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 Photonics https://www.nature.com/articles/s41566-022-01025-8 , https://www.nature.com/articles/nphoton.2017.125) and Nature Communications (https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms9579, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-07249-z . Further unexplored strong-coupling phenomena will be studied in this project opening unprecedented possibilities to explore new physics and device applications.
Our group has been developing this direction for a few years, and now have all the necessary tools and expertise for fast progress. A new PhD recruit will join a team of 3 PhD students and 6 postdocs. We operate over 3 state-of-the-art optical spectroscopy labs including ultra-fast laser spectroscopy, magneto-spectroscopy, nonlinear and time-resolved optical spectroscopy, single-photon techniques, Raman scattering and multiple microscope set-ups. We also have dedicated 2D materials fabrication facilities including a thin film transfer set-up placed in a glovebox, and additional set-ups operating in ambient conditions. Finally, we have launched a new Near-field Optical Imaging and Spectroscopy Centre (NOSC), where we have access to a range of tip-enhanced optical techniques enabling nano-spectroscopy.
You will learn how to numerically simulate advanced nano-photonic structures; will work on novel device fabrication in our own fabrication facility and in the modern clean room; will carry out various optical spectroscopy experiments. 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), nanophotonics and nano-fabrication (York University), and advanced optical spectroscopy (Technical University Dortmund) and many others, and visits to their experimental facilities will be possible and encouraged.
This PhD project will be supervised by Professor Alexander Tartakovskii. Feel free getting in touch with him if you have any questions. Please include at least a cv and the academic transcript(s) from your recent degrees in your email.