Both light and electrons are routinely used to probe and image structures and have resulted in huge advances in our understanding of the physical world. Probing samples with neutral helium atoms offer advantages over these established techniques due to the low energy and non-reactive nature of the atoms used to probe a surface, and the high spatial resolution (<1 micron) achievable.
This experimental project will be to develop a prototype neutral helium beam microscope capable resolving structures below 100 nm. The project builds on preliminary work in focusing cold (0.1 K) jets of Helium atoms using highly intense (1e16 W/m^2) laser beams to form a narrow, intense atom probe (100 nm diameter) for sample interrogation. Multiphoton ionization of the atoms scattered off a sample, using intense lasers, is used to detect structures and provide imaging. Applicants should have a strong background in experimental physics and experience with laser and/or electron optics is advantageous.
Scholarships are available and cover tuition and health insurance costs (for International candidates) and provide a living stipend of AUD25,849 per year. Exceptional candidates may receive AUD30,000 per year.