Soft matter is at the core of modern technology, as well as of the living organisms. We explore how the self-organising nature of materials, such as liquid crystals and photovoltaic films, can be manipulated by light, structured geometries and nanoparticles. Our experimental investigations are accompanied by new mathematical approaches and models to pave the way to innovative, photonics based components and tools to characterise soft matter.




PhD positions available

PhD project in the area of low-power nonlinear optics in THz regime

We are looking for a highly motivated doctoral student to join our group and pursue experimental research and numerical modelling of the nonlinear optics in the THz regime.  Candidates should have a strong undergraduate background in physics or material science.

The project will explore liquid crystals and organic thin films and their use for THz beam manipulation, exploring their strong interaction with nanostructured surfaces . The PhD student will design new experimental and modelling characterisation procedures to understand the underlying physics of light-matter interaction and extract the material properties. This PhD project offers a good balance of fundamental and applied science, uniting the two in order to take forward our groups’ successful research photonics and liquid crystal devices. This project will be supervised by Dr Vassili Fedotov, Dr Vasilis Apostolopoulos and Prof. Malgosia Kaczmarek.

Applicants (UK/EU) interested in this fully funded project and position are encouraged to contact Prof Malgosia Kaczmarek prior to submitting a formal application. Please send a single PDF consisting of a cover letter (with the details of your degree and motivation) and a CV that includes contact information for your referees by email. 


Taming disorder on nanoscale

Regularity is a feature of human constructs, from the intricate patterns in the Alhambra or in the book of Kells, to the silicon highways of the processor that powers a smart phone. However, regularity on the nanoscale is either extremely costly or unachievable with current technology. This is a serious problem because the ability to structure materials on that scale offers the tantalising prospect of not only exploring new fundamental effects, but also giving them incredible mechanical or optical properties. This project is designed for an enterprising student who is keen to study foundational theoretical data science methods guided by significant potential applications. The project will employ topological data analysis together with modelling and machine learning techniques to quantify structures emerging in apparently disordered nanomaterials. We will also be interested in classifying their response in interaction with light. The successful applicant will be a member of an interdisciplinary team in Mathematics and Physics.

 Interested candidates should contact Professor Malgosia Kaczmarek.