PhD scholarship in the Near-Field Exploration of Light-Matter Interactions in Two-Dimensional Materials

DTU Fotonik
Friday 07 Dec 18

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DTU Fotonik works in all areas of photonic engineering, including a strong focus on quantum optics and 2D materials. We are now seeking a PhD student to do exploratory research on light-matter interactions in the near-field of 2D materials with plasmonic structures. The successful applicant will work at DTU Fotonik in the Structured Electromagnetic Materials group. Research will be carried out at DTU Fotonik, and our group is part of Centre of Excellence in Nanostructured Graphene (CNG) funded by the Danish National Research Foundation.

Understanding and tailoring light-matter interactions is the cornerstone of fundamental and applied photonics, from how light modifies the properties of matter to the development of novel light sources, information processing and sensing of molecules. Optimizing the coupling of light with matter has attracted tremendous research efforts in the last decades and the recent discovery of new semiconducting two-dimensional materials (SC2M) such as transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDC) has opened the possibility to design new exciting platforms for light-matter interactions on the true nanometer scale. Indeed, TMDCs have shown to host tightly bound excitons with binding energies in excess of 0.3 eV, far above thermal excitations.

This property of TMDCs has triggered a host of theoretical and experimental works to reach the strong-coupling regime at room temperature where light and matter cannot be described independently, but are in a hybridized state where the main excitations, the exciton-polaritons, possess properties of both light and matter. Exciton-polariton excitations are instrumental in the development of novel applications ranging from low-threshold light sources to efficient nonlinear optical materials. In addition to these exceptional properties, recent investigations have shown that the combination of these new materials with high-quality plasmonic nanoparticles can lead to record-high coupling strengths induced by the ability of plasmonic nanocavities to concentrate extremely high energy densities on a few nanometers only. These hybrid plasmonic-SC2M systems represent a new platform to explore light-matter interactions from the weak to the strong coupling regime.

Objective
The main objective of this PhD project is to explore experimentally in the optical near-field the mechanism of the electromagnetic coupling between high-quality plasmonic nanostructures and excitons located in SC2M. The first phase of this project will be an exploration of the means to optimize the coupling strength. In a second phase, we will investigate how to control and tailor the coupling strength in order to observe the transition between the weak and the strong coupling regimes. In the final phase, we will explore how to utilize these devices for novel light sources and information processing platforms.

Responsibilities and tasks
The successful candidate will be in charge of the preparation of the samples and will benefit from the exceptional infrastructures for fabrication and processing of 2D materials available at DTU CNG and DTU Fotonik. She/he will have access to state-of-the-art cleanroom facilities and E-beam lithography set ups available at DTU Danchip, as well as unique electron characterization tools like scanning transmission electron microscopes equipped with electron energy-loss spectroscopy at DTU CEN. She/he will be also in charge of the optical characterization of the samples with state-of-the-art far-field photoluminescence setups and a scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscope available in our group at DTU Fotonik.

Qualifications
Candidates should have a Master's degree in Engineering/Physics or a similar degree with an equivalent academic level. Priority will be given to students with experience in experimental nano-optics, near-field nanoscopy, and quantum optics.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide

Assessment
The assessment of the applicants will be made by Assoc. Prof. Nicolas Stenger, Assoc. Prof. Sanshui Xiao, and Assoc. Prof. Martijn Wubs.

We offer

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about
career paths at DTU here.   

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Assoc. Prof. Nicolas Stenger, niste@fotonik.dtu.dk, Assoc. Prof. Sanshui Xiao, saxi@dtu.dk, and Assoc. Prof. Martijn Wubs, mwubs@fotonik.dtu.dk


You can read more about DTU Fotonik on 
www.fotonik.dtu.dk 

Application
Please submit your online application no later than 14 January 2019 (local time)To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form. The following must be attached in English: 

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Fotonik has around 210 employees with competences in optics and is one of the largest centers in the world based solely on research in photonics. Research is performed within optical sensors, lasers, LEDs, photovoltaics, ultra-high speed optical transmission systems, bio-photonics, nano-optics and quantum photonics.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and
scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.