PhD scholarships in Strong-field Terahertz Science

Thursday 22 Aug 19

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Apply no later than 30 September 2019
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Do you know how long time it takes for an electron to get solvated in water? How long time does is take for two molecules to meet and interact in a chemical reaction? The answer is: a few femtoseconds, give or take one or two orders of magnitude.

It is incredibly complicated to measure what happens on such short time scale. However, we have the experimental tools for doing so. With optical technology, including femtosecond lasers, it is actually possible to follow chemical reactions and other processes on such short time scales.

The Department of Photonics Engineering (DTU Fotonik) is looking for excellent candidates for two PhD scholarships in strong-field terahertz science for a project funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. The Department has a strong track record within this field, based on state-of-the-art experimental facilities including several amplified femtosecond laser systems and a variety of THz time-domain platforms for ultrafast spectroscopy.

You will work with optical technologies based on ultrashort, intense pulses of terahertz light for the creation of electron pulses of femtosecond duration, and use these electron pulses to start simple chemical reactions – and follow these reactions in real time. We have the crazy idea that the same intense THz pulses can perhaps initiate or catalyse chemical reactions on their own – we will do our best to prove or disprove that hypothesis in the project.

Chemical processes initiated by electrons are important for all of us. Damage to our bodies due to radiation is often due to secondary cascades of electrons created by the ionizing radiation. Thus, understanding the first steps of the interaction between electrons and molecules is a vital step for understanding how radiation damage occurs – and perhaps, who knows, the step needed for finding new ways to reduce the effects of radiation damage to living cells.

Responsibilities and tasks
If you are accepted for one of the positions, you will work in a team of 3-4 people on the specific project, and you will be perfectly integrated in the vibrant and energetic team of researchers working on different aspects of optical terahertz science and technology.

You will be responsible for pushing your part of the project forward, both in terms of the scientific work, the course load during the PhD project (30 ECTS), and administrative duties (periodic reporting to the PhD school).

The scientific responsibilities include:
 

  • Experimental work in the femtosecond laboratory
  • Communication and collaboration with external partners on the project
  • Data analysis
  • Logging and documenting your work
  • Dissemination of results (writing papers, presenting results at conferences)
  • Engaging in a 3-5 months external stay with one of the international project partners during the PhD project
Qualifications
Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. A Master’s degree in physics, physical chemistry, photonics, or related engineering degrees is preferred.

Additionally, any past experience with femtosecond lasers, good knowledge of nonlinear optics, good understanding of basic chemistry will be beneficial.

Other general qualifications that are advantageous:
 
  • You are driven by a strong desire to understand nature and use the knowledge to make a difference
  • You thrive in a lively research environment
  • You are not afraid to seek advice when needed
  • You are motivated to complete the tasks that you are working on
  • You take pride in delivering high quality
  • You are a strong writer of scientific English
  • You are well organised in your approach to work
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 candidates will be made by Professor Peter Uhd Jepsen.

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 Professor Peter Uhd Jepsen, email: puje@fotonik.dtu.dk, tel.: +45 4525 5711.  

You can read more about DTU Fotonik at
www.fotonik.dtu.dk/english

Application
Please submit your online application no later than 30 September 2019 (23:59 local time)Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 
  • 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.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

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

DTU Fotonik has approximately 200 employees, including 75 PhD students, with a wide range of competences in optics and is one of the largest centers in the world based solely on research in photonics. We perform our research within a wide range of engineering areas, spanning over biophotonics and nonlinear optics, nanophotonics, telecommunications, novel light sources and optical sensor technology.

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 university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.