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Attosecond physical phenomena in molecules irradiated with X-ray free-electron lasers

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, March 01, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

Theoretical/computational PhD studentship is available in the area of attosecond physics with free-electron X-ray lasers, in the group of Dr Vitali Averbukh within the Quantum Optics and Laser Science (QOLS) at the Department of Physics of Imperial College London.

X-ray free electron lasers (FELs) are sources of intense coherent X-rays that have very recently broken the attosecond barrier and are now able to generate pulses of less than 1 femtosecond duration. Theoretical group of Dr. Averbukh is devising and simulating quantum mechanically the new ways to measure attosecond many-electron dynamics in atoms and molecules irradiated by X-ray FELs. We are also predicting new ultrafast physical phenomena occurring in ionised atoms and molecules. This PhD project will focus on the theoretical modelling of attosecond spectroscopies of hole migration - a spectacular, but somewhat elusive effect where electron hole created by an attosecond laser pulse moves across a polyatomic molecule. The work will be done in close collaboration with LCLS X-ray FEL facility at Stanford, where the beamtime for the detection of electron hole migration has been allocated for the end of 2020.

Successful candidate will have a 1st or upper 2nd class degree (or equivalent) in Physics or a related discipline, with a strong interest in theoretical and computational physics, as well as good programming skills. The studentship will commence in October 2020. For additional information, please contact Dr Vitali Averbukh ().

To apply online, please follow the guidance at the QOLS web page:
Please mention the attosecond theory as a subject and Dr Averbukh as a supervisor in your application. For help with the online application procedure, please contact Ms Marcia Salviato, Tel: +44 (0)207 594 7862

Committed to equality and valuing diversity. We are also an Athena Silver SWAN Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion and a Stonewall Top 100 Employer 2011.The Department of Physics is also an IoP JUNO Champion and Athena Silver Swan Award Winner.

Valuing diversity and committed to equality and opportunity.

Funding Notes

Full funding is available for UK candidates only. Exceptionally strong EU candidates are advised to contact the supervisor to clarify the available funding opportunities.


Molecular Auger Interferometry, Physical Review Letters 122, 233001 (2019);
Ultrafast Molecular Three-Electron Auger Decay, Physical Review Letters 116, 073001 (2016);
High-order harmonic generation spectroscopy of correlation-driven electron hole dynamics, Physical Review Letters 111, 123002 (2013);
Time-resolved measurement of interatomic Coulombic decay in Ne2, Physical Review Letters 111, 093402 (2013);
Single-photon laser-enabled Auger spectroscopy for measuring attosecond electron-hole dynamics, Physical Review Letters 111, 083004 (2013).

How good is research at Imperial College London in Physics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 117.49

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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