschlag Amir Mahdian
ESR8 UBO Michael Köhl Leonardo Carcagni
ESR9 HIGHFINESSE Jószef Fortágh Milán János Negyedi
ESR10 ALPES LASERS Richard Maulini Ilia Sergachev
ESR11 CNRS/LAC Olivier Dulieu Humberto da Silva junior
ESR12 UNIBAS Stefan Willitsch Alexander Dietmar Dörfler

Michael Drewsen

Karin Fisher


Michael Drewsen

Michael DePalatis



Steffen Meyer (AU)

Steffen Meyer recently obtained his Master of Science from the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg, Germany where he worked in the group of Prof. H. Helm on fine structure resolved imaging of dissociating triatomic hydrogen. At Aarhus, Steffen joins the Initial Training Network COMIQ and the Ion Trap Group where he will work on advancing various techniques for state-preparation of molecular ions such as MgH+ and CaH+ . These techniques will allow to measure lifetimes of specific rovibrational states and to carry out reaction experiments with state prepared reaction partners.


Kaveh Najafian (UNIBAS)

Kaveh Najafian received his Master's Degree in Physics and Astronomy from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. There he investigated statistical decay-processes of carbon clusters in an electrostatic storage-ring as well as the spontaneous-decay from charged water clusters, the latter being the subject of his thesis. As part of Stefan Willitsch's group in Basel he will develop a toolbox for the coherent manipulation and precision spectroscopy of sympathetically cooled molecular ions such as N2+ in an ion trap.


Johannes Heinrich (CNRS/LKB)

Johannes Heinrich graduated from Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg with a degree in physics in 2013. Having worked on frustrated magnetism under supervision of Prof. Hanke, he joined briefly the department of technology and innovation at the SGL Group in Meitingen, where he was tasked with simulating instabilities in the Hall-Héroult process. After a stay at the university of Ulm under supervision of Prof. Hecker-Denschlag he now joins Prof. Hilico's group at the LKB in order to work on spectroscopy of captured and cooled hydrogen molecular ions.


Lorenzo Petralia (UOXF)

I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from Sapienza University of Rome. I recently received my Master’s Degree in Physics from Roma Tre University, in Rome, Italy. During my Master programme I worked on X-ray diffraction of multiferroic systems and on the development of a genetic algorithm for curve fitting at Diamond Light Source Synchrotron. I will join COMIQ ITN under the supervision of Professor Tim Softley at the University of Oxford to investigate cold ion-neutrals reactive collision working with two different sources of cold neutral molecules in combination with laser cooled or sympathetically cooled ions. ­

Ivan Kortunov (UDUS)

My name is Ivan Kortunov. I have graduated from the Moscow State University Department of Quantum Electronics as a Specialist in Physics physicist. It is my pleasure take part in the COMIQ network and develop methods for high-efficiency preparation of a single quantum state of a molecular ion and a high-precision spectroscopic determination of a fundamental mass ratio with the group of Professor S. Schiller at Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf.


Ibrokhim Iskandarov (UIBK)

I obtained my Master's degree at the University of Stuttgart in Germany. My Master thesis was in the field of Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) where I investigated the dynamics of the BEC trapped in potential which possess parity and time-reversal symmetry (PT-symmetry). As being a part of COMIQ program under supervision of Professor Francesco Gianturco at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, my research will be in a close collaboration with experimental groups and will focus on numerical structure calculations as well as in development of existing numerical codes of various dynamical processes involving molecular ions and atoms such as CN-molecules and He-atoms.

Amir Mahdian (UULM)

Amir Mahdian received his Master’s degree in physics from University of Tehran, Iran where he investigated the conversion of methane to higher valued hydrocarbons by means of a repetitive pulsed-plasma. Joining the COMIQ network under the supervision of Prof. Hecker Denschlag in Ulm, Amir investigates the elastic and inelastic collision processes between ions and atoms in a hybrid atom-ion experiment.

Leonardo Carcagní (UBO)


Milán János Negyedi (HIGHFINESSE)

My name is Milán János Negyedi. I have graduated from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics as a physicist. Previously I have worked as a research assistant at the university, in the field of laser (Photoluminescent and Raman) spectroscopy. I look forward to further develop my skills in optics. In my free time I like to read, play video games, and listen to rock music. 


Ilia Sergachev (ALPES LASERS)

Ilia Sergachev received his Master's degree in physics from Moscow State University, Russia, working on a spectral correlation based method for high precision optical measurements. He will develop quantum cascade lasers with specific properties at Alpes Lasers, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, while also taking part in Stefan Willitsch's group at University of Basel as a PhD student, where these lasers will be used for precision spectroscopy of cold molecular ions.


Humberto da Silva junior (CNRS/LAC)

Humberto received his master degree from the European Master in Theoretical Chemistry and Computational Modeling (EMTCCM), at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), under the Erasmus Mundus programme; working in the field of dynamics and fragmentation of excited molecular clusters (fullerenes and PAHs systems). At the COMIQ Initial Training Network, he joins as PhD student, the CNRS-node of Laboratoire Aimé Cotton (LAC)/Université Paris-Sud IX in the team of Dr. Olivier Dulieu, devoted to shed light on the electronic structure and dynamics of ultracold neutral/ionic molecular systems, i.e. their formation and destruction processes.


