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 this manner, strong-coupling has been proposed as a means for modifying the internal physics of condensed matter systems, with great potential for light-harvesting, energy-transport and catalysis.
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). Due to the short-lived nature of PEPs, linear spectroscopy can be restrictive, however, in determining how the energy landscape in molecular systems is affected by strong-coupling.
The project described here, suitable for a 10 month internship, would involve the construction of a time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopy instrument, in order to dynamically track the evolution of excited-state species in PEP systems on ~100 fs timescales. This project would be well-suited for students having interest in optics, energy transfer, and spectrosocpy. The project would have the following two main goals:
- The investigation of relaxation mechanisms which result in non-equilibrium condensation or PEP lasing in these systems [see M. Ramezani et al., Optica 4 (1), 31-37 (2017)]
- Studying exciton transport in donor-acceptor PEP systems for light-harvesting applications.
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).