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Femtosecond spin dynamics in single-molecule magnets

   School of Chemistry

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  Dr J. Olof Johansson  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

 Project Summary

Our aim is to understand how light can be used to probe, and eventually control, electrons in magnetic molecular materials. We study ultrafast photophysics of a range of large transition metal complexes with exchange-coupled electrons, ranging from single-molecule magnets to magnetic coordination polymers. Our goal is to explore ultrafast spin dynamics in molecules with several magnetic centres and we work closely with theoreticians and synthetic chemists. This project aligns with the EPSRC grant “Femtosecond Coherences in Single-Molecule Magnets”, and will make use of the newly commissioned laser lab in the School of Chemistry. The team will explore new ways to manipulate paramagnetic coordination compounds by creating femtosecond coherent vibrational wavepackets along the Jahn-Teller (JT) axis to enable optical control of the magnetic anisotropy. The project builds on the team’s proof-of-principle results published recently (Liedy et al., Nature Chemistry, 12, 452 - 458 (2020)) and involves synthesis of new molecules, advanced measurements and quantum chemical calculations. Your role will be to use state-of-the-art spectroscopic methods, such as ultrafast electron diffraction, terahertz EPR, and X-ray free-electron lasers, which will be accessed in collaboration with external project partners in Japan, Switzerland, Germany, and the US.


In the first instance, informal enquiries (accompanied by a CV) should be directed to:

Olof Johansson, School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, David Brewster Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FJ, UK. Email: [Email Address Removed]

 The position will remain open until filled.

 Equality and Diversity

The School of Chemistry holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. The University is a member of the Race Equality Charter and is a Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champion, actively promoting LGBT equality. The University has a range of initiatives to support a family friendly working environment. See our University Initiatives website for further information. University Initiatives website:

Funding Notes

A PhD studentship is available in the group of Olof Johansson (School of Chemistry, The University of Edinburgh; The studentship is fully funded for 42 months by the University of Edinburgh and covers tuition fees and an annual stipend (starting at £16,062 per annum) for a candidate satisfying EPSRC residency criteria.

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