PhD position (m/f/d)
vor 2 Tg.

The Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics is one of about 86 research institutes of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science e.

V. (MPG). The MPG is an independent, non-profit research organization, which seeks to promote basic research in the service of the general public.

We offer a PhD position (m / f / d) in the Ultrafast Liquid Crystals Dynamics group.

Despite the tremendous advances of liquid-crystals-(LCs-)based technologies and their widespread use in optoelectronic devices, the in-depth understanding of the underlying physical mechanisms is still lacking.

In particular, the physics of ultrafast LCs dynamics, involving possible coupling between electron and molecular degrees of freedom, is largely unexplored.

In a preliminary study, investigating the ultrafast (electronic) modulation of the LCs refractive index at optical frequencies, we found that the electronic excitation relaxes via coherent molecular vibrations, thus also modulating the LCs birefringence at THz frequencies.

The research proposed here will mainly focus on the understanding of such low-frequency phenomena across LCs phase transition from liquid to solid phase.

In particular, this investigation will allow us to determine the degree of localization of collective molecular dynamics excited by intense, broadband, and phase-stable THz pulses.

In turn, this will enable answering fascinating questions regarding : i) the nature of such collective molecular dynamics, ii) their impact on LCs electronic and structural properties (phase transition), as well as iii) the role of LCs chirality in these dynamics.


The candidate should be interested in exploring new frontiers in ultrafast dynamics using cutting-edge laser technology and different time resolved spectroscopic techniques.

He / she will receive a full scientific and technical training before getting involved in his / her specific project. In particular he / she will be introduced to femtosecond laser technology, different sample preparation techniques and related optical characterization, time resolved measurements and analysis.

We are seeking an outstanding and highly motivated candidate with a Master’s or equivalent degree in physics. Experience in any of the above-mentioned research topics is advantageous but not necessary.

Written and oral communication skills in English are required.

Finally, he / she should be able to work with enthusiasm for experimental research in an international environment.

Possible starting date will be 01.11.2020 . The term of the positions is initially limited for 3 years.

The salary will be paid according to the collective agreement for civil service employees in Germany (TVöD).

The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer actively seeking to increase diversity and to create an inclusive environment within its research activities.

We celebrate diversity and do not discriminate based on race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability status, or any other applicable characteristics protected by law.

The Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics is a family-friendly employer.

Further information can be obtained from Dr. Laura Cattaneo : cattaneo

Applicants are encouraged to send a curriculum vitae, a motivation letter, list of grades (Bachelor and Master), and provide names and contact information for at least two referees.

Applications should be uploaded via our onlineapplication portal with reference # 15-2020.

Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics


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