Funded PhD Position In Ultrafast Photonics Within The European Research Council (ERC) Project TIMING

University of Sussex

Background and rationale

The core interest of the Emergent Photonics Lab is Ultrafast Photonics with two major core research lines in Terahertz Photonics and Complex Photonics. TIMING is a multidisciplinary project funded by the European Research Council (for a value of about 1.7 Million of GBP). It involves novel approaches to imaging and exotic nonlinear field-matter interactions, including processes that generate Terahertz waves. Key to the project success are elements directly inherited from the propagation in complex optical media.

The outcomes of this research are likely to have a key impact in several domains, from environmental detection to metrology, security, pharmaceutical manufacturing, medical and others.

Project plan, facilities and training

This PhD project will complement our efforts in diagnostic technologies based on nonlinear field-matter interaction with ultrashort pulses. The candidate will gain access to the Emergent Photonics Laboratory, a 110m2 facility that comprises a very large spectrum of state-of-the-art photonic equipment (representing a total investment exceeding 1.1 Million of GBP from different funding sources):

  • -High energy ultrafast optical sources (5mJ@90fs Ppeak>50GW)
  • -Several types of ultrafast laser oscillators (Ti:Sa, Er-doped fiber oscillator, optical parametric oscillators).
  • -30m2 of optical tables
  • -Two atomic-clock stabilised ultrafast optical combs
  • -Ultrafast microwave-on-optics diagnostics (i.e. generators, modulators and detectors)
  • -Ultrafast electronic acquisition systems (80GS/s with bandwidth >36GHz)
  • -Several diagnostic workbenches for terahertz, mid-Infrared and optical ultrashort pulses.
  • -Terahertz imagers
  • -High Energy Terahertz sources

The project goal is the establishment of a novel complex imaging approach potentially deployable (but not limited to) in the domain of Terahertz waves. The scientific production of the supervisor can be found here More details about the project will be discussed at the interview stage.

The successful candidate will join an interdisciplinary team and is expected to aim for an aggressive publication/dissemination strategy.

Award amount

£14,254 (2016-17) tax free stipend plus a waiver of UK/EU fees. This is a full-time PhD studentship with a duration of 3.5 years. An allowance of £1650 per year is available for additional training, travel, and conference fees with all the scientific activities pursued within the research project being funded by the research project.


You should have, or will soon complete, a UK Master's level degree in physics or electrical engineering, or the non-UK equivalent.

You should have a strong interest in research coupled with outstanding technical skills. You must have the ability to manage resources, be able to work independently and to organize and lead small team activities.

Applicants must have English ability at IELTS 6.0.

We only have resources to waive UK/EU fees. Overseas applicants must pay higher fees and should state in their application how they propose the additional fees of approximately £13800 per year be funded.

Application procedure

Informal enquiries are very welcome. Contact Dr Marco Peccianti.

Apply via the University of Sussex on-line system at

Apply for September 2017 admission, selecting the PhD in Physics and stating in the Financial Information section of the form that you are applying for this award, supervised by Dr Marco Peccianti. 


Early application is advised as the post will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is found.

The intended start date at Sussex is September 2017 but a start date of January 2018 is also possible.

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