2018 Summer Internships

The Department of Applied Physics is offering summer trainee positions for summer 2018 in theoretical, computational and experimental physics.

Application period is now open! Deadline for applications is January 28. Please fill in the form (link below), and attach an application letter (max. one page), your study record and CV in PDF format to the application. Interviews will take place between Jan 30 and Feb 12, and selected candidates are contacted with job offers starting on February 13.

Apply here!


The department will arrange two info sessions about summer internships, where you can come meet the research groups and hear details about the projects. The info sessions wll be held at the Nano House lobby (Puumiehenkuja 2) at 24.1. Wed at 12-14:15 o’clock and 25.1. Thu at 14-16 o’clock.

New! Info sessions programme published here.

To complete your studies, choose your trainee positions to facilitate reporting for your studies (such as bachelor’s thesis and special assignments). Most of the department's trainee positions make this possible. There are more than twenty groups total, from which you can apply up to five.

To read about summer internship opportunities at the Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, please check out their website.


Research groups

Active Matter

Antimatter and Nuclear Engineering

Atomic Scale Physics (STM)

Complex Systems and Materials (CSM)

Computational Electronic Structure Theory (CEST)


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 Matter 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):

  1. Hybrid aggregates of living cells and inanimate colloids (contact gregory.beaune [at] aalto [dot] fi for details)
  2. Phase behaviour of self-propelled particles under motility gradients (contact jaakko.timonen [at] aalto [dot] fi for details)
  3. Dissipative and emergent patterns (in collaboration with Molecular Materials group, details: tomy.cherian [at] aalto [dot] fi)

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: "Defect-related phenomena in semiconductors and metals” 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 following 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 available computational materials and positron physics projects involve application and/or development of atomistic density-functional or quantum many-body (quantum Monte Carlo) simulation techniques for positron-defect interaction in solids.

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
  • Experiments in nuclear materials: Dr. René Bès
  • Experiments in advanced structural alloys: Prof. Filip Tuomisto
  • Theory and simulations in materials physics: Dr. Ilja Makkonen
  • Theory and simulations in reactor physics: Dr. jaakko.leppanen [at] vtt [dot] fi (Jaakko Leppänen)

Atomic Scale Physics

Prof. Peter Liljeroth

We are looking for enthusiastic students to work with us on the following experimental projects (all suitable for BSc thesis / MSc thesis / special assignment):

  • Atomic resolution AFM imaging of molecules
  • Formation of metal-organic frameworks with heavy metal atoms
  • Growth of VSe2 on Bi2Se3 for magnetic topological insulators

More details can be found here (PDF).

Complex Systems and Materials

Prof. Mikko Alava

Several positions, see more details here (PDF).

Computational Electronic Structure Theory

Prof. Patrick Rinke

1) Machine learning molecular self-assembly (PDF)

2) Quantum mechanical approach to machine learning of spectra (PDF)

3) Quantum mechanical exploration of novel photovoltaic materials (PDF)


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:

  • Thermal conductivity of defective MoS2 by molecular dynamics. More details here (PDF).
  • Accurate Basis Functions for Hybrid Density Functional Theory. More details here (PDF).

Fusion and Plasma Physics

Prof. Mathias Groth

The Fusion and Plasma Physics research group is recruiting motivated students to work within the
three sub-groups during the summer 2018. It is assumed that either a Bachelor’s thesis or a special
assignment is produced during the projects.
Further information about the group itself can be found from our website: http://physics.aalto.fi/en/groups/fusion/

More detailed information about the group and, in particular, about the projects foreseen for the
next summer will be given in the info session organized 18th of January 2018, 14.15 o’clock, at
Y338b (aka Vaaksa, 3rd floor Otakaari 1)

  • Turbulence/MHD models in ASCOT5
  • Optimizing the W7-X beams for fast ion confinement Phase-space loss map for W7-X beams
  • Fusion product and neutron transport simulations in JET/JT-60SA
  • Fast ion charge exchange losses in W-7X/JET
  • W transport in the scrape-off layer in JET plasmas
  • Assessment of the 2-point model using edge fluid codes
  • W erosion and re-deposition in different plasmas in the divertor region of ASDEX Upgrade
  • Turbulent transport simulations of pellet injection in JET plasmas
  • Energy confinement study for the FT-2 tokamak

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.


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.

Three projects are available:

  • Dissipative emergent patterns
  • pH sensitive gold nanoparticles and their plasmonic
  • Polymer gels for biomedical applications

More details on the projects here (PDF)

Multiscale Statistical Physics

Prof. Tapio Ala-Nissilä

The Multiscale Statistical Physics group is looking for a motivated summer interns to participate in various research project that include quantum thermodynamics and open quantum systems, plasmonics for radiation control, multi-scale modeling of novel 2D materials (graphene in particular) using phase-field, molecular dynamics and density functional theory approaches. The projects are typically supervised by postdoctoral researchers and done within international collaborations with the leading groups. Some experience with programming and code development is useful.

More details here and here (PDF)

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:

The summer projects are conducted in close collaboration with advanced PhD students. 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 2018:   

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

More details here (PDF).


Prof. Esko Kauppinen

NMG is looking for talented and motivated summer students to work during the summer of 2018 in following topics:

  • Carbon nanotube synthesis in FC-CVD reactors (experimental, optimization)
  • Better and novel applications with patterned carbon nanotube films (experimental, modelling)
  • Relationship between carbon nanotube film morphology and conductivity (modelling, characterisation)

More details here (PDF).

For further information, please see our group page,or contact us directly!

