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Probing metamaterials dynamics by high repetition rate attosecond pulse from multi-colour synthesised strong laser field.

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Zair
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Attosecond pulses production and characterisation were a tremendous breakthrough is ultra-fast science that enabled the observation in real time of electronic motion in molecular system in gas phase. We pioneered a technique called Quantum Path Interferences [1], which enable to observe further attosecond and femtosecond dynamics in molecular system and study the correlation of nuclear motion and electronic motion is small molecules such as N2 and CO2 [2]. This technique combined to the production of strong few-cycle laser pulses of multiple colours can provide more insight of attosecond dynamics in systems that are more complex. A new trend in this field of research comprises the extension of attosecond techniques to probe ultra-fast dynamics in new materials such as plasma plume, liquids and solids. At King’s College London in the Photonics and Nanophysics group, we have world-recognised expertise in nanophysics and in the production of metamaterials for which the dynamics of hot electrons is still unknown. In the proposed PhD project, we will explore the dynamics in such new materials by employing technique we master in Attosecond Physics and strong laser field synthesis [3]. The project will provide understanding of CPA femtosecond fibre lasers at high repetition rate for attosecond physics [4], the production of ultrashort pulses with filamentation [5], the production of attosecond pulses in gas or solid phase and the use of these pulses to probe ultra-fast dynamics in metamaterials.
We are looking for candidates with a strong scholar record and strong experimental ability at MSc or MSCi level.
The candidate will join the Attosecond physics and ultra-fast science laboratory lead by Dr. Amelle ZAIR at King’s College London in the Physics Department ( ). The PhD experimental work will be help in a completely newly built laboratory at Strand Campus in the centre of London.
All candidates are welcome to apply. We strongly encourage both women and men to apply as we promote equality and diversity balanced environment. The Physics department is JUNO champion since 2018 and Dr Amelle Zair is Chair of the diversity and equality departmental committee.
Candidates should demonstrate knowledge of one of these primary fields:
- CPA Yb fibre laser
- Few-cycle pulse production and characterisation
- High harmonic generation
- Metamaterials and hot carriers
Additional expertise in the following secondary fields will be appreciated:
- Python/matlab coding
- Laser-mater interaction especially non-linear physics
- Plasma physics
- OPA or OPCPA architecture
- Atomic and/or molecular physics
- Plasmonic resonances
- Theoretical background in TDSE, TDDFT, SFA, propagation, waveguide
- Detection of XUV and X-rays
- Coherent control
- Pump-probe measurements

For any query regarding the project, please contact Dr. Amelle Zair at [Email Address Removed]
For any query regarding application process, please contact [Email Address Removed]

Application Procedure
To be considered for the position candidates must apply via King’s Apply online application system. Details are available at

Please indicate your desired supervisor and quote research group Photonics & Nanotechnology in your application and all correspondence.

The selection process will involve a pre-selection on documents, if selected this will be followed by an invitation to an interview. If successful at the interview, an offer will be provided in due time.

Funding Notes

The Ph.D position is available for 3.5 years to UK/EU nationals and covers tuition fees at the level set for UK/EU students, c. £5,300 p.a., and a tax-free stipend of approximately £17,000 p.a. with possible inflationary increases after the first year.


[1] Zaïr A; Holler M; Guandalini A; Schapper F; Biegert J; Gallmann L; KellerU; Wyatt AS; Monmayrant A; Walmsley IA; Cormier E; Auguste T; Caumes JP; Salieres P. PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS Volume: 100 Issue: 14 Article Number: 143902 (2008)
[2] Zaïr A; Siegel T; Sukiasyan S; Risoud F; Brugnera L; Hutchison C; Diveki Z; Auguste T; Tisch JWG; Salieres P; Ivanov MY; Marangos JP. CHEMICAL PHYSICS Volume: 414 Pages: 184-191 (2013)
[3] Brugnera L; Hoffmann DJ; Siegel T; Frank F; Zaïr A; Tisch JWG; Marangos JP. PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS Volume: 107 Issue: 15 Article Number: 153902 (2011)
[4] Krebs M; Hadrich S; Demmler S; Rothhardt J, Zaïr A; Chipperfield L. Limpert J; Tunnermann A. NATURE PHOTONICS Volume: 7 Issue: 7 Pages: 555-559 (2013)
[5] Zaïr A; Guandalini A; Schapper F; Holler M; Biegert J; Gallmann L; Keller U; Couairon A; Franco M; Mysyrowicz A. OPTICS EXPRESS Volume: 15 Issue: 9 Pages: 5394-5404 (2007)

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