PhD Positions in Ultrafast Optics and Precision Spectroscopy
Helmholtz-Institute Jena

PhD positions in ultrafast optics and precision spectroscopy

The Laser Science & Technology group (FS-LA) at the DESY photon science division is driving laser technology to new performance regimes, required for modern accelerator and Free-Electron-Laser (FEL) facilities. In addition, the group conducts research using extreme ultraviolet (XUV) FELs as well as infrared and XUV frequency combs. For our research activities, we seek highly motivated PhD candidates with a Master’s degree in physics (or in a close field) who are keen to work on cutting-edge research using high-power infrared and extreme ultraviolet lasers. Ideally, the candidates have already some experience in (ultrafast) optics, spectroscopy and/or electronics. Details on the positions are provided below.

1. Extreme ultraviolet frequency combs for precision spectroscopy of highly charged ions
Extreme ultraviolet light sources based on high-order harmonic generation are nowadays widely used in many laboratories around the world. While often employed for time-domain spectroscopy of ultra-fast processes, high-order harmonic generation can also be used to build extreme ultraviolet frequency combs, precision lasers that may enable the next generation ultra-high precision spectroscopy. Within a collaborative effort between DESY and the Helmholtz-Institute Jena, we are working on developing a novel high-power extreme ultraviolet laser source at the border between attosecond physics and frequency metrology, which will be employed for testing the boundaries of fundamental theories via precision spectroscopy of highly charged ions. The activity is mainly located at the laboratory of the Laser Science & Technology group at DESY, Hamburg, in close proximity to modern synchrotron and Free-Electron Laser facilities.

The position will be filled as soon as possible. However, please do not hesitate to contact us even if you have not completed your Master thesis yet. For further information, please contact Dr. Christoph Heyl:

2. Interstellar Matter: Ultrafast dynamics studies using free electron lasers
We are seeking a PhD candidate for investigating photo-reactions of organic molecules, which were discovered in interstellar space. The interstellar medium is a highly reactive environment, as the molecules are exposed to strong ionizing radiation. Fragmentation and formation of molecules are competing processes. This interstellar chemistry is important for the understanding of galactic dust clouds, the precursors of stars.

The aim will be to perform lab-based experiments to probe molecular re-arrangement and fragmentation processes of these molecules, which typically occur on femtosecond timescales
after ionization. Our experiments are performed at free electron laser facilities, for example the Free- Electron laser at Hamburg (FLASH). To study the underlying molecular dynamics of these molecules time resolved pump-probe type experiments are carried out. Using ultrafast lasers femtosecond time resolution is achieved and will allow to follow the molecular dynamics in real-time.

The activity is a collaborative effort between the DESY groups FS-LA: Laser Science and Technology and FS-SMP: Spectroscopy of Molecular Processes.
The position will be filled as soon as possible. For further information, please contact: Dr. Bastian Manschwetus:

3. Infrared frequency comb spectroscopy

We are seeking a PhD candidate for high-resolution infrared spectroscopy on small molecules in gas-phase. Our ultimate goal is to study transitions between nuclear spin-isomers in ammonia and water. For our spectroscopy experiments, we will use an existing home-build state-of the art frequency spectrometer, consisting of a tuneable mid-infrared frequency comb source and a Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) with optical path delay matched to the frequency combs spacing. This set-up enables significant (orders of magniude) higher spectral resolution, compared to a conventional FTS. 

Tasks will be improving the laser-spectrometer, perform initial precision spectroscopy experiments on small molecules in a gas-cell and to convert the sample environment to a high-density supersonic molecular beam for high-resolution experiments. Interest and experience in constructing novel laser systems, vacuum technology and developing control software for automated spectroscopy measurements are a benefit.

The position will be filled as soon as possible. However, please do not hesitate to contact us even if you have not completed your Master thesis yet. For further information, please contact: Dr. Ingmar Hartl:

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