PhD position, Nonlinear Optics of Bistable Molecules and One-Dimensional Arrays

WorkplaceAntwerpen, Flemish Region, Belgium


PhD position, Nonlinear Optics of Bistable Molecules and One-Dimensional Arrays - 2019BAPFWETEF253

At the physics department of the University of Antwerp (UA), Belgium, a PhD candidate position is available in the Laboratory for Experimental Condensed Matter Physics (ECM), financed in the framework of a research project funded by the Fund for Scientific Research – Flanders (FWO):

Topic: Nonlinear Optics of Bistable Molecules and One-Dimensional Arrays.

In this project you will elaborate, and ultimately combine, two breakthrough concepts in molecular (organic) nonlinear optics (NLO) of which proof-of-principle experiments have recently been performed by the ECM group: (1) Spontaneous symmetry breaking in a priori symmetric molecules can lead to extremely large 2nd order NLO responses. This yields an entirely new route towards the design of NLO systems, but also forms an excellent model system to investigate (by 2nd order light scattering) the effect of spontaneous symmetry breaking, including its dynamics, which can also provide important insights on the general concept of resonance and conjugation in organic molecules. (2) Elongated dipolar molecules naturally form head-to-tail aligned 1D arrays inside carbon nanotubes, resulting in coherent addition of their NLO responses. This solves the classical problem of organic nonlinear optics, that dipolar molecules tend to align in a pairwise antiparallel way in a bulk (3D) material, cancelling out each other's NLO responses. Besides elaborating this idea, you will also pursue its ambitious combination with the former concept and create coupled 1D arrays of electronically bistable molecules, to create purely organic ferroelectric systems with a large, and switchable NLO response.

You will learn state-of-the-art preparation and optical/laser-spectroscopic characterisation techniques available at UA, including NLO characterisation using a worldwide unique setup for second harmonic light scattering with widely tuneable laser wavelength. You will also contribute to the further development of these techniques. You will be supervised by W. Wenseleers, and benefit from interactions within a highly multidisciplinary team, as well as from the wide network of collaborations of the host group.

Starting date: Position is available immediately; exact date to be agreed with candidate.

Profile: You obtained a diploma of Master in Physics or Engineer in a related field, with excellent grades. You are very motivated for experimental scientific research and you wish to prepare a PhD thesis in this area of research. Also in case you are interested and you have not obtained your diploma yet, but expect to do so in 2019, please apply now already.

We offer : A salary for three years (provided positive evaluation after 1 year), extendible to four years depending on results and funding, approximately in the range of ~2070-2120¤/month (tax exempt; may depend on eligibility), funded by the above mentioned FWO project, and the opportunity to perform research in a multidisciplinary environment with state-of-the-art experimental equipment, and obtain a PhD at the University of Antwerp.

Application: Applications may only be submitted online , until the deadline September 1, 2019 and should include (zip-format) a motivation letter, a detailed CV (including followed courses, honours, grades, previous work, programming skills, publications,...) and contact info of two references.

For more information:
Wim.Wenseleers [at] uantwerp[.]be

Laboratory address:

Laboratory for Experimental Condensed Matter Physics

University of Antwerp (campus Drie Eiken),

Physics Department,

Universiteitsplein 1,

B-2610 Antwerpen


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