2017 Summer Internships

The Department of Applied Physics offered summer trainee positions for the summer 2017 in theoretical, computational and experimental physics. This is a record of those projects.


Research groups

Active Matter

Antimatter and Nuclear Engineering

Atomic Scale Physics (STM)

Complex Systems and Materials (CSM)

Computational Electronic Structure Theory (CEST)

Computational Soft and Molecular Matter (CSMM)

Electronic Properties of Materials (EPM)

Fusion and Plasma Physics

KVANTTI - Superconducting Qubits and Quantum Microwave Photonics

Molecular Materials (Molmat)

Multiscale Statistical Physics (MSP)

NANO - Quantum Circuits and Noise

Nanomagnetism and Spintronics (NanoSpin)

Nanomaterials (NMG)

New Energy Technologies

Optics and Photonics

PICO - Quantum Phenomena and Devices

Quantum Computing and Devices (QCD)

Quantum Dynamics (QD)

Quantum Nanomechanics (NEMS)

Quantum Transport (QT)

ROTA - Topological Quantum Fluids

Soft Material and Wetting (SMW)

Surface Science

Surfaces and Interfaces at the Nanoscale (SIN)

Theory of Quantum Matter

μKI - Microkelvin investigations


Project descriptions

Active Matter

Prof. Jaakko Timonen

Active Matter group is broadly interested in dynamics of soft and living matter. We are looking for enthusiastic students who are interested in experimental research to work on the following topics (all suitable for BSc thesis / MSc thesis / special assignment):

  • Self-propulsive colloidal particles and their synergistic motion and organization
  • New manipulation techniques for living cells based on optical and magnetic forces
  • Pattern formation in complex fluids by using a combination of dynamic electric and magnetic fields

More details here (PDF).

Antimatter and Nuclear Engineering

Prof. Filip Tuomisto

There are two general themes for summer projects in the antimatter and nuclear engineering group: "Development and application of positron annihilation spectroscopy to studying vacancy defects in novel compound semiconductors" and "Modeling of physical phenomena in nuclear reactors". The detailed topic and tasks will be tailored according to the background of a successful candidate. The work may involve using positron-emitting 22Na isotopes either directly in contact with studied samples for substrate analysis or using magnetically guided slow positron accelerators for thin film studies, or performing heavy computer simulations.

The followig review gives some idea of the kind of work done within the antimatter topical area:"Defect identification in semiconductors with positron annihilation: Experiment and theory", Reviews of Modern Physics 85, 1583 (2013).

The reactor physics work is done in close collaboration with the Serpent group at VTT, led by Adj. Prof. Jaakko Leppänen: http://montecarlo.vtt.fi/.

For further information on possible project topics, please contact the following people:

  • Experiments in novel semiconductor materials: Dr. jonatan.slotte [at] aalto [dot] fi (Jonatan Slotte)
  • Experiments in nuclear materials: Dr. rene.bes [at] aalto [dot] fi (Réne Bès)
  • Theory and simulations in materials physics: Dr. ilja.makkonen [at] aalto [dot] fi (Ilja Makkonen)
  • Theory and simulations in reactor physics: Dr. jaakko.leppanen [at] vtt [dot] fi (Jaakko Leppänen)

Atomic Scale Physics

Prof. Peter Liljeroth

We have the following experimental projects:

  • Atomic resolution AFM imaging of molecules
  • Formation of metal-organic frameworks with heavy metal atoms
  • Electrochemical delamination transfer of graphene/hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) heterostructures

More details can be found here (PDF).

Complex Systems and Materials

Prof. Mikko Alava


  • Imbibition of complex fluids


  • Plastic deformation of crystalline solids
  • Micromagnetic simulations of magnetic domain wall dynamics
  • Modeling confined low density particulate gels
  • Physics of curling

More details here (PDF).

Computational Electronic Structure Theory

Prof. Patrick Rinke

Computational Soft and Molecular Matter

Dr. Olga Lopez-Acevedo


Electronic Properties of Materials

Prof. Martti Puska

The research of the EPM group aims at the understanding of the properties of materials and nanostructures including the associated physical phenomena using the state-of-the-art electronic structure calculation methods. A wide range of different materials from semiconductors and insulators for electronics devices to novel materials for energy harvesting and storage are in focus. We have also long traditions in developing and implementing computer methods we need in our research.

We offer two summer projects:

  • "Monte Carlo simulation of ordered defect compounds in CuInSe2 solar cells" is connected with an international research project (http://sharc25.eu/) and it includes learning materials physics and modeling with some programming. More details here (PDF).
  • In the project "Iterative solution of self-consistent-field equations - modern approaches" modern methods are implemented to an existing electronic structure code. More details here (PDF).

Fusion and Plasma Physics

Prof. Mathias Groth

  • W transport in JET L-mode plasmas: OSM + EDGE2D-EIRENE and DIVIMP
  • Influence of radiation trapping on detachment in the JET-ILW divertor
  • 2-point model analysis of JET plasmas using EDGE2D-EIRENE
  • Fast particle confinement in JT60-SA in the presence of magnetic field perturbations
  • Confinement properties of beam-injected high-energy ions in W7-X
  • Neutron and gamma production in fusion plasmas
  • The Balance of Power in Fusion Plasmas
  • Literature survey on the derivation of the GAM dispersion relation

More details here (PDF).

Kvantti - Superconducting Qubits and Circuit QED

Dr. Sorin Paraoanu

The Kvantti group is focusing on experimental realizations of synthetic quantum systems using superconducting circuits. The basic quantum components of these circuits are resonators and qubits: these can be coupled together with the goal of creating a more complex architecture. One can envision the use of these circuits as simulators that realize a mathematical mapping of a real many-body system (e.g. systems of spins, gauge fields) whose properties (dynamics, phase transitions) are difficult to compute with present-day classical computers. We welcome motivated students to join our group and learn and contribute to the design, fabrication, and measurement of the first-generation such circuits. We are located in the Low Temperature Laboratory infrastructure facility (in Nanotalo) of the Department of Applied Physics.

For the summer of 2017, we are proposing the following two topics. Both of them are well suited for a B.Sc. thesis as well as for special assignments and M.Sc. thesis, with the tasks adjusted correspondingly.

  • Adiabatic driving in superconducting circuits
  • The art of measuring single quanta

More details here (PDF).

Molecular Materials

Prof. Olli Ikkala

Molecular Materials (Molmat) is a multidisciplinary research group consists of physicists, chemists and biologists aiming at functional materials based on supramolecular and supracolloidal self-assembly and its hierarchies. Molmat group is located at the Nanotalo building in the Otaniemi campus area. Currently, we are engaged in the bio-mimetic self-assembly and biosynthetic hybrid materials. The Molmat group is a leader of HYBER, the Academy of Finland´s Centre of Excellence in Molecular Engineering of Biosynthetic Hybrid Materials research (2014-2019), led by Professor Ikkala.

Multiscale Statistical Physics

Prof. Tapio Ala-Nissilä

The Multiscale Statistical Physics group is looking for a motivated summer intern to participate in multi-scale modeling of novel 2D materials, and graphene in particular, using the recently developed Phase Field Crystal approach. This work is done in a large international collaboration with the leading modeling groups in this field. Some experience with programming and code development is useful.

NANO - Quantum Circuits and Noise

Prof. Pertti Hakonen

The Nano group of the Low Temperature Laboratory investigates fundamental quantum phenomena in nanostructures using low temperature and electronic transport measurements. By combining the latest development in superconductivity and layered two-dimensional materials, we develop in ultrasensitive sensors/amplifiers for various applications in basic science. The summer jobs involve tasks on:

For further information and for a lab tour, please call 050 344 2316 or send e-mail to pertti.hakonen [at] aalto [dot] fi

Nanomagnetism and Spintronics

Prof. Sebastiaan van Dijken

The Nanomagnetism and Spintronics (NanoSpin) Group explores the physics of nanoscale materials and devices. We are particularly interested in active control of magnetic and magneto-optical phenomena, tailoring of resistive switching effects in functional oxides, and high-resolution characterization of atomic-scale ionic migration and optoelectronic processes. These research topics are relevant for the development of wave-based computing technologies, low-power brain-inspired computers, and non-volatile memory devices. In the NanoSpin group, we grow our own nanomaterials using vacuum deposition systems, utilize photo- and e-beam lithography for nanoscale patterning, and employ a large variety of techniques for structural, magnetic, electronic, and optical characterization.

We want to widen your horizon and expertise by offering a varied experience in our laboratory. All summer projects involve the use of multiple experimental techniques and an introduction to numerical simulations. Daily supervision is provided by an Academy Research Fellow or senior postdoc from the NanoSpin group. We encourage students to summarize the work in a bachelor's thesis or special assignment. The following projects are available during the summer of 2017:   

  • Electric-field control of magnetic spin waves
  • Skyrmion bubbles in magnetic thin films and nanostructures
  • Brain-inspired computing using oxide tunnel junctions
  • In-situ transmission electron microscopy of functional oxide materials

More details here (PDF).


Prof. Esko Kauppinen


New Energy Technologies

Prof. Peter Lund

  • Dye solar cells & perovskite solar cells (materials, devices, modeling)

  • Nano-composite fuel cells (materials, devices)

  • Energy sustainable communities and energy frugality (modeling)

More details here (PDF).

Optics and Photonics

Prof. Matti Kaivola


PICO - Quantum Phenomena and Devices

Prof. Jukka Pekola

We offer summer projects on quantum refrigerators, single-electron counting, and superconducting qubits. If you are interested, please contact us for further details.

Quantum Computing and Devices

Dr. Mikko Möttönen

Quantum Dynamics

Prof. Päivi Törmä

Quantum Nanomechanics

Prof. Mika Sillanpää

Nanomechanical systems near the quantum limit, superconducting qubits, quantum hybrid systems. Experimental work done in the premises of Low Temperature Laboratory. There are several projects offered this year under the titles:

  • Superconducting quantum computer devices
  • Circuit optomechanics
  • Simulation of mechanical vibrations coupled to spin waves
  • Vibration isolation for BlueFors dilution refrigerator

All the projects are designed to be suitable as a special assignment or bachelor's thesis work. In many cases they can also be extended as a diploma work. Most of the experimental projects involve design, fabrication and measurement of the devices, and give an excellent overview of cutting-edge experimental research on an exciting topic. Also a fully theoretical/computational project is available.

More details here (PDF).

Quantum Transport

Prof. Christian Flindt

Our group works on theoretical problems concerning electronic transport in quantum conductors. Central research topics include dynamic single-electron emitters, noise and fluctuations in electronic conductors, single-electron tunneling and interactions, and charge transport in hybrid microwave-cavity architectures. In related areas, we are also interested in non-classical correlations and entanglement as well as quantum jump trajectories. We employ a range of theoretical tools from scattering theory, quantum many-body physics, and statistical mechanics.

  • Exploring the Limits of a Quantum Refrigerator
  • Cooper Pair Splitter for Entanglement Generation
  • Entanglement Detection in Dirac Materials
  • Supercurrents in Topological Josephson Junctions

We have openings for summer students with a strong interest in theoretical physics. Possible research topics include the ones listed above, but projects can also be tailored according to the interest and background of the student. More details here (PDF).

ROTA - Topological Quantum Fluids

Dr. Vladimir Eltsov

The ROTA group works in the field of topological quantum matter - a booming area in the modern condensed-matter physics. Our system of choice is superfluid 3He at ultra-low (microkelvin) temperatures, which exhibits a diverse variety of properties determined by topology, combining features of popular topological insulators and superconductors and providing analogies with the structure of the whole Universe. New features are continuously discovered. We are interested in particular in emergent quasiparticles with non-trivial properties, like Majorana and Weyl fermions or analogues of Higgs boson. The dynamic behaviour and interaction between the objects of different topology are also investigated. For this research we use a world-wide unique experimental equipment and state-of-the-art theoretical methods.

The summer project will be connected with development of new types of probes of the vacuum states and topological excitations in quantum liquids. Possibilities are

  • MEMS-based mechanical probes
  • SQUID-based nuclear magnetic resonance probes
  • Samples with nanostructured confinement to produce new topological phases of 3He

Soft Matter and Wetting

Prof. Robin Ras

The SMW Group is looking for talented and motivated summer students to work during the summer of 2017 in following projects:

  • Preparation and characterization of cellulose aerogels for implementation in sensors
  • Fabrication of soft and elastic hydrophilic/superhydrophobic patterned surfaces
  • Deposition of nanoliter droplets using hydrophilic/superhydrophobic patterned surfaces

More details here (PDF).

Surface Science

Dr. Jouko Lahtinen

  • Electrochemical delamination transfer of graphene/hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) heterostructures (In collaboration with Atomic Scale Physics. See here for details.).

Surfaces and Interfaces at the Nanoscale

Prof. Adam S. Foster

  • Probing atoms and bonds - the project will involve using quantum simulation approaches to interpret state-of-the-art experimental measurements of atomic scale structure, and related physical and chemical phenomena.

  • Machine learning material’s properties - the project will involve the development of the informatics infrastructure and application to problems in atomistic and electronic structure.

  • Assembling molecular networks - the project will involve the application of quantum approaches to predict the structure and properties of potential networks, and couples with local experimental activities.

  • Scanning Probe Microscopy simulation toolkit - the project will involve code development to include image recognition capabilities, allow for easy electron tunneling models, and to interface with commonly used experimental analysis software.

More details here (PDF).

Theory of Quantum Matter

Dr. Teemu Ojanen


µKI - Microkelvin Investigations

Dr. Juha Tuoriniemi

  • Quantum interfaces

Page content by: communications-phys [at] aalto [dot] fi (Department of Physics) | Last updated: 11.01.2018.