QUSTEC doctoral programme. Photonic engineering of energy transfer processes / MSCA

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    Institute of Physics, University of Freiburg
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    Established Researcher (R3)
    Leading Researcher (R4)
    19/08/2019 00:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Germany › Freiburg


Context. Energy transfer is at the heart of light harvesting processes both in naturally occurring photosynthetic systems and in photovoltaics. The significance of the quantum nature of these processes has been heatedly debated in the recent past [1]. On a fundamental level, the transfer may occur reversibly or irreversibly by means of resonance energy transfer, where a single photon is emitted from a donor and subsequently absorbed by an acceptor [2].
With this theory project, we intend to study a range of energy transfer and competing loss channels for ensembles of quantum emitters placed in a nontrivial photonic environment of magnetodielectric structures. The impact of these on the emission and absorption processes as well as on the photon propagation will be described within the framework of macroscopic quantum electrodynamics, an effective quantum field theory of light in absorbing media that is based on polariton-like field–matter excitations and the classical electromagnetic Green tensor [3]. Central goal is to enhance the efficiency of energy transfer on a quantum level. We will employ three main strategies to this end: (i) Suitably chosen geometries such as cavities or structured surfaces can enhance the photonic density of states and hence the atom–coupling. (ii) Materials such as photonic topological insulators which violate the optical theorem will imprint imprint a directionality on photon emission and help guide the energy flow. (iii) Coherent quantum phenomena such as superradiance which can enhance or suppress light–matter interactions via constructive and destructive interference and also imprint directionality.
In this way, we are going to both illuminate the possible beneficial impact of quantum features on energy transfer in biological systems and derive the underlying design principles, and we will use these principles in combination with materials design and photonics to improve the quantum yield of man-made light-harvesting systems.
[1] G. D. Scholes et al., Nature 543, 647 (2007).
[2] A. Salam, Atoms 6, 56 (2018).
[3] S. Y. Buhmann, Dispersion forces II (Springer, Heidelberg, 2012).

Funding category: Financement de l'Union européenne


PHD title: Doctorat de Physique

PHD Country: Allemagne

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Offer Requirements

Specific Requirements

Eligibility criteria and requirements

We are looking for an applicant with an interest in fundamental light–matter interactions; an affinity to using analytical tools; and a strong background in theoretical quantum optics and advanced quantum mechanics. In addition, some experience with classical electrodynamics and optics methods, open systems, or quantum field theories would be beneficial.


QUSTEC programme follows MSCA eligibility criteria:

    Level of experience is ‘Early Stage Researcher’, according to the definition in the work programme of the 2018-2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions: Applicants must be, at the date of the respective call deadline of QUSTEC, in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.

    Mobility criterion: The applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the future host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the call deadline of QUSTEC. Short stays such as holidays are not taken into account. For refugees under the Geneva Convention, the refugee procedure (i.e. before refugee status is conferred) will not be counted as period of residence/activity in the country of the host organisation.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Institute of Physics, University of Freiburg

EURAXESS offer ID: 430070
Posting organisation offer ID: 86836


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