PhD positions in Experimental Chemical Physics and AMO Physics Michigan State University, USA

The Dantus Research Group invites applications of PhD students with a degree in physics/chemistry. Our scientific focus is on controlling light-matter interactions and is aligned with the 2020 consensus study report of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, titled  “Manipulating Quantum Systems,” which highlights the need for improved understanding and control of quantum systems to unleash novel applications. 


Current projects include:


Strong-field physics of polyatomic molecules

We have found that polyatomic molecules undergo surprising fragmentation processes when subjected to strong >1014 W/cm2 fields, such as releasing neutral H2 molecules that roam the multiply charged cation and lead the formation of H3+. We have also identified coherent large amplitude motions of the nascent molecular cation that lead to rearrangements prior to fragmentation. Recent links to this work:


Controlling nonlinear optical processes in large molecules in solution

We use shaped femtosecond laser pulses to control the different optical pathways that contribute to four wave mixing processes. We have been particularly successful adapting coherent control methods developed for isolated atoms to large molecules in solution. Recent links to this work:


Advances in pulse shaping and applications

Since we developed MIIPS, a pulse-shaper based method for ultrafast pulse characterization and compression (, our group has been at the forefront of pulse shaper design and the development. We continue to develop methods to measure and control laser pulses, with interest on highly accurate and sensitive approaches as well as metrology for industrial ultrafast systems. Recent links to this work:


About the Group:

We have a small, diverse, friendly, and collaborative group that values everyone’s questions and opinions. Given our size, graduate students have the opportunity to take on greater responsibility and independence in the lab. We routinely collaborate with experimental and theory research groups as well as with tech companies. These collaborations lead to higher impact publication and open the doors for finding excellent positions for our graduates.


About Michigan State University:

The university is in a large (20 square-kilometer) campus with a beautiful river running through it and forested areas and gardens. Housing is affordable ($500/month) and the cost of living is relatively low compared to the $25,000 - $28,000 yearly stipends. Michigan has 4 national parks and 97 state parks, we are about one hour from two of the Great Lakes. We are located within 4 hours from Chicago and Toronto, and one hour from Detroit, which as an airport that connects with most major cities in the world.


If you are interested:

Contact Prof. Marcos Dantus, or visit