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2019 Summer Internships

Photographer: Roee Cohen

Application period is open and the deadline for applications is January 28. Please fill in the

application form

and attach as one single PDF to the application:

- application letter (max. one page),
- your study record  (Oodi record for Aalto students) and
- CV

Interviews will take place between Jan 30 and Feb 11, and selected candidates will be contacted with job offers starting on February 12. 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 will be held in the Nano House lobby (Puumiehenkuja 2) on Tuesday Jan 15 at 10:00-12:00 o’clock and Wednesday Jan 16 at 14:00-16:00 o’clock. Please see the full schedule below:

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 in total, and you can apply to work in up to five of these.

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

If you are interested in a summer internship at CERN, ESRF or other large-scale European research facility, please check the following websites:

Research groups offering internships (scroll down the page for detailed project descriptions in alphabetical order according to group name)

Active Matter Multiscale Statistical and Quantum Physics Soft Matter and Wetting
Antimatter and Nuclear Engineering Nanomagnetism and Spintronics Superconducting Qubits and Circuit
Atomic Scale Physics New Energy Technologies Surface Science
Complex Systems and Materials Optics and Photonics Surfaces and Interfaces at the Nanoscale
Computational Electronic Structure Theory Quantum Circuits and Noise Topological quantum fluids
Electronic Properties of Materials Quantum Computing and Devices NanoMaterials (NEW! Added Jan 15)
Fusion and Plasma Physics Quantum Dynamics  
Microkelvin investigations Quantum Nanomechanics  
Molecular Materials Quantum Transport  


Active Matter

Prof. Jaakko Timonen

Active Matter group carries out experimental research in the field of soft and active matter physics. Systems of interest include colloidal matter, self-propulsive particles, micro-organisms, cellular aggregates, magnetic tweezers, capillary phenomena and ferrofluids. We are looking for enthusiastic students who are interested in experimental research to work on the following topic (suitable for BSc thesis / MSc thesis / special assignment)

  1. Density-velocity relation in artificial run-and-tumble systems

Mandatory requirements for obtaining an internship position include excellent command of spoken and written English and good understanding of foundations of soft matter physics, statistical physics and/or biophysics. Prospective students are encouraged to contact Dr. Nikos Kyriakopoulos ([email protected]) or prof. Jaakko Timonen ([email protected]) for details (please attach your CV in the email).

More details here:

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:

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

Atomic Scale Physics

Prof. Peter Liljeroth

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

  • Atomic resolution AFM imaging of molecules
  • Growth of epitaxial monolayer ferromagnetic transition metal dichalcogenides

More details can be found here:

Complex Systems and Materials

Prof. Mikko Alava

This year, we offer summer internship projects in both experimental and computational physics:


  1. Foam flow in narrow channels
  2. Transition from discrete particles to complex liquids
  3. Identifying materials with hyperspectral imaging and machine learning
  4. Rheological properties of particle laden fluids
  5. Deformation of materials


  1. Modeling the flow of viscoelastic fluids in confined geometries
  2. Coarsening of foams made of non-Newtonian liquids
  3. Orientation of elongated particles by accelerating flow fields
  4. Computational Fluid Dynamics of multiphase suspension flows
  5. Statistical physics of non-equilibrium systems and fracture

See more details here:

Computational Electronic Structure Theory

Prof. Patrick Rinke

  1. Artificial intelligence for materials physics
  2. Quantum mechanical design of novel photovoltaic materials
  3. Quantum mechanical approach to machine learning of spectra

See more details here:

Electronic Properties of Materials

Prof. Martti Puska

  1. Properties of two-dimensional MXene layers by experiments and simulations
  2. Development of physics exercises (in Finnish)

See more details here:

Fusion and Plasma Physics

Prof. Mathias Groth

  1. Turbulent fields/MHD models in ASCOT5 for more comprehensive physics coverage in fast ion modelling
  2. Optimizing the W7-X beams for fast ion confinement and phase-space loss map for W7-X beams
  3. Fast ion charge exchange losses: W7-X stellarator, JET and MAST-U tokamaks
  4. Predictions of divertor plasma conditions in tokamaks using the edge fluid code SOLPS-ITER
  5. Nitrogen breakup and transport in tokamak divertor plasmas 
  6. W erosion and re-deposition in the divertor region of the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak
  7. Subdivertor neutral dynamics in JET

See more details here:

Microkelvin investigations

Dr. Juha Tuoriniemi

The group offers a summer trainee position with a project títle "Superfluid dressed carbon nanotubes".

