Interacting Photons @ AMOLF
We received the first HILA (High Inertia, Low Acceleration) cryostat in Europe! We’re now getting ready for tunable-cavity experiments at ~5K with high stability!

I received a KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) Early Career Award!

contact Said (s.rodriguez@amolf.nl) if you would like to find out about our Masters’ projects!
See my new paper on noise-assisted optical sensing in Phys. Rev. Applied
Phase transitions of light
We probe the physics of Scaling and Universality in driven-dissipative optical systems
Nonlinear Devices
We derive functionality from optical nonlinearity and noise.
Polariton Lasing
We investigate novel hybrid light-matter systems for achieving lasing or condensation at room-temperature


The Interacting Photons group joins the Center for Nanophotonics



We have a project aimed at dynamically and locally enhancing (up to infinity) the electrical conductivity of materials inside an optical cavity. Recently, it was predicted that the coupling between a two-dimensional electron system (2DES) and an excitonic system (i.e., a semiconductor) inside a cavity can enable electrons to flow without dissipation. This transition to a superconducting state depends on the number of photons in the cavity, which can be controlled with a laser.  To explore this effect, you will measure the electrical conductivity of semiconductors inside a laser-driven tunable cavity. For this purpose, you will first fabricate micron-scale electrodes to contact semiconductor micro-crystals; this part of the research will be done in collaboration with the Garnett group at AMOLF. Once you electrically contact the micro-crystals and place them in a cavity, you will measure their conductivity while varying the cavity length and the laser power. You will perform these experiments across a wide range of temperatures, from ambient down to 4K.  To achieve this, you will use a new closed-cycle cryostat especially designed for experiments demanding extremely high mechanical stability; this is the first system of its kind in Europe, and second in the world. This ambitious project has a well-defined goal — the first observation of light-induced superconductivity with a continuous wave laser —, but there is also space for trying new things, letting your creativity flow, and collaborating with other students.


We have a project related to quantum nonlinear optical effects in tunable optical micro-cavities at low (~5K) temperatures. These experiments involve the coupling of excitons in 2D semiconductors to optical modes of tunable cavities.  The first aim is to observe the strong exciton-photon coupling regime, wherein the cavity and the semiconductor exchange energy at a rate faster than they dissipate. This strong coupling enhances optical nonlinearities, which are necessary to access the quantum regime. In this vein, a greater aim of the project is to observe highly nonlinear optical effects in tunable cavities (e.g. bistability at low photon numbers) for the first time. You will use a new closed-cycle cryostat specially designed for experiments demanding extremely high mechanical stability; this is the first system of its kind in Europe, and second in the world.


Stochastic nonlinear dynamics in tunable optical microcavities

We have several projects related to the interplay of optical nonlinearity and noise in tunable optical micro-cavities. For instance, we are currently investigating the phenomenon of stochastic resonance, wherein a finite amount of noise enhances the transmission through a system. A related phenomenon we are interested in is noise-assisted transport, wherein a finite amount of noise enhances the energy transport efficiency in complex systems;  we are looking for a Masters student willing to take up both experimental and numerical work in this exciting new direction.  Finally, we are also looking for a Masters student with a strong interest in exploring connections between statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, and optics. The two available projects involve entering largely unexplored territories in physics.  There are many opportunities for motivated students to realize breakthrough discoveries in experiment and theory within the duration of a Masters project.


About the group

We investigate physics emerging from photon-photon interactions in driven-dissipative systems. We use organic and inorganic materials coupled to tunable micro-cavities. Our fundamental interests include quantum simulation, non-equilibrium phase transitions, noise-assisted photon transport, and cavity-enhanced materials. We are also interested in applications of interacting photonic systems, e.g. optical memories, switches, sensors, and quantum networks.

Postdoc, PhD, and Masters Positions:

The three tabs on the side give you a flavor of the research projects currently available in our group. All projects involve experimental work in state-of-the-art setups, and to varying degree theoretical work in one or more of the following fields:  condensed matter, quantum optics, nonlinear dynamics, and stochastic systems. We have Masters positions throughout the year. PhD and Postdoc positions will open very soon . For further details, please contact Said (s.rodriguez@amolf.nl) and include your CV.

Who are we looking for?

We seek highly motivated and talented students to join our team. Ideally, you have a background in a physics, photonics, or closely-related discipline. You are enthusiastic about working with light, and you have a background or strong interest in any of the following:  condensed matter, nonlinear dynamics, stochastic systems, quantum optics, nanophotonics, 2D materials, optoelectronics. We have both experimental and theoretical projects available, depending on your interests.  We welcome applications from females and other underrepresented minorities in physics.