Post-doc position in ULCD group at MPIK-Heidelberg, Germany

The Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics ( is one of about 84 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 position as a Post Doctoral Research Associate (m/f/d) in the Ultrafast Liquid Crystals Dynamics (ULCD) group. The research program we are currently conducting at the ULCD group, started in May 2020, aims at the manipulation of the electronic transport properties in soft matter via a time-dependent control of the microscopic interactions via strong periodic drives, such as the fields of ultrafast optical pulses. Specifically, we are focusing on liquid crystals, a unique state of matter which bridges liquids and solids, allowing for a controllable tuning of the interaction complexity, from randomly distributed molecules (liquid) to a well-organized structure (solid). To this goal the key element is driving out-of-equilibrium collective oscillations which will force the excited neighboring molecules to modify their intermolecular distances.

An understanding at the molecular level of the ultrafast dynamics in LC between the liquid and the solidphase is a must, which is where we are putting all our current efforts. The experimental tasks are currently subdivided in two main research lines: a) microscopic understanding of low frequency structural dynamics
in LCs via THz-pump/optical (and X-ray) probe measurements and, b) understanding nonlinear LC dynamics in the strong field regime via high harmonic generation (HHG) spectroscopy from Mid-IR radiation source.

The successful candidate will be introduced to both research lines and depending on prior experience/expertise and scientific interests will then become responsible for the specific sub-project. The lab has currently in operation a state-of-the-art THz pump-optical probe setup, where high-field broadband THz radiation is obtained by optical rectification. Moreover, a mid-IR base HHG line is used to study strong field interaction in LCs. In addition, the candidate will be in charge of data acquisition and analysis, dissemination of results, as well as the co-supervision of PhD and master/bachelor students. At the same time, the candidate will be introduced to LCs samples preparation and optical characterization methods.

We are seeking an outstanding and highly motivated candidate with a PhD degree in physics (or closely related subjects), with an established experience in optics and THz science or HHG generation. Programming capabilities (MATLAB, Python etc.) are highly recommended. Moreover, good written and
oral communication skills in English are required.

The position is initially offered for 1 year, starting as soon as possible, and can be extended up to 3 years. The salary will be paid according to the collective agreement for civil service employees in Germany (TVöD). The Max-Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its
workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. The Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics is a
family-friendly employer.

Further information can be obtained from Dr. Laura Cattaneo:

Applications, including a Statement of Interest, CV, list of grades (Bachelor and Master), publication listsand contact information of at least two referees should be uploaded ONLINE with reference #01-2023.