Molecular Materials

Prof. Olli Ikkala

The group offers a summer trainee position with a project títle "Preparation of colloidal magnetic colloids with tunable sizes".

See more details here:

Multiscale Statistical and Quantum Physics

Prof. Tapio Ala-Nissilä

The Multiscale Statistical and Quantum Physics group, which is part of the new Quantum Technology Finland (QTF) Center of Excellence, is looking for motivated summer interns (and M.Sc. thesis students) to participate in various research projects. There are a number of projects where both B.Sc. and M.Sc. students can participate including quantum thermodynamics and open quantum systems (related to the quantum computer project within QTF), plasmonics for radiation control, multi-scale modeling of novel 2D materials (graphene in particular) using phase-field, molecular dynamics and density functional theory approaches, and problems related to non-equilibrium classical growth kinetics. The projects are typically supervised by postdoctoral researchers and done within international collaboration with some of the leading groups worldwide. Good background in theory and some experience with programming and code development is useful. For more information, just contact Tapio directly.

See more details here:

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 2019:   

(1) Optical control of magnetic spin waves

(2) Skyrmions in magnetic thin films and nanostructures

(3) In-situ transmission electron microscopy of functional materials

(4) Bio-inspired optoelectronic tactile sensing and processing system

More details here:

New Energy Technologies

Prof. Peter Lund

1. Perovskite solar cells as photodetectors

Perovskite solar cells (PSC) represent a promising 3rd generation solar cell technology, but they also possess superior characteristics for photodetection (J. Mater. Chem. C, 2016, 4, 30, 7302-7308. DOI: 10.1039/C6TC02097F).

The scope of the proposed work is to characterize PSC cells made in the group against photodetection parameters, make a compact PSC matrix for spatial (x.y) detection, and test the PSC-matrix detectors performance against various criteria.

2. Ideal optical covers for colored solar cells and modules

Colored photovoltaics allow generation of solar electricity from building facades, roofs and other visible surfaces without compromising their aesthetic and architectural quality. Different photonic coloration approaches are currently being developed to introduce color to solar cells and modules while keeping their energy conversion efficiency high [1]. Our new theoretical study shows that the fundamental energy loss of a colored solar cell compared to a black solar cell is less than 10 % in most cases [2], which encourages further studies on this topics. This special assignment project, which may be extended to a Master’s thesis if a new funding grant is received, takes our purely theoretical model of colored solar cells towards realistic solar cell and optical structures, with the aim to identify new ways to introduce color in solar cells efficiently and cost-effectively. The project can be tailored as computational (optical modeling using a commercial solar cell simulation software) or experimental (fabricating and testing colored cover sheets and layers for solar cells).

Advisor: Dos. Janne Halme ([email protected])

[1] Speranza, Roberto. "Nanophotonic approaches to colourful solar cells and modules." (2018). M.Sc.Thesis, Aalto university

[2] Halme, Janne, and Pyry Mäkinen. "Theoretical efficiency limits of ideal coloured opaque photovoltaics." Energy & Environmental Science (2019).

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)
  • Industrial collaboration (KaVo Kerr Group: 3D optical dental scanner)

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:

Quantum Circuits and Noise

Prof. Pertti Hakonen

  1. Fast measurement system for resonance response in mechanical nanodevices

  2. Relativistic correlations between quantum objects

  3. Transmission of Light through Disordered Amplifying Medium

See more details here:

Quantum Computing and Devices

Dr. Mikko Möttönen

Our summer student projects include the following:

See more details in the file linked below. Also other related theoretical or experimental projects can be tailored for you. All projects can be adjusted for BSc thesis, Special Assignment, or MSc thesis.

