PhD position in ultrafast spectroscopy at Edinburgh University, UK

A fully funded PhD studentship (3.5 years) is available for a highly motivated candidate to start in October 2022 under the supervision of Dr Olof Johansson at the University of Edinburgh. The project is suitable for both physics and chemistry applicants. International students are encouraged to apply.

Our aim is to understand how light can be used to probe, and eventually control, electrons in magnetic molecular materials. We study ultrafast photophysics of a range of large transition metal complexes with exchange-coupled electrons, ranging from single-molecule magnets to magnetic coordination polymers. Our goal is to explore ultrafast spin dynamics in molecules with several magnetic centres and we work closely with theoreticians and synthetic chemists. This project aligns with the EPSRC grant “Femtosecond Coherences in Single-Molecule Magnets”, and will make use of the newly commissioned laser lab in the School of Chemistry. The team will explore new ways to manipulate paramagnetic coordination compounds by creating femtosecond coherent vibrational wavepackets along the Jahn-Teller axis to enable optical control of the magnetic anisotropy. The project builds on the team’s proof-of-principle results published recently (Liedy et al., Nature Chemistry, 12, 452 - 458 (2020)) and involves synthesis of new molecules, advanced measurements and quantum chemical calculations. Your role will be to use state-of-the-art spectroscopic methods, such as ultrafast electron diffraction, terahertz EPR, and X-ray free-electron lasers, which will be accessed in collaboration with external project partners in the UK, Japan, Germany, and the US.

In the first instance, informal enquiries (accompanied by a CV) should be directed to