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H2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowships (Free-space opto-mechanics in active materials Project)

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ICN2 is a renowned research centre. Its research lines focus on the newly discovered physical and chemical properties that arise from the behaviour of matter at the nanoscale.

The Institute promotes collaboration among scientists from diverse backgrounds (physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering) to develop basic and applied research, while seeking out new ways to interact with local and global industry.

It also offers researchers training in nanotechnology, develops numerous activities to promote and enable the uptake of nanotechnology by industry, and promotes networking among scientists, engineers, technicians, business people, society, and policy makers.

ICN2 was accredited in 2014 as a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence and is a founding member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST). The aim of the Severo Ochoa Program, sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, are to identify and support those Spanish research centres that demonstrate scientific leadership and impact at global level.

Job Title:  H2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowships (Free-space opto-mechanics in active materials Project)

https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/msca-if-2017.html

Research area or group:

The 16-strong Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures (P2N) group at ICN2 is led by the ICREA research professor Clivia M. Sotomayor Torres.

http://icn2.cat/en/phononic-and-photonic-nanostructures-group 

The group investigates the interactions between phonons, photons and electrons in nano-scale condensed matter with a long-term view to develop new information technology concepts where information processing is achieved with novel or multiple state variables. Experimental work is carried out on nanophononics including nano-scale thermal transport and opto-mechanical crystals at the cross roads between nanotechnology and dispersion relation engineering. The research in nanophotonics is focused on localisation and more recently metamaterials.

We use state-of-the-art linear optical spectroscopy methods, pump-and-probe down to 10's of femtoseconds and develop new techniques to reach the nanoscale in thermal transport, most notably Laser Raman thermometry.

We made two breakthroughs in opto-mechanics: The design of opto-mechanical crystals with specific characteristics, requires decoupling of the optical and mechanical properties of these structures as demonstrated by us. We also reported an integrated coherent phonon source not based in back-action, which allows "phonon lasing" in response to an anharmonic modulation of the intracavity radiation pressure force. The modulation comes as a consequence of the spontaneous triggering in the optical cavity of a self-pulsing regime, i.e., a stable dynamic competition between thermo-optic effects and free-carrier-dispersion.

Project Description:

Free-space opto-mechanics in active materials.

The coupling of electromagnetic radiation (photons) to mechanical waves (phonons) is at the heart of solid-state quantum photonics while phonon transport at different frequencies governs crucial physical phenomena ranging from thermal conductivity to the sensitivity of nano-electromechanical resonators. To engineer and control the overlap of light management with the mechanical vibrations of matter efficiently, we make use of very precisely fabricated nanometer-scale devices. The standard way of achieving this control is to use engineered defects in periodic structures - optomechanical crystals - where the electromagnetic field and the mechanical displacement can be confined simultaneously thus enhancing their interaction.

During this project, we will explore novel designs for optomechanical nanostructures and we will measure their mechanical and photonic properties in the lab. We will make use of ultrafast pump and probe techniques to explore the mechanical vibrations. In addition, the structures will contain active light-emitting materials which will allow us to get access to the photonic properties of the system. Our goals are:

1.       Explore novel designs for optomechanical structures.

2.       Measure the effect of the mechanical modes in the light-emission properties of these materials.

3.       Measure the effect of the photonic modes in the lifetimes of the mechanical resonances.

The researcher will have the opportunity of joining a team working on the frontiers of  experimental science in optomechanical cavities. This project will be enriched by a fellow with complementary expertise in semiconductor active materials (e.g. quantum wells and dots) and interest in complementing his/her expertise with a sound background in nanophononics.

How to apply:

All applications must be sent to David García Fernandez (david.garcia@icn2.cat) and include the following:

1.              A full CV including contact details.

2.              Statement of research in relation to this project proposal.

Deadline for applications: 30th June 2017.

Equal opportunities:

ICN2 is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion of people with disabilities.