Alexander Dietmar Dörfler (UNIBAS)

Alexander Dörfler received his Master's degree in physics from the University of Innsbruck, Austria. Working in the group of Univ. Prof. Dr. Wester he was investigating the photo dissociation of vibrationally excited molecules with the goal to verify the excited fraction in order to further study ion molecule reactions of vibrationally excited molecules using reactive scattering and velocity map imaging. Joining Stefan Willitsch's group in Basel he will focus on the project to explore quantum effects in cold collisions of ultracold atoms and molecules with quantum-state-selected, cold molecular ions in an ion-neutral hybrid trap.


Karin Fisher (AU)

Karin Fisher recently obtained her Master of Science from ETH Zürich in Zürich, Switzerland. While in the Trapped Ion Quantum Information Group at ETH Zürich, Karin worked on the design and implementation of a system that was used to perform coherent state manipulations on trapped 40Ca+.  At Aarhus, she joins the COMIQ Initial Training Network where, in the Ion Trap Group, she hopes to develop femtosecond laser techniques to address low-lying rotational transitions in MgH+ as well as evaluate the possibility of using these states as qubit states.

Michael V. DePalatis (AU)

Michael V. DePalatis recently finished his PhD studies at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, USA, and has joined COMIQ as Experienced Researcher (ER). Michael will be overseeing training activities of the Early Stage Researchers (ESR) soon to join the network as well as setting up the wikisystem that will help the network reaching its ambitious training goals.


2015.02.25 | COMIQ

Outreach: The properties of matter at ultralow temperatures

25 February 2015: Public lecture aimed at high school students at University of Bonn.

2015.01.27 | COMIQ

Outreach: The properties of matter at ultralow temperatures

27 January 2015: Public lecture aimed at female high school students at University of Bonn (only girls!)

Prof. Michael Köhl

2014.12.29 | COMIQ

Publication: Photon Emission and Absorption of a Single Ion Coupled to an Optical-Fiber Cavity

Prof. Köhl at University of Bonn publishes his results in PRL.

Showing results 1 to 3 of 21

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13 experimental/theoretical PhD positions within the Marie Curie Initial Training Network:  Cold Molecular Ions at the Quantum limit (COMIQ)

COMIQ is an European Commission funded network focused at educating Early Stage Researchers (ESR) at the PhD level within a range of advanced cooling, trapping, and control techniques with the purpose of developing cold molecular ion research beyond its present state.

The aim of COMIQ is to investigate and control a variety of molecular ion processes at the very quantum limit. COMIQ will work on establishing cold molecular ions as new quantum objects for applications in quantum technology, precision measurements, and controlled chemistry. The network is highly interdisciplinary, combining quantum optics, quantum information sciences, molecular physics, and chemical physics in a novel and original fashion. We therefore invite strong candidates from all relevant disciplines to apply for a fellowship. Each fellowship has its own distinct profile and we wish the same for our future ESRs.

The network consists of ten partners, both academic and industrial, and all ESRs will be seconded at least once during the fellowship at another partner site. The 13 PhD positions, which are in short described below with indication of planned place of secondment, are available from November 1st, 2013. Most of the fellows are expected be hired within the first six months from this date, but later starting dates can potentially be accepted.

Eligibility Criteria

Research experience 0-4 years counted from the diploma that gives the rights to embark in a doctoral degree. The researcher must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of his/her host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.

How to apply?

Send the following documents to the supervisor of your preferred project:

  • Motivated application (approx. 1 page)

  • Marks sheets

  • Resumé of Master's thesis (approx. 1 page)

  • Short CV

as well as your name and address. The descriptions of the fellowships can be found below

Any questions may be submitted to this address:

Download the advert (pdf)

Still open positions

Please find below the descriptions of the still open positions. 

ESR8: Coherence and decoherence of a single-ion qubit immersed into an environment

UBOSupervisor: Michael Köhl

Host Institution: University of Bonn

Duration: 36 months

Planned secondment: University of Basel


In quantum information processing it is important to manipulate a qubit in a coherently controlled way. Trapped atomic ions have been successfully employed in this field, since they are very well isolated from the environment and therefore offer long coherence times. However, when an isolated ion is coupled to an environment, it will become gradually entangled with many degrees of freedom and therefore eventually decoheres [1,2,3]. Therefore the question remains of how quantum computing could work under realistic conditions (i.e. when there is a finite coupling between qubit and the environment), and how it could potentially be optimised.

In this project, we plan to investigate decoherence mechanisms of a single or a few trapped ions controllably coupled to an environment. Particular focus will be on the question whether the environment could also be used as a resource to generate or protect entanglement between ions. We plan to investigate this process by carefully tailoring the properties of the environment, for example its dimensionality or the coupling strength between ion and environment. To this end, the project is concerned with the design, buildup and operation of the next generation of hybrid ion traps, where the tools for fast preparation and detection of the ion‘s spin coherence are already integrated into the trap. Specifically, we plan to employ recently developed optical fiber cavities [4] as an integral part of a new setup.


[1] L. Ratschbacher et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 160402 (2013).
[2] L. Ratschbacher et al., Nature Physics 8, 649 (2012).
[3] C. Zipkes et al., Nature 464, 338 (2010).
[4] M. Steiner et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 043003 (2013).

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Revised 2015.04.20