Quantum Dynamics

Prof. Päivi Törmä

  1. Quantum geometry and Bose-Einstein condensation Experiment
  2. Quantum geometry and Bose-Einstein condensation Theory

See more details here:

Quantum Nanomechanics

Prof. Mika Sillanpää

Nanomechanical systems in 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 qubit – mechanical hybrid quantum systems
        • Microwave optomechanics in 3D cavities
        • Simulation of mechanical vibrations coupled to spin waves
        • Measurement of mechanical vibrations with an optical interferometer

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. All 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 with a strong relevance to quantum technologies. Also fully theoretical/computational projects are available.

See more details here:

Quantum Transport

Prof. Christian Flindt

  1. "Detection of spin-entanglement in Cooper pair splitter"
  2. "Entanglement generation in topological materials"
  3. "Implementation of quantum algorithms on quantum computers"
  4. "Lee-Yang zeros and large-deviation statistics at phase transitions"
  5. "Maximizing thermodynamic precision in open quantum systems"
  6. "Coherent single-electron transport in periodically driven systems"

See more details here:

Soft Matter and Wetting

Prof. Robin Ras

Soft Matter and Wetting (SMW) is a multidisciplinary research group consisting of physicists, biophysicist and chemists. Our research is focused on functional soft materials and wettability of the surfaces. Many of the materials we work on are inspired by nature, such as superhydrophobic biological surfaces (e.g. lotus leaf, butterfly wings). We are offering summer positions for students that are highly motivated and interested to work on synthesis, state-of-the-art experimentation and advanced data analysis in the field of soft matter and wetting. The summer student will work in a fully supportive atmosphere surrounded by highly ambitious and talented researchers. The offered projects are listed below.

  • Development of applicability and use cases for scanning droplet adhesion microscope
  • Friction of drops moving on superhydrophobic surfaces

  • Robust superhydrophobicity: Surface texture & chemical renewable superhydrophobic materials

See more details here:

Superconducting Qubits and Circuit QED

Dr. Sorin Paraoanu

The Kvantti group focuses 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.

See more details here:

Surface Science

Dr. Jouko Lahtinen


Physics laboratory teaching (contact Dr. Jani Sainio)

We are looking for an enthusiastic student interested in teaching to help develop Bachelor level physics labs. The topics covered include:

- New experiments on Thermodynamics (flow) and Electromagnetism (induction)

- Improvement of current experimental setups

- Pedagogical development of teaching methods

Command of spoken and written Finnish is a requirement. The project can be tailored to be suitable for a BSc thesis or a special assignment, but neither is compulsory.

Surfaces and Interfaces at the Nanoscale

Prof. Adam S. Foster

  • 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.
  • Designer electronic materials - The project will involve development of the machine learning infrastructure and application to the atomistic and electronic structure of molecular frameworks.
  • 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. 

More details here:

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, which combines features of topological insulators, metals and superconductors and provide analogies with the structure of the whole Universe. Learn more in a live stream of Aalto's "Way Out There" series on January 16 at 18:00

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 degree.

Available projects are

- Numerical simulation of a 3He implementation of the transmon qubit based on spin-coherent phenomena

- Prototyping new topological quantum devices with 3He confined in very thin nanofluidic cavities

- Development of new probes based on nanoelectromechanical devices immersed in 3He


Prof. Esko Kauppinen

The NanoMaterials Group (NMG), headed by Prof. Esko I. Kauppinen, is among the top aerosol technology laboratories in the world and offers a unique environment for strong interdisciplinary
research and a proven track record of productive cooperation. We offer summer projects related to the carbon nanotube film from floating catalyst chemical vapor deposition (FCCVD) method.

The projects include the following topics.

  • Direct Synthesis of Colorful Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Thin Films by FCCVD method
  • High-yield preparation of transparent and conductive films with larger-diameter CNTs

More details here: