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Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes
Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes

Strong light-matter interaction in van der Waals 2D materials: discovery of novel quantum states of the matter

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Prof A Tartakovskii Applications accepted all year round Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Sheffield United Kingdom Experimental Physics Optical Physics Quantum Mechanics Solid State Physics

About the Project

The isolation of single-atomic layer graphene has led to a surge of interest in a large family of layered crystals with strong in-plane bonds and weak van der Waals interlayer coupling. Properties of such quantum materials in a few-atomic-layer form are strongly influenced by the quantum confinement of the electronic excitations due to the extreme crystal thinness. Heterostructures made by stacking different atomically thin 2D crystals provide a platform for creating new artificial materials with potential for discoveries and applications. In this PhD project you will work on advancing fabrication technology to explore the potential of van der Waals heterostructures in a distinct branch of photonics called polaritonics, where we focus on studies of the strong light-matter interaction in 2D materials embedded in optical microcavities and coupled to various photonic structures. New states of the matter, exciton-polaritons emerge in these structures, which provide a particularly rich phenomenology in atomically thin transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), as we have shown in our recent papers in Nature Photonic ( and Nature Communications (, Further unexplored strong-coupling phenomena will be studied in this project opening unprecedented possibilities to explore new physics and device applications.

You will join an energetic team of 3 PhD students and 3 postdocs. You will work on novel device fabrication in the modern clean room, and will carry out a large number of optical experiments in the extremely well-funded state-of-the-art laboratories of the Sheffield group, including the new near-field optical spectroscopy facility that will start its operation in 2021 (see grant award details here: You will further collaborate with leading groups around the world on physics and technology of 2D materials and nano-photonics. We work closely with the leading groups in many related research fields, including 2D materials (National Graphene Institute, Manchester), nano-photonics and materials (Imperial College London and York University), and optical spectroscopy (Technical University Dortmund) and many others, and visits to their experimental facilities will be possible and encouraged. See further details at

For formal and informal enquiries please get in touch with Professor Alexander Tartakovskii at '

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