Please note: unless otherwise specified, the internships are only available for students with a nationality of an EU-member state and/or students from a Dutch university.
DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research) is one of the NWO institutes and focuses on a multidisciplinary approach of the energy research combining physics, chemistry and materials engineering. The institute is an important part of the energy research strategy of NWO and FOM. The DIFFER mission is to carry out leading fundamental research in the field of fusion-energy and solar fuels, in close collaboration with academic institutions, research institutes and industry.
Strong-light matter coupling has emerged as a major cross-disciplinary field of study over recent years. This regime was originally constrained to the realm of low-temperature studies, however, extensions to room temperature through advances in the fabrication of nanophotonic structures have opened the door for numerous new research lines.
In the Photonics for Energy (PFE) group at DIFFER, we explore strong coupling of organic materials to plasmonic lattice resonances in periodic arrays of metallic nanoparticles, resulting in plasmon-exciton polaritons (PEPs). PEP lasing has previously been demonstrated by our group (see M. Ramezani et al., Optica 4 (1), 31-37 (2017)), where optical pumping leads to the formation of a non-equilibrium Bose-Einstein condensate of PEPs. This phenomenon, a subset of the broader polariton lasing field, presents an intriguing platform for the low-threshold generation of coherent light.
In this project, the internship student would explore different organic emitters for achieving polariton lasing at the lowest possible threshold. Somewhat counterintuitively, emitters with the highest intrinsic quantum yields are not necessarily those best suited for polariton lasing. The student will be required to explore emitters with strong or weak electronic-vibrational coupling, and also dyes and molecular aggregates which possessing intrinsic optical nonlinearities.
While no synthesis will be involved in the project, we expect that the candidate will possess some experience in chemistry environment, or the desire to learn, as the project will require the preparation of thin luminescent layers. This project should appeal to students interested in optics, lasing, molecular physics and nanophotonics.
If you are interested in this project, please contact Dr. Alexei Halpin (a  halpin  differ  nl) or Prof.Jaime Gomez-Rivas (j  gomezrivas  differ  nl).