New Energy Technologies

Prof. Peter Lund

One summer job for a student for preparing a B.Sc. thesis on 3D printing of fuel cell materials. More details here (PDF).

Optics and Photonics

Prof. Matti Kaivola

Photonics is one of the fastest growing high-tech industries in the world today. What is still today achieved by transmitting and manipulating electrons, will tomorrow be obtained by harnessing photons. The future will be light!

The research of the Optics and Photonics group is focused on nanoscale light-matter interaction phenomena, optical metamaterials, and laser physics. The group's premises are in Micronova, the national micro- and nanotechnology center of Finland.

We offer summer jobs in the following research projects:

  • Control of light emission and absorption by nanostructuring (possible applications in light sources, solar cells and integrated photonics)
  • Ghost imaging through turbid and distorting media (possible applications in biology and medicine)
  • Ultrafast imaging using femtosecond laser pulses (possible applications in studying ultrafast phenomena and optical information processing)

We expect as a result of the trainee period a completed special assignment or a B.Sc. thesis, or an initiated M.Sc. thesis. More details here (PDF).

PICO - Quantum Phenomena and Devices

Prof. Jukka Pekola

We study charge transport and thermal properties of nanoscale electronic devices formed from superconductors, normal (non-superconducting) metals and their hybrids.  In practice, we perform experiments on devices with typical sizes ~100 nm at temperatures on the order of 100 mK.

We are looking for motivated summer students to work on, for example, one of the following topics:

  •  Single-electron counting
  •  Quantum heat engines and thermometry
  •  Maxwell's demons and stochastic thermodynamics

Details (pdf).

The projects include nanofabrication in the Micronova cleanroom, measurements at low temperatures, and modeling or simulations. We offer projects suitable for both Bachelor and Master level students, and also topics for Master's theses are available. The detailed job description will be tailored according to your background and interests; for example, you can choose to focus more on the experiments or on modeling. 

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.

  • Heat fluctuations in a driven single-electron box
  • Optimal performance of a quantum piston engine
  • Lee-Yang zeros and large-deviation statistics of Bose-Einstein condensation
  • Dynamical phase transitions in quantum many-body systems
  • Detection of spin-entanglement in Cooper pair splitters
  • Generation of entanglement in topological materials

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 studies topological quantum matter, which is a booming area in the modern condensed-matter physics. Our system of choice is superfluid 3He at ultra-low (microkelvin) temperatures. Here we find a diverse variety of properties determined by topology. They combine features of topological insulators, metals and superconductors and provide 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. Another remarkable property of 3He is spin superfluidity, which allows for construction of new generation of quantum devices. For our research we use a world-wide unique experimental equipment and state-of-the-art theoretical methods.

We encourage our summer students to participate in development of new experimental and theoretical/numerical techniques to study this fascinating system. This work will allow you to open new horizons in research and to put a solid foundation for your continuous progress from Bachelor's to Master's and Doctoral degrees.

Possible summer projects are

  • Numerical simulation of 3He implementation of a SQUID-like quantum device based on spin-coherent phenomena
  • Development of new probes based on nanoelectromechanical devices immersed in 3He
  • Design and/or practical realization of samples with nanostructured confinement to produce new topological phases of 3He

Soft Matter and Wetting

Prof. Robin Ras


We have six projects on liquid-repellent superhydrophobic surfaces, dealing with their synthesis, characterization and applications.

  • Projects #1+2 Developing new characterization methods for superhydrophobic surfaces (instructors: matti.hokkanen [at] aalto [dot] fi and mika.latikka [at] aalto [dot] fi )
  • Project #3 Synthesis of superhydrophobic surfaces (instructor: tommi.huhtamaki [at] aalto [dot] fi )
  • Project #4 Effects of structural defects on superhydrophobicity (instructor: kai.liu [at] aalto [dot] fi )
  • Projects #5+6 Application for low-friction superhydrophobic surfaces (instructors: maja.vuckovac [at] aalto [dot] fi and heikki.nurmi [at] aalto [dot] fi )


  • Project #7 Hydrophobin protein at the oil-water interface (instructor: hedar.h.al-terke [at] aalto [dot] fi )
  • Project #8 Proteins at the air-water interface as studied by spectroscopic ellipsometry (instructor: sakari.lepikko [at] aalto [dot] fi )


  • Project #9 Synthesis and characterization of metal nanoparticles and metal nanoclusters that are fluorescent, they emit light. (instructor: sourov.chandra [at] aalto [dot] fi )

All the projects involve use of state-of-the-art equipment, are carried out in a team, and have potential to result in a scientific publication.

If you want to hear more information, please contact the instructor or the group leader Robin Ras (robin.ras [at] aalto [dot] fi )

Surface Science

Dr. Jouko Lahtinen

One summer student In collaboration with Atomic Scale Physics. See here for details.

Surfaces and Interfaces at the Nanoscale

Prof. Adam S. Foster

  • Image recognition in high-resolution microscopy - This project targets an opportunity to develop a systematic machine learning software approach to understand and predict AFM images for molecules of any size, configuration or orientation. 
  • Machine learning material’s properties - The project will involve the development of the informatics infrastructure and application to problems in atomistic and electronic structure.
  • Solid-liquid interfaces - This project will develop a novel methodology for solid-liquid simulations, encapsulating the chemical and atomic structure of the surface, the nature and structure of the solution in a machine learning approach.

More details here (PDF).

Theory of Quantum Matter

Dr. Teemu Ojanen


µKI - Microkelvin Investigations

Dr. Juha Tuoriniemi

Page content by: communications-phys [at] aalto [dot] fi (Department of Physics) | Last updated: 24.01.2018.