Fully-funded PhD Studentship in Attosecond Nanophotonics

Extreme Light Consortium, QOLS, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, UK

A fully-funded PhD studentship for Home/EU students is available to investigate Attosecond Nanophotonics at Imperial College London.

Both solids and liquids when illuminated with an intense ultrashort laser pulse will emit XUV light, with attoseconds duration1. In the Extreme Light Consortium we have begun investigating methods to these generate attosecond and extreme UV (XUV), pulses from different types of materials, with the dual aims of understanding how extreme UV light is produced in these materials and developing XUV photonic devices. The emission is called high harmonic generation (HHG), as it is higher harmonics of the ultrashort input pulse. HHG emission can extend up to 40eV in some solids.

This work is part of an emerging new branch of strong field physics, with the potential for a solid-state based, compact source of attosecond pulses. This has many applications such as XUV spectroscopy or as an ultrafast probe of extreme electron dynamics and band structure in a solid. The strongly driven electrons created in HHG emission generate petahertz rate currents within the bands and these can be exploited to write information onto coherent electron wave emission and develop petahertz opto- electronics. The PhD project will look at which materials make the best emitters, but also how materials can be tailored through doping or surface structuring to enhance HHG in solids. It will involve daily use of ultrafast lasers and the characterisation of ultrafast pulses and XUV. The student will develop an understanding of materials’ growth and fabrication as well as developing insight into strong field physics phenomena.

Applicants should hold a MSc or BSc in Physics or a closely related subject and have a strong interest in experimental laser physics. Funding has been secured from The Royal Society for four years of study, which covers fees (for UK/EU applicants only), a tax-free stipend of £16,777 per year, conference travel, and consumables for research. The candidate will have access to state-of-the-art research laboratories and equipment and will work closely with the current XLC team.

Interested students should contact Dr Matthews for more information about the project, XLC group, and how to apply.

1 Garg, M., et al. (2016). Multi-petahertz electronic metrology. Nature, 538(7625), 359.

Ultrafast X-ray Free Electron (XFEL) Science
3 year EPSRC funded PhD studentship in ultrafast X-ray Free Electron (XFEL) Science based in the Life Sciences Department at Imperial College, in collaboration with the QOLS group (Xtreme Light Consortium Activity).