Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, LTH, Department of Physics

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 45 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

The research at the Division of Atomic Physics is centered on different applications of optics and lasers, including atomic and molecular physics with ultrashort light pulses, high-intensity laser-plasma physics, quantum information, and biophotonics. The Division operates the High-Power Laser Facility, including several advanced femtosecond laser systems. It is a central part of a major interdisciplinary research environment within the Lund University, the Lund Laser Centre, LLC. The division is also heavily involved in undergraduate education, especially within the Photonics programme.

Projects descriptions 

At the High-Power Laser Facility, research is performed on the generation and application of extremely short light pulses, in the attosecond and extreme ultraviolet range. The activities span from ultrafast laser technology and extreme nonlinear optics to studies of the electron dynamics in atoms and molecules as well as more complex systems using attosecond light pulses. The division of Atomic Physics is now looking for four PhD students for four different projects described below.

1. Short-Wavelength -infrared laser development and applications.
The goal is to continue the development of a short-pulse laser system in the mid-infrared range and to explore applications, especially the generation of attosecond pulses with high photon energy and time-resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.

2. Laser development and high harmonic generation based on industrial Ytterbium femtosecond lasers.
The project aims at developing, characterizing and optimizing an XUV source driven by post-compressed Ytterbium laser pulses, and employing spatial light modulators to tailor phase and intensity of the light beams. Two main goals are to push ongoing investigations on femtosecond pulse post-compression and determine optimum generation conditions for XUV pulses around 90 eV.

3. Ultrafast quantum physics.
The project consists in studying the quantum state of a photoelectron, which is created by absorption of attosecond light pulses. Methods for the measurement of the coherence properties of the electron will be developed. The project, which lies at the border of attosecond physics and quantum information, includes both theory and experiment. 

4. Time-resolved studies of atoms, molecules and solids using intense ultrashort laser pulses in the extreme ultraviolet and X-ray spectral region as well as ultrashort, laser-generated, electron pulses. The project includes development, optimization and characterization of a laser-driven source for the generation of attosecond pulses, development and implementation of pump-probe measurement techniques and experiments at the high-order harmonic laboratory of the Lund High-Power Laser Facility and at international free electron laser facilities.

Work duties

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies, which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%). 

Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third-cycle studies in Physics if he or she has:

  • at least 30 second-cycle credits of relevance to the subject, of which at least 15 credits shall comprise a second-cycle degree project, or 
  • an MSc in engineering physics or an associated field, or a Master’s degree in physics or an associated field.

Finally, the student must be judged to have the potential to complete the programme.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • The student should have a background within optics and photonics and/or atomic physics and quantum mechanics.

Other assessment criteria, specifically for each project

Experience with one or more of the following subjects is a merit for all projects (1 to 4):

  • Femtosecond lasers and ultrafast optics
  • High-order harmonic generation and attosecond physics
  • Pump-probe experiments
  • Photoelectron spectroscopy
  • Other skills, e.g. instrumentation programming, data analysis, vacuum techniques, mechanical design

Additionally, the following subjects are also considered as merits for project 4:

  • Free electron laser experiments
  • Experimental studies of molecular dynamics

Basis of assessment

Selection to postgraduate studies is based on the expected ability to perform well in the studies. The evaluation of the ability to perform well is based primarily on the results of studies at the basic and advanced levels, in particular:

  1. Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of the study.
  2. An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  3. Written and oral communication skills
  4. Other experience relevant to postgraduate studies, such as professional experience.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

Terms of employment

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§. We intend to employ 1-4 doctoral students. 

Instructions on how to apply

Applications may be written in English or Swedish and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. Please indicate which project(s) interest you the most. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.). You are also required to answer the  job specific questions as a step of the application process.

The English version of this announcement is an interpretation of national formalities expressed in the Swedish text. In case of uncertainties, the Swedish text applies.

Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment As soon as possible
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 4
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2023/530
  • Proj 1. Cord Arnold, 046-2227472
  • Proj 2. Anne-Lise Viotti, 046-2227586
  • Proj 3. Anne L'Huillier, 046-2227661
  • Proj 4. Per Eng-Johnsson, 046-2227658
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-2229366
Published 10.Mar.2023
Last application date 07.Apr.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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