Functional molecules offer potential solutions to a plethora of problems with high relevance to sustainable development, information technology, environmental issues, as well as biotechnology and biomedicine. The physical, chemical or biological transformations that lead to new molecules or molecular states comprise elementary physical processes that take place on the femtosecond time scale. Optimizing the function (and thus improving the performance) of a given molecular system requires the detailed understanding of these elementary steps.
The research program focuses on unveiling such dynamics using femtosecond laser and X-ray techniques as well as theoretical modelling. Our group at the MTA Wigner FK has made groundbreaking research with the development of high resolution X ray spectroscopy probes at synchrotrons and X-ray free electron lasers, and realized a local base for these studies by building a femtosecond pump-probe system in the home laboratory. Femtosecond transient optical absorption spectroscopy and time-resolved fluorescence investigations allow us to identify the excited states and possible new species, and to determine their lifetimes. Completing these with X ray experiments and theoretical modelling allows us to unveil the fine details of electron and structural dynamics, to understand the mechanisms, and suggest modifications to optimize function.
As their main task the PhD candidate will perform femtosecond transient optical absorption spectroscopy experiments and take part in the further development of our laboratory setup. Moreover (s)he will have the possibility to participate in X-ray spectroscopy experiments at synchrotron and XFEL sources. Interested candidates may also carry out theoretical modelling of the systems studied using quantum chemical and quantum dynamical calculations.
We are looking for candidates with an MSc or MEng degree in physics or related discipline. We expect thorough understanding of lasers and optics. Experience with ultrashort laser pulses is an advantage. Good command of written and spoken English is also a requirement.