PhD position in Experimental Physics

Updated: about 2 hours ago
Deadline: 30 Nov 2021

The Department of Physics at Umeå University ( ) conducts strong research in the areas of organic electronics, condensed matter physics, nanotechnology, photonics and theoretical physics. We announce a PhD position for a project focusing on ultrafast charge and spin dynamics in nanoscale magneto-optical metamaterials. Last day to apply is November 30, 2021.  Starting date is January 1, 2022, or by agreement.

Project description
We are now looking for a PhD candidate interested in research on ultrafast charge and spin dynamics in nanoscale magneto-optical materials. The PhD project interfaces three rich fields of research, ultrafast science, nanophotonics and nanomagnetism, with an overarching goal to understand the dynamics of electronic degrees of freedom (charges and spins) in nanostructured metamaterials.

The PhD student will carry out experiments to uncover the physical principles that regulate the dynamics of photons and charges in nanostructured metamaterials. By combining time-resolved laser-based spectroscopy techniques (e.g. pump-probe spectroscopy, time-resolved MOKE, multidimensional spectroscopy) and multi-physics finite element methods, the candidate will unveil how to use ultrashort light pulses to excite magnons, i.e. the collective oscillations of spins (the intrinsic angular momenta of electrons), which are able to carry, transfer and process information with extremely reduced energy consumption and, at the same time, to push the speed of information processing. Concurrently, one particularly efficient way of capturing and manipulating free-space electromagnetic radiation on the nanoscale is to exploit nanophotonic metamaterials. These nanostructures exploit the collective motion of electrons in electromagnetically coupled elements tailored from composite materials. In this way, it will be possible to connect in an unprecedented way light with magnetism, since nano-optical modes will be spatially, temporally and coherently superimposed with spin waves, thus enabling a coupling between the two types of excitations. The project will disclose a mechanism which might have a huge impact on forthcoming light-driven deterministic (coherently-controlled), ultrafast (sub-ps regime) and ultra-dense (tens of Tb per inch2) data processing nanotechnologies, thus making real the possibility to integrate magnonics with light-based technologies working at even higher speeds than electronics.

The project foresees ample collaborative opportunities with other research groups around the world, such as the Italian Institute of Technology (Italy), CIC nanoGUNE and the Materials Physics Center (Spain), the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) and the University of Luxembourg (Luxembourg).

Competence requirements
To be admitted for studies at third-cycle level you are required to have completed a second-cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits. The recruitment procedure will follow the Higher Education Ordinance (Högskoleförordningen). Prerequisites include 240 ECTS credits (högskolepoäng) of higher education studies, of which 60 should be on an advanced level (Master’s level), or equivalent. In addition to these requirements, 120 ECTS need to be in physics. The requirements do not need to be fulfilled at the time of application but only at the enrollment.

Fluency in English is mandatory. Candidates should have documented background in one of the following topics: experimental condensed matter physics, electromagnetism, magnetism. Previous experience or knowledge in ultrafast optics, nonlinear optics, magnetoplasmonics, plasmonics, nanophotonics, pump-probe spectroscopy, frequency and/or time-resolved MOKE, data analysis (e.g. MATLAB), finite element and/or FDTD methods, or basic programming/coding in Labview is a merit. Willingness to work in an inter-cultural and international environment, and the ability to work independently or as part of a team, are desired.

Terms of employment
The employment is expected to result in a doctoral degree and the main assignment for the doctoral student is thus to be part of the research education, which includes participation in the described research project but also to take relevant courses. Teaching and other departmental work (up to a maximum of 20%) can be included. The employment is limited to four years at full time or up to five years if teaching and other departmental work is performed. The salary is fixed according to the established salary level for doctoral students. The employment starts in January 2022 or according to agreement.

The application
The application should contain:

  • A cover letter with summary of research interests and motivation (max. 2 pages).
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Certified copies of diplomas.
  • Transcripts with grades, with English translation.
  • Copies of publications (if applicable) and/or thesis work.
  • Names and contact information to two reference persons.
  • More information
    For further information contact Nicolò Maccaferri

    You apply via our e-recruitment system Varbi. The deadline for applications is November 30, 2021. Log in and apply via the button at the bottom of the page. All documents should be uploaded in pdf format. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for online interviews.

    We look forward to receiving your application!

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