Phd Position in: Quantum approaches to the interaction of molecules and plasmonic excitations in nanophotonics

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Donostia International Physics Center, San Sebastian, Spain
19 May, 2017

Quantum approaches to the interaction of molecules and plasmonic excitations in nanophotonics

Metallic nanoparticles support strong resonances at optical frequencies called plasmons, which can confine light to extremely small volumes and thus present very efficient coupling with nearby molecules. The properties of these plasmonic nanocavities have been studied using mostly a classical framework based on Maxwell’s equations. There is, however, a growing interest on understanding how quantum effects such as electron transfer processes, the atomistic configuration of the system or the quantized nature of plasmons and molecular transitions influence the plasmon-molecule interaction.

The student will work in the Theory of Nanophotonics group ( to develop and apply quantum methodologies to better understand the physics behind the plasmon-molecule interaction, and how controlling this interaction may impact applications in fields such as spectroscopy, optoelectronics or quantum information. The methodologies to be considered can be based on Quantum Electrodynamics (QED), Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory (TDDFT) and other approaches. This work can be complemented with an analysis based on classical or semi-classical theories. Of particular interest could be the study of the behavior of molecules situated at very narrow gaps between metallic particles, as this situation combines effects linked to very large coupling strengths, strong field inhomogeneities, electron-transfer and chemical interactions.

The work will be theoretical, but the group works with many experimental groups and the student is expected to contribute to such collaborations whenever possible. The student is also expected to work closely with other theoreticians experts on topics closely related to the present work, as for example quantum modeling of materials, quantum information or quantum chemistry. The candidate should be willing to perform stays of up to several months with our collaborators worldwide. A strong background on nanophotonics, quantum optics, ab-initio modeling of materials and/or QED will be particularly valuable. 

Contact person:  Prof. J. Aizpurua and Dr. Ruben Esteban (aizpurua [at] ehu [dot] eus, ruben_esteban [at] ehu [dot] eus)

To apply:

Theory of nanophotonics group: