Biology  Chemistry  Physics  Medicine
Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology of Polish Academy of Science
CodeProject TitleSlots
  1.1The role of autophagy in the regulation of secretion of extracellular vesicles and proteins at different stages of vascular smooth muscle cells senescence

Supervisor: dr hab. Grażyna Mosieniak

Laboratory: Laboratory of Molecular Bases of Aging

Background: Aging is characterized by a progressive loss of physiological integrity, leading to impaired function and increased vulnerability to death. This deterioration is the primary risk factor for major human pathologies including cardiovascular disorders such as atherosclerosis. The process of aging is highly complicated and it has been shown that a number of factors and signaling pathways contribute to it. One of them is stress response that leads to the so called cellular senescence that is characterized by permanent growth arrest of the cell. Senescent cells accumulate with age and an increased number of such cells has been found at sites of age-related pathologies. For example, senescent vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) have been identified at the site of atherosclerotic plaques. The most important feature of senescent cells, that has the biggest impact on tissue microenvironment, is their ability to secrete a number of inflammatory factors, chemokines, matrix metalloproteinases and growth factors (so called senescence associated secretory phenotype, SASP)

Requirements: - ideal candidates are expected to hold a degree (MSc) in a relevant scientific field (biotechnology, biology or a related field);
- basic experience in laboratory work is required;
- good command of English is necessary;
- ability to work independently and in a team.

Aim: We aim to comprehensively characterized the state of deep senescent cells on the level of gene expression, protein composition and secretory phenotype (SASP) and to analyze the influence of autophagy regulation on extracellular vesicles (EVs) and soluble factors secretion by senescent vascular smooth muscle cells at different stages of this process (early versus deep senescence). We hypothesize that disturb autophagy, especially in the late senescent cells, significantly influence the SASP. To achieve the aim we plan to perform unbiased analysis to characterized transcriptome, proteome and secretom of senescent VSMCs at different stages of senescence (early and late). We will also investigate the role of autophagy in the senescence of VSMCs, analyze changes in the level of expression of autophagy markers and autophagy flux using selective and specific for different stages of autophagic vesicles formation inhibitors. To prove the contribution of autophagy in the regulation of SASP detailed analysis of secretion of soluble factors and EVs upon autophagy activation and inhibition will be performed. Selected important or interesting results will be verified in the VSMCs derived from atherosclerotic plaque.

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  1.2Phylogenomics of mammalian astrocytes

Supervisor: dr Aleksandra Pękowska

Laboratory: Dioscuri Centre of Evolutionary and functional genomics of astrocytes

Background: For long time, astrocytes were considered as a purely homeostatic component of the brain. However, this view has changed, and the most recent research indicates that these cells play key roles in the regulation of synaptic plasticity and thus higher-level activities of the brain. Astrocytes have changed significantly during the course of mammalian evolution: morphology, interaction with neurons and the dynamics of signal transduction pathways are significantly different in human and mouse astrocytes. Comparative analyzes of gene activity have shown that the expression level of hundreds of loci varies significantly between mouse and human astrocytes. However, currently, the evolutionary changes in the genome that underlie the modification of the profile of gene activity in astrocytes are unknown. Likewise, it is not clear which genes are responsible for the development of human-specific traits of astrocytes

Requirements: - master ?s degree in molecular biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, biophysics, bioinformatics or neurobiology;
- outstanding commitment to science (documented by trainings and/or internships in research institutes);
- good spoken and written English;
- programming skills are a plus.

Aim: Identification of genes and the evolutionary changes in the genome that underlie human-specific features of astrocytes.

WWW: https://pekowskalab.github.io/

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  1.3Deciphering activity of CA1 region during alcohol seeking and consumption

Supervisor: dr hab. Katarzyna Radwańska

Laboratory: Laboratory: Molecular Basis of Behavior

Background: Development of drug addiction involves functional alterations within brain areas controlling reward-driven behaviour and memory processes. In this context, remodelling of the glutamatergic synapses has gained a lot of attention (Hanse et al, 2013; Lüscher et al, 2011; Wolf, 2016). Still the molecular processes which contribute to the remodelling of the synapses and circuits in addicted individuals are poorly understood. Our aim in this project is to test the hypothesis that regulation of activity of CA1 pyramidal neurons by Arc/Arg3.1 protein controls addiction-related behaviours. Arc/Arg3.1 protein is rapidly upregulated by strong synaptic activity and critically contributes to weakening glutamatergic synapses by promoting AMPA receptor endocytosis (Plath et al, 2006; Tzingounis and Nicoll, 2006). The hypothesis is also based on our observations showing that Arc knockout mice (Arc KO) are impaired in alcohol seeking during relapse induced by alcohol-associated cues, while alcohol consumption and seeking in wild-type animals affects expression of Arc protein in the area CA1 of the hippocampus.
To verify the hypothesis we plan to realize the following tasks:
Task 1. To test the role of Arc/Arg3.1 in CA1 in regulation of addiction-related behaviours.
Task 2. To test the role of Arc/Arg3.1 in regulation of alcohol-induced plasticity of CA1 neurons.
Task 3. To test the dynamics of CA1 neurons during alcohol consumption and seeking

Requirements: - the students should have MSc in Biology (Molecular), Neurobiology, Biotechnology, Bioinformatics or Biophysics;
- only highly motivated students with outstanding academic record and fluent English will be accepted;
- one PhD student will be responsible for behavioral analysis of Arc KO mice and electrophysiological characteristics of Arc KOCA1 neurons (Tasks 1 and 2). Strong background in biology will be an asset of the successful candidate;
- the second PhD student will be involved in implementation of miniscopes in a new cages and image data analysis. Strong background in mathematics/bioinformatics/image analysis will be an asset of the successful candidate.

Aim: Our aim in this project is to test the hypothesis that regulation of activity of CA1 pyramidal neurons by Arc/Arg3.1 protein controls addiction-related behaviours.

WWW: https://radwanskalab.eu/

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  1.4Inputs from V5/MT to V1 in cortical reorganization triggered by Retinitis Pigmentosa: significance and functions.

Supervisor: dr hab. Kalina Burnat-Kuijpers

Laboratory: Laboratory: Neuroplasticity

Background: Millions of people worldwide suffer from severe visual illness caused by retinal photoreceptor degeneration. Over 2,5 million of them suffer from currently incurable Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) disease, where the loss affects the peripheral retina in the progressive peripheral to central manner, causing the limitation of the field of view to small central field of vision, ?tunnel vision?. Here we assume that in RP patients, plasticity of the peripheral vision cortical representations rests on intact information arriving to the central retina. We predict, that neurons, or cortical areas driven by central retina, can allocate their properties to the peripheral counterpart. As we demonstrated in our recent animal model of human central retinal loss, the plasticity of the peripheries was observed after central retinal loss. Therefore, we plan to compare reorganizations triggered by juvenile central loss of photoreceptors in patients with Stargardt disease with matched onset of illness and duration to our RP patient group. We plan to examine central and peripheral processing using designed by us novel acuity task based on motion perception. Brain region activations during presentation of visual stimuli will be examined with functional magnetic resonance imaging. We shall also investigate structure of white matter connections between visual regions of the brain and measure the volume of brain regions involved in vision.

Requirements: A candidate should fulfill the following requirements:
- MA/MSc in Biology, Neuropsychology, Psychophysiology, Mathematics or other related disciplines, attained not later than October 2019;
- fluency in English both written and spoken;
- full availability during the whole project.

Aim: We aim to explain plasticity events in RP and STGD syndromes, which although affecting different regions of retina may similarly recruit motion processing regions in the cortex. The results of this project will add a new dimension to understanding plasticity of the adult brain. The project will be performed in consortium with Professor Jacek Szaflik, director of the Independent Public Clinical Ophthalmology Hospital in Warsaw.
PhD student will be creating and performing behavioral procedure with patients and control group, design and optimization of system configuration for experiments, preparing MRI data for further analysis. Performing MRI experiments with patients and control group, and optimization of system configuration for eye-tracking MRI environment. Analyzing MRI data.

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  1.5Identification of enzymatic proteins of central pair apparatus and the analysis of their role in regulation of ciliary beating.

Supervisor: Dorota Wloga, Ph.D. D.Sc./ Ewa Joachimiak Ph.D.

Laboratory: Laboratory of Cytoskeleton and Cilia Biology

Background: Cilia are highly specialized microtubular structures that play crucial sensory and locomotory functions. It is believed that signals controlling cilia beating are initiated at the centrally positioned structure called central apparatus and transmitted to the ciliary motor proteins, dyneins. In human, the coordinated ciliary beating is required for mucociliary clearance of respiratory ducts, circulation of cerebrospinal fluid, transport of egg cell into uterus and motility of sperm cells.
Defects in structure or function of motile cilia lead to multi-symptom disorder called primary ciliary dyskinesia, (PCD) that affects one per 15-30 000 individuals. It manifests by male and female infertility, recurring infections of the upper respiratory tracks, situs inversus and rarely hydrocephalus. In about 30-40% of cases a genetic background of PCD remains unknown.

Requirements: - basic skills in microscopy and molecular biology are preferred but not obligatory;
- strong motivation to work, passion, good organizational skills, team work skills, attention to detail,
- ability to communicate fluently in English.

Aim: Our major goal is to identify proteins of the central apparatus proteins involved in the regulation of cilia motility whose mutations may cause PCD. The proposed studies will be held using three different models: ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila, stable cell lines of mammalian epithelia, and primary cultures of mammalian ciliated epithelia of respiratory ducts or ependyma. During a PhD course the successful applicant will use a broad range of techniques, including cell biology (cell culture, immunochemistry, light and electron microscopy), biochemistry (BioID, co-immunoprecipitation, western blot, mass spectrometry) and molecular biology techniques (cloning, transgenic cell lines engineering).

WWW: http://www.nencki.gov.pl/pracownia-cytoszkieletu-i-biologii-rzesek

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  1.6Does the transfer of DREADD receptor genes to selected motoneuron populations in the transected spinal cord restore motor functions? Synaptic and receptor changes in motoneurons caused by chemogenetic activation

Supervisor: prof dr hab. Małgorzata Skup

Laboratory: Group of Restorative Neurobiology

Background: Research will focus on the plasticity of neuronal networks and neuromuscular synapses after spinal cord injuries and targeted gene transfer encoding neurotransmitter receptors for motoneurons (MN). An in-depth understanding of the mechanisms underlying these processes is necessary for the development of therapies that restore disturbed motor functions.
The basis of the project is the observation that the MN groups of the spinal cord that stimulate the contraction of functionally opposed hind limbs during locomotion are impaired to various degrees after damage. The aim is to solve the problem that occurs in most experimental therapies after spinal cord injury. It results from uncontrolled stimulation of the entire system of preserved neurons below the transection site. Paradigms of activation of the whole network lead to moderate improvement of motor functions, but they do not restore functional balance between different MN and muscle groups. Therefore, the immediate goal of the project is to investigate whether enrichment of selected α-MN groups that control the muscles of the hind limb with receptors, which after stimulation increase MN receptivity, will improve locomotion after spinal cord transection.
Research will be carried out on adult rats. We will apply intramuscular gene transfer coding for the hM3Dq muscarinic metabotropic receptor (DREADD, Designer Receptor Exclusively Activated by Designed Drug), which is a chemogenetic tool. Expression of this receptor in motoneurons will allow selective activation of cells with its low-molecular agonists. In this project we will analyze the effect of intermittent, repeated DREADD stimulation. An optimal activation pattern will be determined to trigger functional changes that will be evaluated on the basis of gait kinematics and electromyography (EMG) analysis. To obtain material from MN for the analysis of gene expression, we will apply an innovative laser microdissection, and then we will carry out quantitative determinations using qRT-PCR. The pattern of distribution and structure of synaptic terminations and membrane receptors will be examined using immunofluorescence, confocal and electron microscopy.

Requirements: - holds a master degree in biological sciences or related fields specifically molecular biology, biochemistry or biotechnology, awarded not longer than two years ago;
- fulfills the formal criteria for the competition;
- has a motivation and passion for experimental work; perseverance and determination to continue and finish the project;
- has a basic practice in laboratory work, in biochemical analysis and microscopy;
- does not hesitate to work with animals;
- has good written and oral communication skills in English;
- enjoys working in a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary environment, is open to feedback and input from others.

Aim: To investigate the effect of stimulation of modified DREADD muscarinic receptors on selected α-MN groups controlling the rat hindlimb muscles on MN receptivity, plastic changes and motor functions after spinal cord transection.

WWW: www.nencki.gov.pl/grupa-neurobiologii-naprawczej

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  1.7Does the transfer of TrkB receptor genes to selected motoneuron populations in the transected spinal cord restore motor functions? Synaptic and receptor changes in motoneurons caused by potentiation of neurotrophin signaling.

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Małgorzata Skup

Laboratory: Group of Restorative Neurobiology

Background: Research will focus on the plasticity of neuronal networks and neuromuscular synapses after spinal cord injuries and targeted gene transfer encoding neurotrophin receptors to motoneurons (MN). An in-depth understanding of the mechanisms underlying these processes is necessary for the development of therapies that restore disturbed motor functions.
The basis of the project is the observation that the MN groups of the spinal cord that elicit the contraction of functionally opposed hind limbs during locomotion are impaired to various degrees after damage. The aim is to solve the problem that occurs in most experimental therapies after spinal cord injury. It results from uncontrolled stimulation of the entire system of preserved neurons below the transection site. Paradigms of activation of the whole network lead to moderate improvement of motor functions, but they do not restore functional balance between different MN and muscle groups. Therefore, the immediate goal of the project is to investigate whether enrichment of selected α-MN groups that control the muscles of the hind limb with neurotrophin receptors, which after stimulation increase MN survival and potential to plastic responses, will improve locomotion after spinal cord transection.
Research will be carried out on adult rats. We will apply intramuscular transfer of the Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) receptor TrkB gene. Overexpression of this receptor in motoneurons will allow selective potentiation of BDNF signaling. In this project we will analyze the effect of continuous, physiologically regulated stimulation. Changes caused by stimulation of TrkB receptors will be compared between animals subjected to locomotor training, which up-regulates BDNF in the spinal network, and animals without training. Functional improvement will be evaluated with gait kinematics and electromyography (EMG) analysis. To obtain material from MN for the analysis of gene expression, an innovative laser microdissection will be applied, and then quantitative determinations will be carried out using qRT-PCR. The pattern of distribution and structure of synaptic terminations and membrane receptors will be examined using immunofluorescence, confocal and electron microscopy.

Requirements: - holds a master degree in biological sciences or related fields specifically molecular biology, biochemistry or biotechnology, awarded not longer than two years ago;
- fulfills the formal criteria for the competition;
- has a motivation and passion for experimental work; perseverance and determination to continue and finish the project;
- has a basic practice in laboratory work, in biochemical analysis and microscopy;
- does not hesitate to work with animals;
- has good written and oral communication skills in English;
- enjoys working in a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary environment, is open to feedback and input from others.

Aim: To investigate the effect of activation of overexpressed Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor Receptor TrkB on selected α-MN groups controlling the rat hindlimb muscles on MN receptivity, plastic changes and motor functions after spinal cord transection.

WWW: www.nencki.gov.pl/grupa-neurobiologii-naprawczej

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  1.8Reprogramming antitumor innate immunity in gliomas with osteopontin/Spp1interfering peptides and nanovehicles-delivered siRNA/shRNA

Supervisor: prof. Bożena Kamińska (co-supervisor: dr Aleksandra Ellert-Miklaszewska)

Laboratory: Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology

Background: The interaction between tumor cells and components of its microenvironment is bidirectional. Tumor cells and their products are capable of regulating and altering gene expression in non-tumor cells residing in or infiltrating into the microenvironment, thereby shaping their phenotype. Conversely, constituents of microenvironment regulate gene expression in tumor cells, changing tumor behavior and supporting growth, drug resistance and metastasis. The research proposed herein starts with a hypothesis we have recently put forward that tumor-derived osteopontin contributes to tumor progression by attracting brain resident microglia and macrophages (GAMs) and shaping immune microenvironment of glioblastomas. This switch of GAMs and other innate immune cells to protumorigenic cells is not permanent and could be reversed bringing back antitumor immunity. Recent data suggest that high amounts of osteopontin detected in the tumors may be derived not only from the tumor cells (including glioma initiating cells) but also from the host cells, such as microglia or tumor-associated astrocytes. When released to the circulation, osteopontin upregulates intratumoral neutrophil and macrophage infiltration in glioblastoma.

Requirements: - a Master?s degree in biology or related filed,
- a strong interest in the project,
- ability to work in an interdisciplinary team,
- fluency in spoken and written English,
- full commitment to the project,
- extra assets: research experience in experimental animal models and molecular biology, documented participation in scientific projects.

Aim: The main objective of the current project is to analyse the antitumor and immunomodulatory potency of systemic osteopontin ablation in experimental glioma models either by genetic interference or by administration of the interfering peptides, which will prevent osteopontin binding to its specific receptors.

WWW: www.kaminska-lab.pl

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Institute of Organic Chemistry of Polish Academy of Science
CodeProject TitleSlots
  2.1Transition metal-catalyzed C-H activation of nitrones

Supervisor: dr hab. Rafał Loska

Laboratory: Group XIV

Background: - synthesis of the starting materials;
- optimization and investigation of the scope of the title C?H activation reactions of nitrones;
- preparation of scientific papers.

Requirements: - a MsC degree in chemistry obtained before 30th June 2019;
- good knowledge of organic chemistry;
- dedication to the project, interpersonal skills;
- good English skills, sufficient for research work in chemistry;

Aim: The aim of the project is discovery and development of transition metal-catalyzed C?H activation reactions of aldonitrones. These processes will involve cross-coupling with substrates containing good leaving groups (primarily halogens) at an sp2 carbon (or C(sp3), or a sulfur atom of sulphonyl group), leading to ketonitrones. The second objective is to develop double C?H activation (cross-dehydrogenative coupling, CDC)1 reactions of aldonitrones, that is their oxidative cross-coupling with substrates containing a C(sp2)?H bond.
Reactions involving C?H activation in one, or better both substrates, enable preparation of desired, complex target products more efficiently, that is in fewer synthetic steps. Such processes allow employing simpler, more available starting materials, as well as reduced consumption of resources (reagents, solvents, time, energy) and diminished production of waste products which are often dangerous to the natural environment. Development of a new class of such reactions with broad substrate scope will be the key result of the proposed research project. Considering the exceptional versatility of nitrones as synthetic intermediates, development of efficient methods of their synthesis relying upon small (<5 mol%) amount of Pd or Cu catalysts will undoubtedly contribute to the organic chemists' abilities to prepare complex nitrogen-containing organic compounds, such as unnatural aminoacids, biologically active alkaloids, heterocycles, aminosugars, pharmaceuticals, compounds exhibiting interesting physicochemical properties, etc.

WWW: http://wp.icho.edu.pl/zespol-xiv/

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  2.2Nanozymes: Hybrid, nanoparticle-based catalysts exhibiting long-range substrate selectivity

Supervisor: prof. dr. Bartosz Grzybowski, FRSC

Laboratory: Group XI

Background: The candidate will be able to carry out interdisciplinary research at the intersection of organic chemistry, nanotechnology and molecular self-assembly to synthesize, characterize and implement unique nanoscale ?hybrid? catalysts allowing for selectively addressing the otherwise chemically equivalent functionalities within organic molecules. The applicant will gain solid grounding in organic and nano
synthesis, and will master the instrumental toolkit of modern nanotechnology (TEM,SEM, UV-Vis, DLS, etc.). The team the applicant will join is home to some of the Europe?s best and brightest young organic chemists and is led by the Feynman Prize Laureate, Prof. B.A. Grzybowski. The applicant will have the opportunity to broaden his/her scientific horizons through close collaboration and/or short-term visits to Prof. Grzybowski?s laboratories in Korea (https://www.ibs.re.kr/softmatt/).

Requirements: Solid knowledge of chemistry, passion for discovery, and the desire to
perform paradigm-shifting research.

Aim: The overriding goal of the proposed research is to create catalytic systems (1) recognizing longrange molecular environments within the incoming substrates and (2) perform selectively reactions at individual chemical groups within these substrates that would otherwise be chemically equivalent. Through an interdisciplinary effort- combining cutting edge nanotechnology, organic synthesis,and computer modelling - we will create systems comprised of nanoparticle cores covered with mixtures of organic ligands serving as catalysts as
well as those serving as recognition elements "preorganizing" the incoming substrates for reactions at only specific loci. Our preliminary results already evidence that our nanoparticle/organic hybrids can indeed achieve unprecedented selectivities and are able to
differentiate chemical groups by various "distant" structural features present in the on-particle monolayers. Such differentiation is useful in the synthesis of drugs or natural products, especially in late-stage functionalization in which traditional synthetic approaches are inadequate.

WWW: www.icho.edu.pl

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  2.3New N-heterocyclic carbene gold complexes: from catalytic activity to medical applications.

Supervisor: dr Michał Michalak

Laboratory: Group V

Background: The aim of the planned research is focused on the synthesis of new chiral
N-heterocyclic carbene gold(III) complexes, their characterization by the selected spectroscopic methods (in particular, NMR and X-ray analysis) and application in selected enantioselective reactions. In addition, the synthesis of structurally diverse N-heterocyclic carbene gold(III) complexes for the evaluation of biological activity is also planned.

Requirements: - have a MSc degree in chemistry;
- the candidate must pass the interview for the Doctoral Studies at ICHO PAN (for more details, see https://www.icho.edu.pl/rekrutacja-sd/);
- have experience in experimental synthetic organic chemistry;
- commitment and capacity for team work and critical thinking;
- good oral and written communication skills in English
- CV;
- cover letter;
- summary of research (no more than 3 pages of standard typewritten, Times New Roman 10, single line spacing);
- scan of MSc diploma;

Aim: Synthesis of new chiral gold complexes, their use in selected enantioselective reactions and the study of biological properties.

WWW: www.icho.edu.pl

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Institute of Physical Chemistry of Polish Academy of Science
CodeProject TitleSlots
  3.1Manipulation of leukaemia cells in microfluidic channels by hydrodynamic focusing and optical tweezers.

Supervisor: Prof. dr hab. Garstecki Piotr/dr Ladislav Derzsi

Laboratory: Group of microfluidics and complex fluids

Background: Leukemias are malignancies originating from hematopoietic or lymphoid precursors. They are caused by genetic lesions leading to biochemical, proteomic and metabolomics abnormalities. Current leukaemia diagnostics is based on genetic and phenotypic characterization of these changes. The RApID project aims to develop the first Stimulated Raman Scattering (SRS) microscopic-microfluidic system for non-invasive imaging of live cells and apply it to rapid leukaemia cell imaging, diagnostic cs and sorting. By integrating the multidisciplinary expertise from a broad range of fields, consortium partners will characterize Raman spectra of leukemic cells and link them to clinico-biological features of the disease. Our team at the Group of Microfluidics and Complex Fluids will be responsible for fabricating an innovative microfluidic device for sorting sub-clones of leukaemic cells and testing their chemoresistance in the RApID system.

Requirements: - MSc diploma in microbiology, bioengineering, biotechnology, chemistry, or similar;
- creativity and enthusiasm measured by the quality and number of projects, study record, internships, authorship in peer-reviewed publications and patents in which the Candidate participated and contributed;
- analytical thinking and critical problem solving skills;
- excellent communications, organization and time management skills;
- fluent in spoken and written English;
- flexibility and ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural research team;
- direct experience with microfluidics is an asset.

Aim: PhD 1
The goal of the PhD project is to develop a microfluidic device for capturing manipulation and sorting of leukaemia cell. In particular, the PhD candidate will i) use hydrodynamic focusing method to guide the cells to the centre of the detection zone, ii) ensure stability and repeatability at the resolution of few microns and iii) integrate the device with a set of optical tweezers for capture and release of the cells. The system will allow detection and imaging of multiple cells in a sequence with the use of a single detection unit.

WWW: http://ichf.pong.pl/en/

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  3.2Microfluidic-coupled Simulated Raman Spectroscopy (SRS) for rapid detection and imaging of cancer cells.

Supervisor: Prof. dr hab. Garstecki Piotr/dr Ladislav Derzsi

Laboratory: Group of microfluidics and complex fluids

Background: Leukemias are malignancies originating from hematopoietic or lymphoid precursors. They are caused by genetic lesions leading to biochemical, proteomic and metabolomics abnormalities. Current leukaemia diagnostics is based on genetic and phenotypic characterization of these changes. The RApID project aims to develop the first Stimulated Raman Scattering (SRS) microscopic-microfluidic system for non-invasive imaging of live cells and apply it to rapid leukaemia cell imaging, diagnostic cs and sorting. By integrating the multidisciplinary expertise from a broad range of fields, consortium partners will characterize Raman spectra of leukemic cells and link them to clinico-biological features of the disease. Our team at the Group of Microfluidics and Complex Fluids will be responsible for fabricating an innovative microfluidic device for sorting sub-clones of leukaemic cells and testing their chemoresistance in the RApID system.

Requirements: - MSc diploma in microbiology, bioengineering, biotechnology, chemistry, or similar;
- creativity and enthusiasm measured by the quality and number of projects, study record, internships, authorship in peer-reviewed publications and patents in which the Candidate participated and contributed;
- analytical thinking and critical problem solving skills;
- excellent communications, organization and time management skills;
- fluent in spoken and written English;
- flexibility and ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural research team;
- direct experience with microfluidics is an asset

Aim: PhD 2

The goal of the PhD project is to integrate a microfluidic module with a Simulated Raman Spectroscopy (SRS) and to test the system for leukemia cell imaging and diagnostics. The PhD candidate will also develop automation protocols to synchronize the feeding-trapping-imaging-releasing sequence for a stream of cells and also test the possibility and limitations of the ?detection on fly? method, i.e. detection of cells without the use optical traps.

WWW: http://ichf.pong.pl/en/

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  3.3Label-free optical detection methods for detection of biological and chemical reactions in nanoliter droplets.

Supervisor: Prof. dr hab. Garstecki Piotr

Laboratory: Group of microfluidics and complex fluids

Background: EvoDrops is a European consortium with the common goal to utilize droplet-based microfluidics for applications in directed evolution. The principle of Directed Evolution (Nobel Price 2018) mimics in vitro the mechanisms of natural evolution that led to the emergence of functional molecules in living organisms. To properly function, directed evolution is based on high-throughput screening tools and droplet-based microfluidics here provide the toolbox for the screening and selection of thousands of compounds per second.

Requirements: ? MSc diploma in microbiology, bioengineering, biotechnology, chemistry, physics, electronic engineering, mechanical engineering, or similar
? Application must be submitted by an Early-Stage researcher fulfilling Mobility criterion, i.e. researcher who is in the first four years of his/her research career, does not have a doctoral degree, and has not resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Poland for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the appointment
- experience in one or more of the following fields: optics, soft matter (experimental work), programming, designing experimental systems, preferably experience in designing, constructing and testing microfluidic systems;
- creativity and enthusiasm measured by the quality and number of projects, study record, internships, authorship in peer-reviewed publications and patents in which the Candidate participated and contributed;
- analytical thinking and critical problem solving skills;
- excellent communications, organization and time management skills;
- fluent in spoken and written English;
- flexibility and ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural research team.

Aim: The objective of the thesis is to develop optical and analytical methods for the detection of biological and chemical reactions in droplets. For high-sensitivity and high-throughput assays, laser-based and photomultiplier tubes (PMT) optical detection methods will be developed. Improved analytical systems based on fluorescence and absorbance readout for parallelized measurements is foreseen in order to improve the throughput and the scope of biological assays. Signal recording will be performed in real-time using home written software.

WWW: http://ichf.pong.pl/en/

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  3.4In vivo Imaging of human eye by Spatio Temporal Optical Coherence Imaging.

Supervisor: Prof dr hab. Maciej Wojtkowski

Laboratory: Physical Optics and Biophotonics Group

Background: In this project, we would like to apply a new method of Spatio Temporal Optical Coherence Imaging developed in our group to image retinal pigmented epithelium in vivo. These studies will enable to solve one of the most basic problems of optics, which is in-vivo microscopic imaging in optically inhomogeneous media. The objective of this project is to broaden our knowledge about the image formation process in the presence of highly distortive media like biological samples.
The hypothesis of this work is that it is possible to perform in vivo imaging of retinal pigmented epithelial cells by dynamic tailoring of spatial frequency distribution of illuminating light.

Requirements: - a university degree in physics/engineering (optics, automatics, informatics, electronics);
- initial experience in experimental work in the field of experimental optics;
- skills in C++, Python, LabView or MatLab;
- good command of English.

Aim: The goal of these research is to develop a new non-invasive and non-contact, optical method of imaging anatomical details of the human retina including the structure of retinal pigment epithelial cells.

WWW: http://pob-lab.com

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  3.5Image formation by Spatio Temporal Optical Coherence Imaging.

Supervisor: Prof dr hab. Maciej Wojtkowski

Laboratory: Physical Optics and Biophotonics Group

Background: Presence of a micro- and macro-structures of the scattering medium causes uneven, rapid and random changes in refractive index distribution along optical path within the medium. These distortions cause delocalization of points in the resultant image in respect to their original positions in the object. In perfect undisturbed image formation each point has a specific combination of contributing spatial frequencies, which interfere and give intensity value at particular point in space. Once we overlap two or more of such images each spatial frequency component in corresponding points will be perfectly correlated with its counterpart in other image. This can be expressed by matrix of complex spectral degree of coherence (correlation matrix). For no disturbed image correlated components of spatial frequencies will be distributed along the diagonal of correlation matrix. In case of delocalized points (disturbed image) there will be additional cross-talk between spatial frequency components.
The hypothesis of this work is that one can remove high order image distortions introduced by biological samples by dynamic tailoring of spatial frequency distribution of illuminating light.

Requirements: - a university degree in physics/engineering (optics, automatics, informatics, electronics);
- initial experience in experimental work in the field of experimental optics;
- skills in C++, Python, LabView or MatLab;
- good command of English.

Aim: The goal of these research is to program, we would like to solve one of the most basic problems of optics, which is in-vivo microscopic imaging in optically inhomogeneous media.

WWW: http://pob-lab.com

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  3.6Quantification of anthracyclines drugs interactions with intranuclear DNA in living cells on the example of daunorubicin.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr hab. Robert Hołyst/dr Tomasz Kalwarczyk

Laboratory: Soft Condensed Matter

Background: Anthracyclines is the most widely used group of anticancer drugs. They interaclate into the nuclear DNA leading to cell death. The process of intercalation of doxorubicin belonging to the anthracycline group, into the DNA strand was widely studied in vitro which makes it a good model compound for DNA association studies. Optimization of therapeutic effects of drugs requires information about the number of targets that the drug will act on. In this project we are aimed at quantification of interactions between daunorubicin molecules with intranuclear DNA in living cells. In particular we are interested in estimation
of number of DNA binding sites available for small ligand to react with. We are also interested how this number changes upon post-translational modifications of histones around which the DNA is folded. Histones modifications occur during cell cycle, as an epigenetic response to environmental conditions, or can be forced biochemically, and lead to changes of DNA packing levels, and therefore to change in the DNA binding sites content.
The candidate will work in a highly interdisciplinary group consisting of chemists, physicists, and biotechnologists. He/She will be responsible for preparation of biological and biochemical samples (living cell cultures) and measurements using advanced microscopy and spectroscopy techniques (confocal imaging, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and others).

Requirements: -we are looking for self-motivated, creative, and curiosity driven individuals that are ready to work in an interdisciplinary and international group;
- the candidate should be able to conduct research on the edge of chemistry, biology, and physics and posses strong manual and communicative skills. The candidate should also have high analytical skills.
In particular:
- MSc in (bio)chemistry, (bio)physics, biotechnology (or related fields);
- experience or at least strong interest and theoretical background in topics related to this project, including but not limiting to: biochemical research, single-molecule research, biophysics, living cell culturing;
- communicative English skills (both writing and oral) at the level allowing for reading and writing scientific articles and give oral presentations of results;
- experience with fluorescence microscopy techniques will be considered as a plus.

Aim: In this project we are aimed at quantification of interactions between anthracycline drug molecules with intranuclear DNA in living cells. We are going to estimate the number of DNA binding sites available for small drug molecules. We will perform quantitative experiments by means of single-molecule fluorescence methods and state-of-the-art methodology.

WWW: http://groups.ichf.edu.pl/holyst

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  3.7Quantification of anthracyclines drugs interactions with intranuclear DNA in living cells on the example of idarubicin.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr hab. Robert Hołyst/dr Tomasz Kalwarczyk

Laboratory: Soft Condensed Matter

Background: Anthracyclines is the most widely used group of anticancer drugs. They interaclate into the nuclear DNA leading to cell death. The process of intercalation of doxorubicin belonging to the anthracycline group, into the DNA strand was widely studied in vitro which makes it a good model compound for DNA association studies. Optimization of therapeutic effects of drugs requires information about the number of targets that the drug will act on. In this project we are aimed at quantification of interactions between idarubicin molecules with intranuclear DNA in living cells. In particular we are interested in estimation
of number of DNA binding sites available for small ligand to react with. We are also interested how this number changes upon post-translational modifications of histones around which the DNA is folded. Histones modifications occur during cell cycle, as an epigenetic response to environmental conditions, or can be forced biochemically, and lead to changes of DNA packing levels, and therefore to change in the DNA binding sites content.
The candidate will work in a highly interdisciplinary group consisting of chemists, physicists, and biotechnologists. He/She will be responsible for preparation of biological and biochemical samples (living cell cultures) and measurements using advanced microscopy and spectroscopy techniques (confocal imaging, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and others).

Requirements: - we are looking for self-motivated, creative, and curiosity driven individuals that are ready to work in an interdisciplinary and international group. The candidate should be able to conduct research on the edge of chemistry, biology, and physics and posses strong manual and communicative skills. The candidate should also have high analytical skills.
In particular:
- MSc in (bio)chemistry, (bio)physics, biotechnology (or related fields);
- experience or at least strong interest and theoretical background in topics related to this project, including but not limiting to: biochemical research, single-molecule research, biophysics, living cell culturing;
- communicative English skills (both writing and oral) at the level allowing for reading and writing scientific articles and give oral presentations of results;
- experience with fluorescence microscopy techniques will be considered as a plus.

Aim: In this project we are aimed at quantification of interactions between anthracycline drug molecules with intranuclear DNA in living cells. We are going to estimate the number of DNA binding sites available for small drug molecules. We will perform quantitative experiments by means of single-molecule fluorescence methods and state-of-the-art methodology.

WWW: http://groups.ichf.edu.pl/holyst

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  3.8Mathematical models of complex evolution of self-propelled particles on the water surface.

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Jerzy Górecki

Laboratory: Institute of Physical Chemistry of the PAS Complex Systems and Chemical Processing of Information.

Background: Creation of artificial life one of the goals of research that has been carried out for thousands of years. Self-motion is one of the attributes of life. It is not surprising, that spontaneous motion and interactions between self-propelled objects have been intensively studied in the recent years. The experimental observations indicate the great diversity and complexity of phenomena in such systems. Within the project we are concerned with open systems, in which dissipated molecules form a layer on the water surface and next evaporate from it. We consider molecules that can modify the surface tension of water depending on their surface concentration. The appearing Marangoni flows can self-propel objects floating on the water surface. We have accumulated a large number of experimental observations on different types of far-from-equilibrium evolution in such systems
(see http://groups.ichf.edu.pl/gorecki/research/view?id=85&name=).
However, the rapid increase in the number of experimental observations is not accompanied by the progress in mathematical models that can be used for effective simulations. The project is focused on new simulation methods that allow to describe time evolution of both solid objects and soft ones, that can divide or release small fragments.

Requirements: - completed master's degree in physics, mechanics, technical physics or mathematical modeling;
- knowledge of statistical physics and fluid mechanics. Strong algorithming skills; programming in C / C ++, Mathematica and (preferred) in CUDA.

Aim: We plan to develop mathematical description of self-propagating objects that takes into account the dynamics of surface concentration, the movement of objects and the hydrodynamic flows resulting from changes in surface tension. We consider models describing physical quantities using continuous variables, as well as the discrete models (cellular automata), that seem especially useful for systems in which objects can divide. The results obtained will be compared with experiments.

WWW: http://groups.ichf.edu.pl/gorecki

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  3.9Bacteriophage based sensors for detection of pathogenic bacteria

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Robert Hołyst/ dr Jan Paczesny

Laboratory: Team 10 Soft Condensed Matter / Team 2 Living Materials

Background: Only in Europe 4.1 million patients are affected by health care-associated infection each year. In USA the nosocomial infections cause around 100 000 deaths per year. The additional costs of treatment of hospital-related infections are enormous. It is estimated to be around 7.5 billion Euro in EU and around $5 billion in USA. Moreover, targeted treatment of infections becomes a must as new bacteria strains, resistant to antibiotics, emerge. Modest estimates ($1.3 billion to $2.7 billion in the USA and $1.5 billion in the EU) have recently been reported.
In majority of cases serious repercussions can be avoided thanks to fast and reliable detection of bacteria. The conventional detection method depends on culturing and isolation of the target bacteria followed by biochemical confirmation. This takes up to 72 h to obtain reliable output. In many cases this is far too long, not only in case of healthcare, but also in industry or security. Thus, development of sensitive, specific, and rapid methods for bacteria detection is a must.
We propose to develop and test bacteriophage based biosensors for bacteria detection to significantly improve the quality and time of analyses. Bacteriophages are viruses whose host organisms are bacteria. Their natural affinity to host cells can be used to design highly specific tools for bacteria detection. Phages are relatively safe for humans, stable, can be easily produced cheaply and in large quantities.
The project belongs to applied sciences.

Requirements: We care about finding the best doctoral students, not on a specific profile or education of the candidates. Specific tasks will depend on profiles of successful candidates. From our experience the background in biotechnology would be appropriate, as it allows to adapt to both chemistry and biology tasks. Also, students with microbiological background will be favored. However, applicants with other backgrounds will be also considered based on the possible input to the project (e.g. chemists, biologists, physicists, engineers or similar).
Responsibilities:
- designing, planning and carrying out experimental work independently and under the supervision, maintaining regular research notes;
- scientific initiative and contribution through regular reporting and publishing, as well as presenting at group meetings, national and international conferences;
- providing help and supervision to junior members of the group;
- contribution to the efficient functioning of the lab including necessary administrative and organizational tasks.
Additional Requirements:
- master of Science (or equivalent) degree preferably in biotechnology, biology, chemistry, physics or related, awarded not earlier than five years before the deadline of the present recruitment;
- candidates will need to fulfil all the requirements of IPC PAS for PhD candidates (e.g. pass the qualification exam);
- the average grade obtained in the course of study is not less than 4.3;
- ability to work independently as well as in a group;
- basic knowledge of rules and protocols valid in bio-labs;
- knowledge on bacteriophages will be appreciated;
- proficiency in English speaking and writing.

Aim: In our previous works (Richter 2016, Richter 2017, Janczuk 2017) we showed phage sensors that detect E. coli in a few minutes. Nevertheless, the parameters of our sensors still do not meet market needs. Within the project, we will detect bacteria in c samples (e.g. in blood, food samples) and in mice infected with sepsis. The project will develop a platform, and the preparation of a specific sensor will require substitution of one phage for another. The goal is a detection limit of around 1 CFU/ml.

WWW: http://groups.ichf.edu.pl/holyst https://janpaczesny.wixsite.com/paczesny

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  3.10Unusual building blocks for equilibrium and dynamic self-assembly in 2D systems.

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Robert Hołyst/ dr Jan Paczesny

Laboratory: Team 10 Soft Condensed Matter / Team 2 Living Materials

Background: Putting together all the pieces constituting a LEGO set and shaking vigorously will not produce a build presented on the box. Connecting one brick after another is laborious and requires external devices or operator, which suffice the definition of "top-down" approach of materials synthesis. In "bottom up" approach it is possible to stipulate the proper rules, which favors contact of specific "bricks" resulting in spontaneous formation of resulting structure. However, only an outline of the guidelines governing the process of spontaneous formation of complex nanostructures is known. Designing new molecules and nanoparticles with a defined structure still does not guarantee obtaining material with specific and desired properties. The goal of the proposed project is to expand and develop clear rules governing the self-assembly process (both equilibrium ESA and out of equilibrium DySA) at the air/liquid interface, which will allow for fabrication of novel nanostructures of desired functionalities.
Assemblies of nanoobjects usually need to be supported by solid substrates in order to increase robustness and ensure proper applications. Formation of assemblies with no influence of the surface lattice, driven only by the properties of the involved molecules, is possible at the liquid interface. Langmuir and Langmuir-Blodgett techniques will be used. They combine self-assembly and directed-assembly and thus could be regarded as ideal methods for the preparation of well-ordered nanomaterials of required structure and desired properties.

Requirements: We care about finding the best doctoral students, not on a specific profile or education of the candidates. Specific tasks will depend on profiles of successful candidates. Applicants with backgrounds in chemistry, nanotechnology, chemical engineering, physics, or related will be considered based on the possible input to the project.
Responsibilities:
- designing, planning and carrying out experimental work independently and under the supervision, maintaining regular research notes;
- scientific initiative and contribution through regular reporting and publishing, as well as presenting at group meetings, national and international conferences;
- providing help and supervision to junior members of the group;
- contribution to the efficient functioning of the lab including necessary administrative and organizational tasks.
Additional Requirements:
- master of Science (or equivalent) degree awarded not earlier than five years before the deadline of the present recruitment;
- candidates will need to fulfil all the requirements of IPC PAS for PhD candidates (e.g. pass the qualification exam);
- the average grade obtained in the course of study is not less than 4.0;
- ability to work independently as well as in a group;
- basic knowledge of rules and protocols of nano-laboratory;
- knowledge on synthesis of nanostructures will be an asset;
- proficiency in English speaking and writing.

Aim: Here, we propose to study equilibrium self-assembly (ESA) and dynamic self-assembly (DySA) in 2D systems. Within the proposed project we will focus on unusual building blocks to create novel materials and responsive systems. This will expand the knowledge and allows for further advances in nanotechnology. Langmuir and Langmuir-Blodgett method will be utilized to obtain new materials of advantageous parameters and novel responsive 2D systems from simpler entities ? especially nanoobjects.

WWW: http://groups.ichf.edu.pl/holyst https://janpaczesny.wixsite.com/paczesny

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  3.11Synthesis of new MOF materials utilizing molecular building blocks.

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. inż. Janusz Lewiński

Laboratory: Group 9: Coordination complexes and functional materials

Background: MOFs are a class of hybrid materials that have attracted considerable attention in recent years due to their intriguing structural motifs and potential applications in catalysis, adsorption, gas storage and sensing.[1] An emerging approach in the rational assembly of MOF networks is based on the application of pre-designed secondary building units (SBU) and organic linkers.[2] Recently, we have developed a ?SMART?? (SBU-based Mechanochemical Approach for pRecursor Transformation) strategy that exploited oxo-zinc clusters as preassembled molecular building blocks for the mechanochemical synthesis of isoreticular MOFs.[3]
The proposed research project is a continuation of our studies on the development of new synthetic strategies for MOFs and will be based on our preliminary results on a process involving organic subunits exchange in oxo-zinc carbamate clusters. In further studies, we plan to utilize also other pre-designed precursors based on main group and transition metal centers including heterometallic systems.

Requirements: - MSc degree in chemisty, physics or related science fields;
- fluency in English in writing and speech;
- basic experience in inorganic synthetic methods and characterization of materials (e.g. NMR, PXRD, IR, MS, UV-Vis).

Aim: The main goal of the project is the synthesis of novel molecular building blocks that will be utilized as precursors of novel metallosupramolecular architectures prepared by mechanochemical as well as solution-based methods. Inherent part of this research project will be the utilization of functional ligands for the synthesis of molecular building blocks in order to introduce the desired functionality to the resulting porous material.

WWW: http://lewin.ch.pw.edu.pl

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Institute of Physics of Polish Academy of Science
CodeProject TitleSlots
  4.1Rotational spectroscopy of molecules of chemical, atmospheric and astrophysical relevance

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Zbigniew Kisiel

Laboratory: ON2.3

Background: Rotational spectroscopy is the source of reference-quality information on the properties of molecules and their aggregates. In particular, these are precise molecular structures, electric dipole moments, and plentiful data on the intermolecular interaction and vibrational states. The understanding of the laboratory spectrum is a prerequisite to teledetection applications, such as identification of molecules in astrophysical environments (interstellar molecular clouds or planetary stratospheres). The derived molecular data also serve for calibration of quantum chemistry calculations.

Requirements: - curiosity!
- predisposition for experimental work: the ability to master complex, computer controlled equipment;
- basic experience with electronics, mechanical engineering, vacuum technology;
- familiarity with computer methods: popular operating systems, computer programming, the use and configuration of third-party software.

Aim: Measurement and analysis of rotational spectra of selected molecules in the frequency region from 2 GHz to the THz region, with the use of the four spectrometers available in the laboratory, and data obtained by means of international cooperation. At the lowest frequencies spectra would be recorded at conditions of supersonic expansion. The obtained experimental results would be processed mainly with the aid of computer programs available on the PROSPE website: http://info.ifpan.edu.pl/~kisiel/prospe.htm.

WWW: http://info.ifpan.edu.pl/~kisiel/on23/on23.html

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  4.2Crystal surface dynamics

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Magdalena Załuska-Kotur

Laboratory: ON5 - Theoretical Physics

Background: Engineering at the nanoscale, which is the basis for the development of modern technologies, requires precise control on the processes of layer by layer crystal growth, and on the nanostructure formation. The key role in understanding and controlling of these processes is the crystal surface dynamics. Depending on the growth parameters, the surface dynamics leads to the formation of various structures of interest for further applications.

Requirements: - in order to start working on the subject, knowledge of quantum mechanics, static physics and solid state physics is needed;
- the basic tool in this work is a computer;
- the programming skills will be necessary.

Aim: The aim of the thesis will be the theoretical examination and analysis of surface processes using different theoretical models. In particular, the following processes will be investigated: surface diffusion, surface reconstruction, step meandering and step bunching. The best description can be obtained by combining various research techniques. Modeling will start from microscopic approach, such as ab-initio DFT calculations and molecular dynamics simulations. Data obtained from the above methods are the basis in the proper construction of coarse grained models that will be used in Monte Carlo or cellular automata simulations. Solution of appropriate differential equations additionally support and allow in additional analysis of obtained data. The conclusions drawn on the basis of such studies: emerging structures, phase diagrams, scaling laws can be compared with the results obtained in various laboratories in Poland and abroad. Ultimately the developed programs will be helpful in designing crystal structures of a given pattern, content and properties.

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  4.3Electron-transport phenomena in low-dimensional structures of magnetic semiconductors

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Tadeusz Wosiński

Laboratory: ON-1.4

Background: The project, of experimental nature, concerns with one of the most topical problems of quickly developing field of science, spintronics, which aims to exploit the spin degree of freedom in solids for application in future electronics. Objective of the thesis is studying the phenomena of spin-orbit torque and spin interference in nanostructures of magnetic semiconductors with enhanced spin-orbit coupling strength. The enhanced strength of this coupling, which results from the relativistic interaction between electron's internal orbital momentum (spin) and its linear momentum (wave-vector), will be achieved through the replacement of a small fraction of arsenic atoms by much heavier bismuth atoms in thin layers of a model magnetic semiconductor (Ga,Mn)As grown by the molecular-beam epitaxy technique. Nanostructures for the low-temperature electron transport measurements will be fabricated by the use of electron-beam lithography.

Requirements: - Master title in physics or related sciences;
- research stages in experimental physics laboratories;
- fluent English (oral and written).

Aim: The scientific aim of the project is a deeper insight into the physics standing behind the studied phenomena of electron transport in magnetic semiconductors, which can be utilized to practical exploiting them to design novel electronic devices.

WWW: http://info.ifpan.edu.pl/ON-1/on1.4/

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  4.4Investigation of thermodynamics of evaporation of multi-component microdroplets - distillation at microscale

Supervisor: dr hab. inż. Daniel Jakubczyk

Laboratory: ON2.7 - Group of Optical Characterisation of Micro- and Nanoobjects

Background: Evaporation at micro- and nanoscale calls for a modern description language. Investigation of distillation of liquid mixtures in microdroplets opens such perspectives, giving an interesting opportunity of probing the microworld by analysing the mutual interaction of evaporating components. Remote, accurate investigations of (sub)microdroplets are possible by levitating them in electrodynamic traps and utilising optical characterisation methods (scattering, spectroscopy). Group of Optical Characterisation of Micro- and Nanoobjects of IPPAS has an expertise in these methods.

Requirements: - Master's degree in physics or related field;
- skills in experimental physics (best but not obligatory - in the field of optics, electrodynamics, thermodynamics or related), ideally - proven by publications;
- ability to work in a team;
- good spoken and written English.

Aim: The research task would consist of measurements versus thermodynamic parameters and droplet composition, in particular including azeotropic mixtures (whose proportions cannot be changed by simple distillation), and the development of description accounting for the granularity of matter and the structure of the gas-liquid interface.

WWW: http://info.ifpan.edu.pl/sdvs/en/on2.7.html

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  4.5Photonic phenomena and luminescence in spherical microdroplet resonators

Supervisor: dr hab. inż. Daniel Jakubczyk / dr hab. Krystyna Kolwas

Laboratory: ON2.7 - Group of Optical Characterisation of Micro- and Nanoobjects

Background: The Earth's atmosphere, like the entire universe, is very dusty. However, the mechanisms of atmospheric and cosmic dust formation are different. While the cosmic dust grains are born in star atmospheres and continue to grow in the clouds of cold interstellar gas, the more complex dust grains in the Earth's atmosphere are formed by the so-called "scavenging" ­­- ubiquitous water droplets (often also condensing on aerosol nanoparticles; in clouds, fog and rain) scavenge all they encounter in the atmosphere, creating droplets of complex suspensions. These, in turn, can further evaporate and thus drive the aggregation of suspended solid particles into regular structures - the resulting grains of complex dusts inherit, however, the spherical symmetry of the droplet. In order to understand the mechanisms determining the optical properties of the dust particles being formed, it is necessary to know the processes governing their formation. Following this lead, it can be noticed that via appropriate control of the aggregates' structure, their optical properties can be engineered and new materials can be manufactured. These are called metamaterials, since their properties are defined on a larger than molecular scale. In particular, the use of metallic particles seems to be very promising, due to the plasmonic phenomena, associated with the collective oscillations of the electron gas density, manifesting in them.

Requirements: - master's degree in physics or related field;
- skills in experimental physics (best but not obligatory - in the field of optics, nano-photonics or related), ideally - proven by publications;
- programming skills in C++ are desirable but not obligatory;
- ability to work in a team;
- good spoken and written English.

Aim: The objective of the research is to analyse the spectral properties of evaporating microdroplets of various suspensions containing dielectric (e.g. silica or titania) or plasmonic (e.g. gold or silver) inclusions. We also plan to study the final aggregates built in this process. The research will be con-ducted in electrodynamic traps developed in the Group of Optical Characterisation of Micro- and Nanoobjects. Additionally, we will utilise the luminescence of nanoparticles of gadolinium oxide doped with rare earth ions to probe the surface and the internal structure of evaporating micro-droplets and to investigate the phenomenon of luminescence in a spherical resonator. The experi-ments will be accompanied by modelling of the aggregation of nanoparticles in a droplet with methods similar to molecular dynamics (MD). The research aim is to study the aggregation phe-nomena in detail and to develop methods of tailoring optical properties of materials for potential applications.

WWW: http://info.ifpan.edu.pl/sdvs/en/on2.7.html

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  4.6Single molecules of organic dye in a molecular crystal

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Bolesław Kozankiewicz

Laboratory: ON-2.1 (Zespół Fotofizyki Molekularnej)

Background: Spectroscopic investigations of single molecules provide information about their nearby environment, increasing our knowledge about the nano-world. Single-molecule studies, in the group of Molecular Photophysics (IP PAS), are performed with the aid of a home-made confocal microscope prepared for the broad temperature range, from cryogenic (5 K) up to the room temperature. We are also experts in single molecular crystals growing by sublimation.

Requirements: - academic Master diploma (physics or chemistry).

Aim: In the project we plan to investigate newly synthesized organic dyes embedded into the structure of molecular crystal. These systems will be used as optical probes of local and weak electric fields (Stark effect). Collaboration with consortium of European laboratories.

WWW: http://www.ifpan.edu.pl/ON-2/on21.html

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  4.7High-pressure and time-resolved study of point defects in nitride semiconductors

Supervisor: dr hab. Agata Kamińska

Laboratory: ON-4.1 Division of Physics and Technology of Wide-Band-Gap Semiconductor Nanostructures, Group of High-Pressure Spectroscopy

Background: The advent of III-nitrides as semiconductor materials has enabled the development of the new technology of solid-state lighting and opened new directions in established technologies such as solar cells, and high power electronics. In each of these applications, the presence of point defects related to common impurities, such as carbon, oxygen, or iron, which are unavoidable in real materials, can strongly affect device performance. In the case of optoelectronic applications the presence of such defects can disadvantageously affect their radiative emission efficiency due to creation of non-radiative recombination centers. On the other hand the luminescence related to deep defect states can be used in the controlled way to tailor the colour of nitride-based light emitting diodes (LEDs) and/or to obtain monolithic white LED, while iron-doped gallium nitride is widely considered to be a potential material to realize future spintronic applications.

Requirements: - the degree of MSc in Physics or related disciplines

Aim: The aim of the project is a detailed characterization of the energy structure and properties of selected point defects (e.g. C, O, Fe) in III-nitride semiconductor hosts. This will be achieved by correlation of temperature-dependent optical measurements at ambient and high hydrostatic pressures including spectrally- and time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) performed on a series of nitride-based layers and structures with controlled content of dopants with the results of advanced theoretial modeling. The more complete understanding of the processes involved in light emission from III-nitride structures is fundamental for the improvement of the performance of LEDs and laser diodes (LDs).

WWW: http://www.ifpan.edu.pl/sdvs/pl/on4.1.html

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  4.8Magnetic order in nanolaminated MAX phases based on Mn2GaC

Supervisor: dr hab. Marek Wójcik

Laboratory: Division of Physics of Magnetism

Background: Inherently nanolaminated compounds described by a general formula M(n+1)AXn (where M is transition metal, A- atom from the A group elements and X stands for carbon (C) or nitrogen (N) ) are known in the literature as MAX phases. Hexagonal M(n+1)Xn layers separated by a monatomic A layers create a natural layer system in atomic scale. Due to a combination of exceptionally good mechanical and electrical properties these materials have been studied for a long time. Delamination of layered MAX phase structures leads to the formation of 2D graphene-like transition metal carbides Mn(n+1)Xn, known as MXenes. In 2013 a breakthrough achievement has been made by obtaining a magnetic representative of MAX phase in form of epitaxial thin film showing critical temperature for magnetic ordering above the room temperature. This discovery introduces a new direction in functionalities and thus many directions of applications including spintronics, magnetocaloric etc. have been listed in the literature. Verification of these predictions and practical realization of potential application requires a deep understanding of their magnetic properties. To date the only reported experimental data pertain to macroscopic magnetization measurements using VSM/SQUID techniques. For a deeper understanding of their performance it is, however, necessary to investigate their microscopic properties, using the techniques that allow to determine their magnetic structure. Considering the nanoscopic sizes of epitaxial films the only experimental technique that can provide this kind of information, is the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). Preliminary data obtained in the NMR laboratory at IF PAN indicate the presence of competing ferro- and antiferromagnetic interactions, leading to a complex, non-trivial magnetic structure (e.g. a spiral structure). We propose to study the orientation of magnetic moments of particular atoms with respect to the external magnetic field , using the NMR technique. NMR experiment in ferromagnetic materials belongs to the advanced characterization methods and there are only few laboratories in the world, equipped with spectrometers capable of performing this kind of research. NMR laboratory in the Magnetic Division of IF PAN is recognized as the worldwide leading group using this technique to investigate the magnetic materials with nanoscopic sizes. It is equipped with very sensitive spectrometers, based on the automatic data accumulation, making it possible to register even very weak signals. They cover a wide frequency range, suitable for all potentially interesting magnetic materials.

Requirements: - M.Sc degree in Physics (solid state physics);
- good command of the English language;
- ability and interest to work in a team.

Aim: To determine the magnetic order of the Mn-based MAX phases , using the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) technique. The experiments will be carried out in the cryogenic temperatures, with and without a strong external magnetic field provided by a superconducting magnet.

WWW: http://www.ifpan.edu.pl/index_en.php

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  4.9Atomic short-range order in Heusler alloy nanostructures: NMR studies

Supervisor: dr hab. Ewa Jędryka

Laboratory: Division of Physics of Magnetism

Background: Ternary Heusler compounds (e.g. Co2FeZ, Co2Mn, Z= Si, Al) and their quaternary alloys display the highest Curie temperature among the materials that are theoretically predicted to display full polarization at the Fermi level, which makes them interesting for spintronic applications. However, the experimentally measured spin polarization is substantially below the expected 100%. Among the main sources of such degradation of spintronic properties is the atomic disorder, readily formed in the complex Heusler structure, consisting of the four interpenetrating cubic (fcc) sublattices. To provide information on the type and amount of atomic disorder, it is necessary to perform a thorough characterization of the Heusler nanostructures obtained in a particular technological process. The unique features of NMR in ferromagnetic materials can provide valuable feedback on the structural, topological and magnetic properties of the nanocrystalline Heusler alloys. Lattice disorder is evidenced by new spectral lines, distinct from those observed in case of the well-ordered structure.
NMR experiment in ferromagnetic materials belongs to the advanced characterization methods and there are only few laboratories in the world, equipped with spectrometers capable of performing this kind of research. NMR laboratory in the Magnetic Division of IF PAN is recognized as the worldwide leading group using this technique to investigate the magnetic materials with nanoscopic sizes. It is equipped with very sensitive spectrometers, based on the automatic data accumulation, making it possible to register even very weak signals. They cover a wide frequency range, suitable for all potentially interesting magnetic materials.

Requirements: - M.Sc degree in Physics (solid state physics);
- good command of the English language;
- ability and interest to work in a team;

Aim: We propose to use the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) technique to determine the kind and amount of structural disorder in several nanostructures based on Heusler alloys and to link it with the degree of spin polarization as well as with the stability of half-metallic properties. The experiments will be carried out in the cryogenic temperatures, with and without a strong external magnetic field provided by a superconducting magnet.

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  4.10Laser spectroscopy of diatomic molecules

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Włodzimierz Jastrzębski

Laboratory: ON 2.5

Background: The main goal of the scientific work performed in our laboratory is to investigate excited electronic states of homo- and heteronuclear alkali metal dimers using modern laser spectroscopy techniques. We find molecular constants and shapes of potential energy curves of chosen electronic states with high accuracy. Results of our work allow for improvement of theoretical models. Precise knowledge of molecular energy levels is also important for understanding of possible optical excitation schemes. This knowledge is crucial in experiments from the field of "ultracold physics", during planning and analysing of experimental data.
The research methodology is based on a laser polarization labelling spectroscopy technique which allows to record high resolution spectra of the investigated molecules. The experimental resources available in our laboratories include state-of-the art laser systems, specialized detection systems and spectroscopic cells designed for production of specific alkali metal dimers. The numerical Pointwise Inverted Perturbation Approach method developed in our group enables construction of molecular potentials for investigated electronic states basing on experimental spectra, even for states with exotic shapes of potential curves.

Requirements: - MSc university degree in one of the following disciplines: Atomic Physics, Molecular Physics, Optics, Laser Physics;
- good spoken and written English skills;
- experience in laboratory work;
- strong motivation for scientific work, particularly experimental work

Aim: Group of laser spectroscopy offers a possibility to enter into Ph.D project on laser spectroscopy of diatomic alkali molecules. The project is focused on investigation of electronic structure of selected electronic states of Rb2, Cs2 and RbCs molecules, including determination of corresponding molecular constants and potential energy curves.

WWW: https://dimer.ifpan.edu.pl

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  4.11Molecular beam epitaxial growth and characterization of light emitting diodes (nanoLEDs) based on nanowires of nitride semiconductors

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Zbigniew Żytkiewicz / dr Marta Sobańska

Laboratory: Group of MBE growth of nitride semiconductors ON 4.5

Background: Due to one-dimensional shape of nanowires elastic relaxation of strain in such structures is very efficient. Therefore, even if segments of materials having very different lattice parameters are put together or if nanowires are grown on substrates with a large lattice mismatch, they are of very high structural quality without extended defects. This allows formation of complicated heterostructures of the quality that cannot be achieved in reference planar structures. This is crucial for optoelectronic devices in which structural defects are known as light emission killers. In particular, nitride semiconductors, e.g. gallium nitride GaN and its alloys with indium and/or aluminum, are perspective materials for modern optoelectronics. Their wide direct energy bandgap allows light emission in the short wavelength range of the visible light spectrum. In addition, these materials exhibit unique physical and chemical properties making nitride nanowires the most perspective building blocks of next-generation semiconductor devices.

Requirements: - analytical thinking and diligence in work;
- ability for team work;
- master degree in physics, material engineering, chemistry, electrical engineering or electronics or related field;
- good spoken and written English;
- high motivation for scientific work;
- experience in laboratory work recommended, but not necessary.

Aim: The aim of the project is to develop growth technology by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) of light emitting diodes (nanoLEDs) nanostructures based on GaN nanowires with axial GaN/AlGaN/InGaN heterostructures and p-n junction. An impact of the growth conditions and the design (choice of substrate, composition and layers layout, geometry, doping, etc.) on properties of the structures will be studied. Test nanoLED structures will be fabricated to determine conditions necessary for the highest electroluminescence efficiency in the optimized devices. Mastering of the MBE growth of nitride semiconductors, processing of semiconductor materials (lithography, deposition of thin metallic and dielectric films) as well as testing of materials by electrical and optical techniques will be needed for successful realization of the project.

WWW: http://info.ifpan.edu.pl/Dodatki/WordPress/mbe2en/

1
  4.12Core-shell nanowires of nitride semiconductors: fabrication by molecular beam epitaxy and physical properties studies

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Zbigniew Żytkiewicz / dr Marta Sobańska

Laboratory: Zespół wzrostu MBE nanostruktur azotkowych ON 4.5

Background: Excellent structural quality of semiconductor nanowires, even of those grown on substrates with a large lattice mismatch, as well as the high surface to volume ratio make nanowires the most promising building blocks of next-generation optoelectronic devices and sensors. In particular, nitride semiconductors, e.g. gallium nitride GaN and its alloys with indium and/or aluminum, are perspective materials for modern optoelectronics. Their wide direct energy bandgap allows light emission in the short wavelength range of the visible light spectrum. In addition, these materials exhibit unique physical and chemical properties allowing the use of nitride based devices in harsh environment and at high temperatures.

Requirements: - analytical thinking and diligence in work;
- ability for team work;
- master degree in physics, material engineering, chemistry, electrical engineering or electronics or related field;
- good spoken and written English;
- high motivation for scientific work;
- experience in laboratory work recommended, but not necessary.

Aim: Aim of the project is to develop growth technology by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) of GaN (core) nanowires with radial GaN/AlGaN/InGaN (shell) heterostructures. Important step is to elaborate MBE growth conditions of selective area GaN growth on patterned substrate, that allows control of density and position of single nanowires on the substrate. Incorporation of constituents into nanowires (mainly indium) as a function of the growth conditions will be studied. Core-shell structures will be examined by x-ray diffraction and electron microscopy to determine strain distribution and by optical techniques to correlate structural and optical properties. Doping of core-shell nanowires is planned to create the p-n junction, and next to study light emission from radial heterostructures by electroluminescence. Mastering of selective area epitaxy by MBE of nitride semiconductors, processing of semiconductor materials (ion etching, optical and e-beam lithography, deposition of thin metallic and dielectric films, etc.) as well as examination of nitride nanowires by x-ray diffraction, electron microscopy and optical spectroscopy will be required for successful realization of the project

WWW: http://info.ifpan.edu.pl/Dodatki/WordPress/mbe2en/

1
  4.13Topological Aspects of Superconductivity and Ferromagnetism in Group IV Chalcogenides - an Experimental Approach

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Maciej Sawicki

Laboratory: SL 2.3

Background: Topological crystalline insulators (TCI) represent the family of topological materials, in which mirror symmetry of crystal unit cell ensures topological protection of massless Dirac-like surface states. The IV-VI compound SnTe, having the rock-salt crystal symmetry and the nontrivial band ordering at the L points of the Brillouin zone is the prototypical TCI material with topological surface states residing at the {001}, {110} and {111} surfaces. The mixed crystals Pb1-xSnxSe and Pb1-xSnxTe belong to TCI family under the condition that their conduction and valence band have inverted band ordering.

Requirements: - experience in experimental work (documented by publications and / or reference letters) with a strong preferences for those who have already worked with transport and magnetic properties of dilute magnetic semiconductors;
- good knowledge of English in speech and writing;
- the ability to work independently and to effectively cooperate and communicate with other members of the group (including those working in experiment), and with external colleagues;
- the selected candidate will be tasked with (i) magnetoelectric measurements in wide range of temperatures and magnetic fields and conducting SQUID based magnetometric measurements, (ii) development of experimental set-up and seeking new practical approaches to overcome challenges related with the execution of the project (iii) data reduction, synthesis of the obtained experimental results and their presentation as seminars, reports and publications.

Aim: The general research aims to disentangle the effects of inverted band structure and topological surface states on superconducting and magnetic properties of group IV chalcogenides, namely Pb1-xSnx(Se;Te) family of semiconducting compounds. This material system is the first and still the only experimentally verified materials realization of topological crystalline insulator. Therefore we will focus on variety of mixed crystals like Pb1-xSnxSe, Pb1-xSnxTe and Pb1-x-ySnxMnyTe, where the latter will bring the
ferromagnetic flavor to the study.
The project milestones are:
- electrical and magnetic identification of the mechanism of superconductivity existing in topological crystalline insulators and their ferromagnetic counterparts,
- experimental verification of magnetic susceptibility dependence on temperature and magnetic field, reported earlier in bismuth based topological insulators and not yet found in topological crystalline insulators,
- revealing the existence of massless Dirac fermions by registering the Fermi energy dependence of the susceptibility by the use of gated structures based on molecular beam epitaxy grown thin films.

WWW: http://www.ifpan.edu.pl/SL-2/staff2.3.html

1
  4.14Precessional magnetization switching in ferromagnetic (Ga,Mn)N layers using sub-nanosecond short electric pulses

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Maciej Sawicki / dr Dariusz Sztenkiel

Laboratory: SL 2.3

Background: The switching of magnetization direction between two stable states separated by an energy barrier is the underlying process for magnetic recording and information storage. Yet, contemporary methods of the manipulation of this content remains energetically very costly, vastly reducing, but not undermining, the commercial importance of these memories. Among a few possible solutions to overcome this large energy budget, the switching of magnetization by electric field remains as one of the most attractive and so actively researched approaches. Therefore we will aim at demonstration of the repeatable precessional magnetization switching in ferromagnetic Ga1-xMnxN layer induced by an external electric field. The driving mechanism for this process stems from the already proven ability of tuning of the strength of the single ion magnetic anisotropy of Mn ions in GaN by the inverse piezo-electric effect [1]. In these systems a voltage V applied across the crystal strains it in a linear proportion, what either expands or contracts the crystal by Vd33, where d33 is the relevant piezoelectric coefficient. This in turn deforms the crystal field which surrounds the magnetic ions and so modifies their magnetic anisotropy.


[1] D. Sztenkiel et al., Nature Comm. 7, 13232 (2016)

Requirements: - well-developed programming skills;
- good analytical skills;
- experience in experimental work, particularly in electric transport, magnetometry and microwaves documented primarily by publications and / or reference letters;
- good knowledge of English in speech and writing;
- the ability to work independently and to effectively cooperate and communicate with other members of the group (including those working in experiment), and with external colleagues.

Aim: The road to the Project's prime objective consists of the following two milestones in which the Project team will gain the full technological control over the magnetic anisotropy in this material system (what allows to obtain Ga1-xMnxN layers with designed stable magnetization states, separated by adequate magnetic energy barriers):
(i) the demonstration that the fine tuning of the easy axis direction in (Ga,Mn)N by the
externally applied DC electric field (gate) is possible in structures in which adequate material parameters have been set in a coarse way by appropriate strain engineering and by varying of Mn concentration;
(ii) the determination of the sign and magnitude of a (weak) triaxial in-plane magnetic
anisotropy (with 3 stable magnetization directions), originating from Jahn-Teller distortion in (Ga,Mn)N.
The underlying physical mechanism enabling the elaboration of the repeatable precessional switching in (Ga,Mn)N stems from the sensitivity of the single ion magnetic anisotropy of Mn3+ ions to the electric-field-induced crystal field deformations.

WWW: http://www.ifpan.edu.pl/SL-2/staff2.3.html

1
  4.15Atomistic spin model simulations of magnetic properties of ferromagnetic (Ga,Mn)N

Supervisor: dr hab. Maciej Sawicki / dr Dariusz Sztenkiel

Laboratory: SL 2.3

Background: The switching of magnetization direction between two stable states separated by an energy barrier is the underlying process for magnetic recording and information storage. Yet, contemporary methods of the manipulation of this content remains energetically very costly, vastly reducing, but not undermining, the commercial importance of these memories. Among a few possible solutions to overcome this large energy budget, the switching of magnetization by electric field remains as one of the most attractive and so actively researched approaches. Therefore we will aim at demonstration of the repeatable precessional magnetization switching in ferromagnetic Ga1-xMnxN layer induced by an external electric field. The driving mechanism for this process stems from the already proven ability of tuning of the strength of the single ion magnetic anisotropy of Mn ions in GaN by the inverse piezo-electric effect [1]. In these systems a voltage V applied across the crystal strains it in a linear proportion, what either expands or contracts the crystal by Vd33, where d33 is the relevant piezoelectric coefficient. This in turn deforms the crystal field which surrounds the magnetic ions and so modifies their magnetic anisotropy.

[1] D. Sztenkiel et al., Nature Comm. 7, 13232 (2016)

Requirements: - good knowledge of c++ and/or python;
- good analytical skills;
- experience in theoretical work (documented by publications and / or reference letters)
Good knowledge of English in speech and writing;
- the ability to work independently and to effectively cooperate and communicate with other members of the group (including those working in experiment), and with external colleagues.

Aim: Proposed project is highly innovative, because represents new physical mechanism of the repeatable precessional magnetization switching induced solely by external electric field. We expect that the experimental data can be reproduced by theoretical results obtained from the Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation that describes how the magnetization direction evolves towards its new equilibrium orientation after a change of an effective magnetic field. Therefore the aim of this project is an improvement and optimization for (Ga,Mn)N of an already sizably advanced universal computational code based on atomistic spin model and Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation [2], which will be customized to be run on ever so more efficient multicore graphics processing units. The model will be applied for ensembles of few tens of thousands Mn spins randomly distributed on GaN lattice, with appropriate magnetic anisotropy terms, Zeeman interaction with external magnetic field and ferromagnetic superexchange between manganese ions included up to 14th neighbour. Using this brand new computational tool we will simulate the dynamical properties as the hysteresis loops (including remanence and coercivity), magnetoelectric signals, and we will determine their modifications in the presence of applied electric field. After necessary modification the code will be used to simulate ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) and muon spin rotation (mu-SR) experiments. These would be the first-ever atomistic scale simulations performed for diluted ferromagnetic semiconductors providing the great support for explaining the gathered experimental data. PhD student will be involved in all research tasks of the project related to numerical simulations.

[2] R. F. L. Evans et al., J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 26 103202 (2014).

WWW: http://www.ifpan.edu.pl/SL-2/staff2.3.html

1
  4.16X-ray photoelectron and absorption spectroscopy for study of innovative material

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Krystyna Jabłońska

Laboratory: Laboratory of X-ray and Electron Microscopy Research SL-1 Group of X-ray spectroscopy and microanalysis SL-1.2

Background: We offer a modern X-ray based methods from classical sources in the range of x-ray and ultraviolet and from synchrotrons to study innovative materials for new technologies. The knowledge of these methods opens the doors to work in many European and worldwide scientific centers and in modern technological parks in Poland. The new technology needs modern methods to characterize materials. Performing doctor theses in our group allowed you to be acquainted with these methods as well as improving methods to analyze experimental data.

Requirements: - Master degree in field of physics, materials physics, physical chemistry and related;
- the ability of analytical thinking.

Aim: The estimation of elements content, their chemical bonds and depth profiles in thin layers and at the interface in multilayers using photoelectron spectroscopy. The well-equipped preparation chamber and chemical reactor allowed to modify the samples surface in precisely controlled way. To look for relation structure-properties.

WWW: http://www.ifpan.edu.pl/SL-1/html/s-sl12.html

1
  4.17Reduction of photonic disorder in ZnO microcavities and DBR reflectors in monolithic ZnO/ZnMgO and Zn1-xMgxO/Zn1-yMgyO laser structures

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Adrian Kozanecki

Laboratory: ON4 (ON4.7 Group of MBE Growth of Oxide Nanostructures)

Background: ZnO is often considered as a future material to be used in optically pumped UV and blue lasers. To receive the high power in vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSEL and VECSEL) it is necessary to fabricate the high quality ZnO microcavities and Bragg reflectors with perfect interfaces. The aim of this project is the reduction of the photonic disorder in MBE grown ZnO/ZnMgO and Zn1-xMgxO/ Zn1-yMgyO laser structures including distributed Bragg reflectors and ZnO central microcavities. Optimization of the technology of DBRs requires extensive research on growth condition on different substrates (preferable crystalline ZnO) and also structural investigations.

Requirements: - MSc diploma in physics or in technical sciences (optoelectronics, materials sciences);
- good knowledge of English.

Aim: The aim of the project is reduction of the photonic disorder in microcavities and distributed Bragg reflectors (DBRs) in laser structures made of ZnO/ZnMgO and Zn1-xMgxO/ Zn1-yMgyO and ZnO/ZnCdO grown using Molecular Beam Epitaxy technology. Optimalization of the laser structures requires elaboration of perfect growth conditions, structural characterization of the structures using transmission and scanning electron microscopy, also in cathodoluminescence mode, X-ray diffraction and other techniques. The final outcome of the project should be demonstration of the laser emission from a VCSEL or VECSEL laser structure.

WWW: http://www.ifpan.edu.pl/sdvs/pl/on4.html

1
  4.18Influence of disorder on the superconductivity in thin films of conventional and high temperature superconductors

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Marta Cieplak

Laboratory: ON 2.4

Background: The structural disorder, induced, for example, by impurities or the surface of thin films, increases the scattering of carriers, what may lead to breaking of Cooper pairs in superconductor. The effect depends on the type of disorder (magnetic or not), and on the symmetry of the superconducting gap. In thin films the decrease of the film thickness enhances the surface-induced disorder, which may originate, for example, from the strain do to structural misfit between the lattice parameters of the film and the substrate. Decrease of the thickness leads eventually to the superconductor-insulator (SI) transition. Another type of the SI transition may be induced by the increase of the external magnetic field. The nature of these SI transitions is not well understood. The observations show that the destruction of superconductivity may proceed by two alternative scenarios. In one case the superconductivity is suppressed uniformly in the whole volume of the sample, while in another scenario the suppression is locally confined to some areas, creating a set of superconducting islands in insulating matrix. In some materials a metallic, nonsuperconducting phase is observed at the boundary between superconducting and insulating phases. Such metallic phase cannot be explained by theories of localization in 2-dimensional materials. The explanation of all these phenomena is important not only for the basic understanding of physics of these systems, but also for the applications of thin films in various electronic devices.

Requirements: - M.Sc. in physics (preferably solid state experiment);
- the ability of basic programming;
- the manual and technical skills for experimental work.

Aim: In the present project we plan to investigate the influence of substrate-induced strain on the superconducting properties of the films of high temperature superconductor La2-xSrxCuO4. The study will focus on the properties of the SI transitions induced by the decrease of the film thickness and the application of the external magnetic field. The films will be grown by pulsed laser deposition, and characterized first by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. The most important experiments will involve the electrical magnetotransport measurements, in wide temperature range, from room temperature down to milikelwin temperatures, and in a wide magnetic field range: up to 9T in superconducting magnet, and up to 50 T in pulsed magnetic fields. For comparison, the studies will also include the films of conventional superconductor (niobium).

WWW: http://www.ifpan.edu.pl/ON-2/on24/on24.htm

1
  4.19Trigering electronic phase transitions in Dirac systems

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Marek Jaworski / dr Bruno Cury Camargo

Laboratory: ON2.4

Background: Dirac systems are materials in which electrons have a linear dispersion relation E~k near the Fermi energy. As such, these systems present unusual properties in comparison with their massive counterparts, such as half-integer Landau quantization, Klein tunneling and anomalous dielectric susceptibility.
Curiously, almost all Dirac systems know to date present superconductivity in some form. To cite a few, graphite, bismuth, CdAs, PdTe, PbTe and SnTe all show superconductivity either in their pristine state, or in the presence of mechanical deformations (such as crystalline disorder and/or pressure).
Indeed, the Dirac dispersion is expected to be destroyed in the presence of disorder for systems showing infinitesimally small attractive electron-electron correlations. In these, the linear energy dispersion becomes unstable and gives way to more exotic features, such as magnetism, superconductivity or excitonic insulator states.
The disorder parameters responsible for such changes, however, depend on the material under consideration. For example, in multilayer graphene, it has been experimentally observed that the twisting of consecutive planes can be used to tune a myriad of electronic correlated states, whereas in PdTe, pressure is the important parameter.

Requirements: - M.Sc. in physics (preferably background in condensed matter physics);
- fluent English;
- proficiency in writing;
- basic understanding of experimental techniques necessary for measuring: specific heat, magnetization, resistivity, X-ray diffractometry.

Aim: Here, we propose to explore tuning of phase transitions in selected Dirac systems by employing various methods, such as ionic implantation, mechanical deformations or chemical doping. This methods will modulate sample parameters such as disorder, magnetization and/or charge carrier density. The objective is to disrupt the linear dispersion in these systems, giving way to strongly correlated phenomena to emerge, such as ferromagnetism, superconductivity or excitonic states.

WWW: http://www.ifpan.edu.pl/ON-2/on24/on24.htm

1
  4.20Ultrafast amorphization and crystallization of metals

Supervisor: dr hab. inż. Ryszard Sobierajski

Laboratory: Laboratory of X-ray and Electron Microscopy Research, Group of X-ray optics and atomic structure research

Background: Recently, the advancement in modern measurement techniques and modeling has enabled rapid development of materials research in which there is no long-range order. It is a the fundamental question how metallic glasses can be made from a supercooled liquid [1]. The main obstacle is the nucleation and growth of crystalline phases, which can be avoided by rapid cooling of the liquid [2]. In the case of metals, the critical cooling rate is usually much higher than for other materials. The most important from the glass-forming ability point of view is the temperature range corresponding to the maximum crystallization rate. This range, located above the glass transition temperature, and just below the equilibrium melting point, remains as yet relatively poorly understood. The reason for this is the short duration of changes occurring at high temperatures, which does not allow the use of conventional experimental techniques. This limitation can be overcome by using the impulse annealing method (using femtosecond optical lasers) [3], combined with structural characterization of the frozen-in, intermediate stages of devitrification as well as time-resolved studies (pump-probe experiments).

Requirements: - highly motivated student, preferably with Physics educational background and interest are desired;
- He/She should hold a M.Sc. degree in Physics or Materials Sciences or in a related research field;
- She/He should have strong interest in experimental science;
- any experience with fs lasers and/or X-ray-based techniques, in particular X-ray diffraction will be an asset;
- experimental data analysis and theoretical modelling require basic programming skills, preferable in Matlab or Python environments;
- good communication skills in written and spoken English are necessary given the international environment, in which the project will be carried out.

Aim: The aim of the proposed project is to understand the process of glass formation and crystallization in metals. Pure metals and alloys in form of nanostructures (mostly thin layers) will be studied. The planned research involves the use of ultrafast annealing methods with laser and electrical current pulses. It will be combined with structural characterization by a variety of experimental techniques involving optical, X-ray and electron scattering, both with use of laboratory equipment available at IP PAS (optical and electron microscopy, SEM, TEM) and large scale facilities (x-ray diffraction on synchrotron sources and free electron lasers). The work will provide experimental data and analysis significant for understanding of the fundamental mechanisms for glassy metals formation.

1
  4.21Electrical conductivity and defect clusters in zinc oxide formed as a result of intentional and unintentional doping

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Elżbieta Guziewicz

Laboratory: ON4.2 - Division of Physics and Technology of Wide-bandgap Semiconductor Nanostructures, Group of Technology of Oxide Nanostructures

Background: Zinc oxide is one of the most intensively investigated semiconductors because of perspective novel applications as front electrode in solar cells, transparent electronics, hybrid organic/inorganic junctions, 3D electronics based on BEOL architecture, biosensors and many others. However, a full potential of ZnO is hindered by a difficult conductivity control, especially in the low carrier concentration limits. The theoretical calculations published in the last few years point at the role of complexes involving native point defects and impurities unintentionally introduced during the growth process. There are some experimental indications that such a picture might correctly address the puzzle of electrical conduction of zinc oxide.

Requirements: - a good understanding of chemistry will be highly appreciated.

Aim: The purpose of the present Project are extensive fundamental research directed at identification of main factors influencing a huge conductivity difference of undoped zinc oxide films grown by different methods. The investigations are aimed at finding the fingerprints and identify the defect-impurity complexes in zinc oxide and confirm their role in conductivity of this compound semiconductor. In parallel other hypothesis, as influence of stress on ZnO conductivity and influence of the interface disorder on a conduction level, will be also tested.

WWW: http://www.ifpan.edu.pl/sdvs/pl/on4.2.html

1
  4.22Novel storage phosphors based on yttrium orthoaluminate crystals for optically stimulated luminescence dosimetry of ionizing radiation

Supervisor: dr hab. Yaroslav Zhydachevskyy

Laboratory: ON-4.1

Background: Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) is a known phenomenon of radiative relaxation of electron excitation in dielectric materials, general idea of which has been developed quite long ago. OSL is traditionally used as a tool for studying properties of various optical and luminescent materials. Besides, the OSL has become a popular procedure for the determination of environmental radiation doses absorbed by archeological and geological materials in efforts to date them.
During the last decade the OSL technique became more and more popular for other tasks of radiation dosimetry (such as, e.g. personal dosimetry, environmental dosimetry, and dosimetry in medicine) especially as new synthetic luminescent materials applicable for this purpose appeared, replacing the traditional passive dosimetry technique based on thermally stimulated luminescence.
Despite the widespread use of the OSL technique for radiation dosimetry, the list of luminescent materials (detectors) applicable for this purpose, including the commercial alpha- Al2O3:C and BeO phosphors, is quite short. Even the commercial phosphors are far from ideal and possess a number of drawbacks and limitations. Therefore intensive studies and search of new materials applicable for OSL dosimetry are continuously conducted all over the world.

Requirements: - postgraduate (Solid-State Physics, Inorganic Chemistry, Material Sciences), Master of Science degree is preferred;
- high scores from studying;
- experience of theoretical and/or experimental studies in the field related to the Project subject.

Aim: The proposed project deals with the comprehensive material engineering study aimed at the development and optimization of new efficient and functional storage phosphors applicable for OSL dosimetry of ionizing radiation. To achieve this goal theoretical calculations using the newest algorithms and computing capabilities of the Wroclaw Centre for Networking and Supercomputing will be combined with the experimental techniques of material engineering available in the Institute of Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw.

WWW: http://info.ifpan.edu.pl/Dodatki/WordPress/on41en/

1
  4.23Quantum and wave-dynamical chaos in low dimensional systems

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Leszek Sirko

Laboratory: ON2.2 - experimental and theoretical physics

Background: In this interdisciplinary project we will focus on the experimental and theoretical study of generic properties of quantum systems in the realm of quantum chaos using quantum graphs and microwave networks as model systems. Quantum graphs, that is, networks of bonds connected at vertices, provide in many respects the most universal model system for the experimental and the theoretical study of closed and open quantum systems with chaotic classical dynamics. The pioneering experiments performed at the Institute of Physics PAS clearly demonstrated that quantum graphs with preserved or violated time-reversal invariance may be experimentally simulated with microwave networks. For example, using microwave networks we have recently presented the first experimental realization of non-Weyl graphs which do not obey the Weyl's law (M. Ławniczak, J. Lipovský, L. Sirko, Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 140503 (2019)).

Requirements: - experience with numerical computation - available platforms: Matlab, Fortran, Mathematica.
- a good knowledge of physics, particularly quantum physics.
- a good English proficiency.

Aim: In the project we will study experimentally and theoretically some most challenging open problems on one-dimensional quantum systems:
1. Fermi's golden rule for quantum graphs and networks.
2. Spectral statistics of nearly unidirectional quantum graphs and networks.
3. Test of the validity of a semiclassical trace formula, i.e., the limits of universality of the spectral properties of quantum graphs and networks.
4. Wigner's reaction matrix for quantum graphs and networks belonging to the symplectic universality class.
The project will be implemented in close collaboration with the theoretical/experimental group of professor Liang Huang from the Lanzhou University, China. Expected Candidate's contribution to the project: implementation of the experiment, analysis of the experimental data, participation in the numerical analysis of the experimental data, preparation of publications.

WWW: http://www.ifpan.edu.pl/ON-2/on22.QChG/

1
  4.24High-pressure studies of phosphor materials for optoelectronics applications

Supervisor: Prof. dr hab. Andrzej Suchocki

Laboratory: ON4.1 Group of High-Pressure Spectroscopy

Background: Recently, mixed crystals have become an important trend in scintillator development aiming at the materials with higher light yield and better energy resolution. During the last ten years, series of new scintillation materials based on mixed crystals with superior light yield and very high energy resolution have been introduced. Namely, the crystals based on the solid solutions of (LuY)2SiO5:Ce (LYSO:Ce) and (LuGd)2SiO5:Ce (LYGSO:Ce) orthosilicates are also the well-known scintillators for the Positron Emission Tomography with a light yield of 35000-45000 photon/MeV. The Ce doped (Gd,Lu)3(AlGa)5O12 and (Gd,Y)3(AlGa)5O12 garnets present now the novel class of efficient and fast scintillators.

Requirements: - M.Sc. in physics or chemistry;
- some experience in experimental spectroscopy.

Aim: Our proposal is related to the development of the new types of luminescent materials, based on the solid solutions of mixed orthosilicate and garnet compounds, prepared in the form of composite film-crystal epitaxial structures using Liquid Phase Epitaxy (LPE) growth method. We focus our attention on the development of scintillating and thermoluminescent (TL) materials, which can transform ionizing radiation in the visible or UV light. Apart from the scintillating and TL detectors, the fields of application of the compounds under study include also the cathodoluminescent screens, laser media, and photoluminescence converters for white LED, etc. Experimental spectroscopic studies, including high pressure spectroscopy in diamond anvil cells, which allows to obtain pressures in the order of 50 GPa, is predicted as the main research technique for this study.

WWW: http://info.ifpan.edu.pl/Dodatki/WordPress/on41pl/

1
  4.25Thermodynamics of nanostructures at low temperatures

Supervisor: dr Maciej Zgirski/ prof. dr hab. Maciej Sawicki

Laboratory: Laboratory of Cryogenic and Spintronic Research

Background: Investigations of thermal processes in mesoscopic systems demand fast thermometry that can be easily integrated with a structure. One approach to boost the temporal resolution of a thermometer is to embed a temperature sensor in a microwave or rf resonator. A change in the magnitude and phase of the transmitted or reflected signal provides information about the thermal dynamics of the system. The method circumvents the problem of unavoidable stray-cabling capacitance, offering a typical bandwidth of 10 MHz. The need to use a resonator increases the sensor complexity and inhibits a higher level of integration (microwave on-chip resonators are millimeter-sized structures). In an effort to explore thermal processes at significantly faster rates, we have developed a completely different strategy: we use a hysteretic superconducting weak link probed with fast current pulses for its switching threshold as a temperature-sensing element. Our thermometer is capable of measuring temperature transients with unprecedented temporal resolution falling into single nanosecond range. The ease of integration, true nanometer size, and simplicity make our thermometer a good choice for investigating thermodynamics of nanocircuits

1. Nanosecond Thermometry with Josephson Junctions, M. Zgirski, M. Foltyn, A. Savin, K. Norowski, M. Meschke, and J. Pekola, Phys. Rev. Applied 10, 044068 (2018)
2. Flipping-Coin Experiment to Study Switching in Josephson Junctions and Superconducting Wires, M. Zgirski, M. Foltyn, A. Savin, and K. Norowski, Phys. Rev. Applied 11, 054070 (2019)
3. Gambling with Superconducting Fluctuations , M. Foltyn, M. Zgirski, Phys. Rev. Applied 4, 024002 (2015)

Requirements: - RESPONSIBILITY for the specific tasks in the project;
- strong interest in the proposed research (beyond usual working hours);
- background in Experimental Solid State Physics, Nanoscience, Nanotechnology or Electronics;
- good technical skills;
- good communication skills, candidate should work in harmony with the rest of researchers;
- low-noise transport measurements experience will be of an advantage;
- capable of using programming languages i.e. LabView, Mathematica, Matlab.

Aim: The project will take an extensive use of a superconducting Josephson junction (JJ) as a temperature-sensing element delivering nanosecond resolution. Successful implementation of a JJ-based thermometer should lead to establishing a new approach to calorimetry and bolometry at the nanoscale. It will make it possible to dynamically test thermodynamical properties of nanostructures, involving measurements of heat capacity and thermal conductivity as well as mechanisms of heat exchange at low temperatures (hot electron diffusion, electron-phonon coupling, photon radiation). Fast thermometry will provide direct access to the temporal evolution of effective temperatures under nonequilibrium conditions and the energy relaxation rates, thus contributing to a complete understanding of the thermodynamics of mesoscopic systems.

WWW: http://info.ifpan.edu.pl/~zgirski/

1
  4.26Quantum droplets from first principles

Supervisor: dr hab. Piotr Deuar

Laboratory: ON5 - Theoretical Physics

Background: Quantum droplets are a new discovery in the field of ultracold gases, from 2015. Their most unusual feature is that they are stabilized and held in equilibrium by bosonic quantum fluctuations. This mechanism has never been encountered before in macroscopic objects. Despite being dilute, the droplets have many similarities to a liquid rather than a gas. This is a source of great experimental interest, because it opens the door to study phenomena known from hydrodynamics in a quantum context.
However, the theoretical description of quantum droplets to date has been somewhat primitive, and has not keep pace with experiments. Standard approaches simply postulate an empirical averaging over the quantum fluctuations, and their agreement with experiment has been mainly qualitative. A proper understanding of how quantum fluctuations act in single realizations of a droplet is lacking.
In our group at IFPAN, we have recently developed a novel approach to describe quantum fluctuations, the Wigner stochastic GPE (WSGPE). It allows one to simulate single realizations of quantum droplets and their dynamics without the averaging. This will let us obtain unprecedented quality and accuracy in the theoretical description of the droplets.

Requirements: - a willingness to learn numerical skills - which we will gladly help you with!;
- research experience in theoretical physics;
- experience with ultracold gases, quantum optics, or quantum physics theory will be a strong advantage, as will experience with numerical skills;
- master's degree in physics (or an equivalent that qualifies one for PhD studies in physics in the country of issue);
- sufficient proficiency in the English language that scientific interaction is not hindered.

Aim: Studies of the quantum droplets on a new level of accuracy:
- simulation of single droplets.
- a better understanding of their behaviour.
- accurate explanation of the experimental observations (size, phase diagram,..).
- study of droplet properties that were previously inaccessible (life cycle, evaporation, critical velocity, surface and hydrodynamic properties...).
In this, we will collaborate with the leading experimental group in Barcelona and theoreticians from IFPAN, Newcastle, and New Zealand.

WWW: http://www.ifpan.edu.pl/~deuar/

1
  4.27Structural and elastic properties of multicomponent lanthanide based borates

Supervisor: dr hab. Jerzy Pełka, co-supervisor dr Roman Minikayev

Laboratory: SL1.1

Background: Multicomponent borates containing the lanthanide atoms are considered as valuable potential materials for optoelectronic devices, e.g. for lasers. Their structural and elastic properties influence the opportunity of application. Therefore the thesis subject is proposed to determine crystal structure of subfamilies of borates as a function of composition and doping level. Moreover the structural properties as a function of temperature and/or pressure will be studied in order to determine the thermal expansion and/or the compressibility.

Requirements: - basic knowledge on X-ray diffraction methods

Aim: Determination of structural and elastic properties of borates as a function of composition, temperature and pressure.

WWW: http://www.ifpan.edu.pl/SL-1/html/l-sl11.html

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  4.28Dynamics of Majorana fermions coupled to environments

Supervisor: Mircea Trif / Tomasz Dietl

Laboratory: International Centre for Interfacing Magnetism and Superconductivity with Topological Matter "MagTop"

Background: Topology has found a route from purely mathematical concepts to physics applications. The discovery of the quantum spin Hall effect and topological insulators more than a decade ago has revolutionised modern condensed matter physics. Today, the field of topological states of matter is one of the most active and fruitful research areas, and intense efforts have been devoted to the exploration of new phases of matter. One of the most exciting application is topological quantum computation with topological qubits such as the Majorana fermions emerging as excitations in topological superconductors. It is thus of great importance to (1) identify and study such topological materials (2) investigate the dynamics of their excitations.
(1) Magnetic impurities inserted in s-wave superconductors can give rise to topological superconductivity pertaining to the so called in-gap Shiba states. That in turn offers a great platform for Majorana fermion physics. A drawback, however, is that such systems are particularly rigid and their parameters extremely hard to tune (e.g. chemical potential, gap, etc). In view of that, this project aims at studying theoretically the Shiba states emerging from precessing magnetic textures. Among the questions raised in this part of the project are: how to control topology via magnetization dynamics in various dimensions? how measure the emergent topology (e.g. winding numbers, Chern numbers) and edge modes?
(2) Majorana fermions dynamics (such as braiding) is at the core of topological quantum computation. It is thus crucial to be able to monitor and manipulate their dynamics. That can be achieved by utilising the environments the Majoranas interact with (e.g photons, phonons, magnons, etc). Specifically, it will pertain to establish theoretically the imprint of the geometry and topology of the braiding trajectories into the environment degrees of freedom which in turn can be observed. Conversely, the project will address also the question of the effect of environment on the braiding itself, and finally, exploring the possibility of long range entanglement between either topological qubits and/or conventional qubits via such a dynamical mechanism.

Requirements: - MSc in Theoretical Physics

Aim: 1. Theory of the interplay between magnetisation dynamics and emerging
topological order
2. Theory of spintronic detection of topology and edge modes (e.g. Majoranas)
3. Theory for the dynamics of Majorana fermions or, more generally, of topological defects
in the presence of environments

WWW: www.MagTop.ifpan.edu.pl (see jobs)

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  4.29Excited state spin dynamics in molecules with donor-acceptor structure

Supervisor: Jerzy Karpiuk, DSc

Laboratory: ON 2.1, Division of Radiation Physics and Spectroscopy, Molecular Photophysics Group

Background: Molecular excited state dynamics are of fundamental importance for such processes as charge separation, magnetoreception or photosynthesis, where they provide a basis for transformation of physical signals into chemically or biologically relevant information. An area of particular interest includes interconversions of highly polar singlet and triplet states which are recently more and more exploited in new generation organic light emitting devices (OLED).

Requirements: - knowledge of the basics of fluorescence spectroscopy;
- knowledge of the basics of radiation physics and optics;
- knowledge of the basics of organic chemistry;
- knowledge of the basics of quantum-chemical computations;
- openness and readiness to intensively expand knowledge in the above mentioned areas;
- passion for experimental work;
- working knowledge of English.

Aim: The goal of the project is to study molecular structure and geometry effects on the spin dynamics and intersystem crossing in excited states formed in photoinduced electron transfer in selected organic molecules. This is an experimental study, the molecules to be investigated are synthesised in our Group, and their photophysics are studied in a state-of-the-art well-equipped spectroscopic laboratory (steady-state and time-resolved spectrofluorimetry, time-resolved (ns-ms) absorption spectrophotometry, temperature-dependent measurements).

WWW: http://www.ifpan.edu.pl/ON-2/on21/jkarpiuk.html

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  4.30Microphysics of Coulomb explosions

Supervisor: Ph.D., D.Sc., Eng. Daniel Jakubczyk / professor Maciej Kolwas

Laboratory: ON2.7 - Group of Optical Characterisation of Micro- and Nanoobjects

Background: The droplet break-up, taking place when the repulsive electrostatic forces overcome the surface tension is a phenomenon known since Coulomb days (Coulomb explosion). However, it has been described in the language of continuous medium, which overlooks effects taking place at the inter-face at nano- and molecular level.

Requirements: - master?s degree in physics or related field;
- skills in experimental physics (best but not obligatory - in the field of optics, electrodynamics, thermodynamics or related), ideally - proven by publications;
- ability to work in a team;
- good spoken and written English.

Aim: The objective of the research is to analyse the phenomena at the air-liquid interface, look in detail for discrepancy with the continuous medium description and propose a new one. We plan to study the dynamics of evaporation of charged composite droplets of various liquids with electrically in-teracting components (surfactants, dielectric and metallic nanospheres, etc.) as a function of initial droplet parameters.

WWW: http://info.ifpan.edu.pl/sdvs/en/on2.7.html

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  4.31Magnetic atoms in optical lattices

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Mariusz Gajda

Laboratory: Theoretical Physics Division (ON5)

Background: Experimental realization of ultracold atomic samples of atoms characterized by a large magnetic dipole moment, like Dysprosium, Erbium and Chromium, opened a possibility of experimental and theoretical study of quantum many-body systems with long-range correlations. The systems form a perfect platform to study spin dynamics, quantum magnetism, quantum phase transitions, spinor superfluid systems, lattice systems, quantum fluctuations and many more.

Requirements: - the candidate should have MSc in Physics;
- a very good theoretical background is required, in particular knowledge of quantum mechanics;
- some experience in atomic and/or many-body physics is desirable;
- the candidate should have also very good numerical skills and experience in C++ or Fortran programming.

Aim: In this project we will focus on theoretical studies of the equilibration of a lattice spin system initially set out-of-equilibrium, characterized by spin fluctuation. Theory work will develop state-of-the-art numerical simulations for the dynamics of quantum spin systems, combined with the diagnostic tools of quantum correlations. The project will be realized in a close collaboration with leading theoretical and experimental groups in Europe within the QuantERA consortium.

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Center for Theoretical Physics of Polish Academy of Science
CodeProject TitleSlots
  5.1Differential Galois theory ? applications to quantum systems

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Marek Kuś

Laboratory: Center for Theoretical Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences

Background: Problems of relations between quantum and the classical descriptions of the physical reality are as old as quantum mechanics itself. Niels Bohr's principle of correspondence predicted that the classical description should become adequate and correct, whenever a typical action of the system in question is much larger than the value of the Plank constant. Such a quantum-classical transition happens usually for "large quantum numbers". This approach to the "quantum to classical transition" leaves a lot of freedom. In particular, a path on which the "large quantum numbers" limit is attained does matter. As a result certain features, in particular the (non-) integrability of the classical limit, may strongly depend on the chosen path - the classical evolution of the system in question may be regular or chaotic. It has obvious consequences for engineering and controlling of quantum devices operating on many subsystems (eg. multiqubit quantum processors).

In the project we propose to answer the question of how a classical limit is attained in the case of integrable and non-integrable systems. The problem will be solved using a novel approach. The methods of the differential Galois theory, successfully applied in the past to integrability problems of classical dynamical systems, will be extended to quantum dynamics in finite-dimensional Hilbert spaces, that are of the main interest from the point of view of quantum information theory.

Requirements: - MSc (or equivalent) degree in physics or mathematics;
- fluent command of English enabling efficient use of scientific literature on the subject and delivering talks and lectures;
- programming skills including symbolic calculations (Maple, Mathematica).

Aim: Aim of the project: a) description of a quantum-classical transition for integrable and non-integrable systems, b) understanding how quantum systems integrable for arbitrary, but finite, number of constituents (subsystems) become non-integrable in the classical limit and how typically quantum properties (e.g. entanglement) vanish with growing number of subsytems. In particular how such a phenomenon influences constructions of quantum information devices employing multiqubit architectures that should exhibit quantum features even for large number of subsystems (qubits).

WWW: http://www.cft.edu.pl/

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  5.2Quasi-local energy of gravitational field and their relation with the stability issue in General Relativity.

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Jerzy Kijowski

Laboratory: Center for Theoretical Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences

Background: The topic of the project is the analysis of mathematical structure of modern theory of gravity, with particular focus on the concept of energy of the gravitational field. In contrast to the simple case of an electromagnetic field, the energy of a gravitational field is not a local quantity: total energy contained within the sum of two disjoint regions U and V cannot be equal to the sum of energies contained separately in U and in V, because both of these energies are "massive", and as such - they interact gravitationally. Any attempts to describe gravitational energy through an integral of some energy density tensor (or pseudotensor) are bound to fail.
The goal of the project is to confirm the hypothesis of quasi-locality of the graviotational Hamiltonian, using the universal generating formula for the dynamics in the Hamiltonian picture. The main technical problems are: 1) Analysis of possible boundary conditions which should be controlled on the boundary to adiabatically isolate it from "the rest of the world" and 2) properties (positivity, convexity) of such a Hamiltonian. In case of simple theories such control consists in imposing Dirichlet conditions. However, Einstein equations describing the evolution of the gravitational field are an extremely complicated mixture of hyperbolic, parabolic and elliptic equations (constraints). Properly formulating the "Dirichlet problem" in this case is a difficult task.

Requirements: - MSc (or equivalent) degree in physics or mathematics;
- fluent command of English enabling efficient use of scientific literature on the subject and delivering talks and lectures;
- knowledge of the basics of: modern gravity theory, differential geometry (Riemann geometry, sympletical geometry) and the basics of functional analysis (spectral theory of operators).

Aim: The goal of the project is: a deep analysis of various definitions of the gravitational quasi local energy and its role as a generator (a Hamiltonian) of the field evolution.

WWW: http://www.cft.edu.pl/

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  5.3Practical and theoretical aspects of near-term quantum computers

Supervisor: dr Michał Oszmaniec

Laboratory: https://nisq.eu/ group manager page: http://quantin.pl/

Background: In recent years, we have witnessed extremely rapid technological development in the field of quantum computing. Until recently, quantum computing was mainly the domain of theoretical considerations, relatively distant from practical applications. However, with the increased involvement of the industry (IBM, Google, Rigetti and many others), it has become possible to build prototypes of quantum computers consisting of up to several dozens of qubits. However, these machines intrinsically consist of non-ideal elements and traditional error correction techniques cannot be implemented there to mitigate the errors. It is then a Huge challenge is to understand the computational capabilities and potential practical applications of such devices and prototypes of quantum computers that will be available in the near future.

The "Quantum computers of the near future: challenges, optimal implementations and applications" project implemented under the Team-Net grant awarded by the Foundation for Polish Science, aims to tackle exactly with these problems The project will be realized by four closely cooperating research groups from Warsaw (CPT PAN), Gliwice (IITiS PAN) and Kraków (Faculty of Physics, Jagiellonian University). Proposed doctoral positions will be implemented in a research group led by dr Michał Oszmaniec in CTP PAN.

Requirements: - interest in the practical or mathematical aspects of quantum computers;
- at least basic knowledge in the field of quantum information theory and quantum computing;
- optionally (not all skills are required at the same time):
programming experience (C ++, Python or Matlab),experience in programming on quantum computers (Qiskit, Forest)
basic knowledge of mathematical physics (e.g. representation theory of Lie groups and Lie algebras, operator theory)
- a M.Sc degree in physics or other field related to the scope of the project;
- interest in the subject and motivation for academic work.

Aim: Depending on the qualifications and competences of the candidates, we propose the following topics of doctoral projects:
- certification and characterization of prototypes of quantum computers in order to develop effective methods of reducing errors on these devices;
- application of generalized quantum measurements (POVMs) in new quantum algorithms and development of methods for their effective implementation on prototypes of quantum computers;
- mathematical foundations of quantum computing (effective compilation of quantum gates, universal quantum computiation, new quantum supremacy schemes, classical simulation of noisy quantum computations.

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Institute of High Pressure Physics of Polish Academy of Science
CodeProject TitleSlots
  6.1Excess energy dissipation mechanism during adsorption at crystalline surfaces - electron transfer

Supervisor: prof dr hab. Stanisław Krukowski

Laboratory: NL-3 Crystallization Laboratory

Background: The purpose of the project "Excess energy dissipation mechanism during adsorption at crystalline surfaces - electron transfer" is to create picture of the molecule/atom - surface scattering that leads to the adsorption of the species and to determine the main channel of the thermalization of the species. It will be verified whether the assumption that kinetic energy transfer to the electronic degrees of freedom of the solid via electron tunneling plays major role in thermalization of the adsorbate. The basic scenario of such process that leads to extremely fast energy transfer to the solid and its dissipation is based on electron tunneling transition to solid interior from the adsorbate. The electric dipole layer, present at the surfaces of solids, induces electron transition from the approaching adsorbate to the solid interior. The electron tunneling results in the kinetic energy gain due to potential difference in the dipole layer. Thus the electron penetrates the solid with an immense kinetic energy that locates the electron energy high in the conduction band. Then the intraband fast dissipation processes reduce the electron energy to the lowest free quantum state, i.e. at Fermi level. The positively charged adatom/admolecule encounters the energy barrier (reversed interaction due to the opposite charge) which slows down its motion towards the surface, so that it is smoothly located in the adsorption site at the surface.

Requirements: - quantum mechanics ? university level;
- electrodynamics ? university level;
- statistical mechanics ? university level;
- good programming skills

Aim: The goal of the project is to find the quantitative data on the electron tunneling transition and explain its role in the thermalization of the adsorbate at solid surfaces. The realization of this goal requires time dependent quantum mechanical calculations beyond the density functional theory standard formalism. Such calculations will be made for various types of solid surfaces and for large number of selected adsorbates.

WWW: http://w3.unipress.waw.pl/

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  6.2Determination of the role of electric charge in catalytic processes on the surfaces of the solids

Supervisor: prof dr hab. Stanisław Krukowski

Laboratory: NL-3 Crystallization Laboratory

Background: The goal of the project "Determination of the role of electric charge in processes of catalysis on the surface of solids" is to perform investigations based on ab intio calculations concerning the role of charge in catalysis processes on the surfaces of the solids. Catalysis processes have been studied for many years, but the role of the charge and its transfer in particular stages of catalysis processes are not explained. An important element of the problem is the contribution of the charge to the energy properties of transition states, determining the efficiency of catalysis processes. The project will use ab initio computational tools typical for physics of solids surfaces, including semiconductors, developed in our group. In order to explain the role of charge location, its transfer, comparative studies will be conducted, typical for quantum chemistry, including cluster systems, characteristic for catalysis processes on surfaces of the insulators, including oxides. It is assumed that the obtained results will allow to draw general rules concerning quantum-mechanical properties of solid surfaces during catalytic processes, including the energy of surface states, occupation of surface states by electrons, maintaining the Fermi level on the surface, including its pinning in the transition states of catalysis processes. This will allow for the development of rules for the design of catalysis processes for the synthesis of chemical compounds on different types of surfaces, including metals, insulators, including oxides, and semiconductors.

Requirements: - the project is in the field of theoretical physics - very good knowledge of basic and advanced physics is required;
- quantum mechanics ? university level;
- electrodynamics ? university level;
- statistical mechanics ? university level;
- good programming skills.

Aim: The goal of the project is to find relations between the efficiency of synthesis catalytic processes on solid surfaces, including metals, insulators, including oxides, and also semiconductors, and quantum-mechanical and electric properties of these surfaces, i.e. energy of surface states, their occupation by the electrons, change in the location of the Fermi level, including its pinning, and the phenomena of local and global charge equilibria in the transition states of catalysis processes.

WWW: http://w3.unipress.waw.pl/

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  6.3Excitonic effects in perovskites for the photovoltaic and laser applications

Supervisor: Małgorzata Wierzbowska

Laboratory: Crystal Growth

Background: Perovskites ABX3 (A=methylammonium,formamidinium,Cs,Rb and B=Pb,Sn and X=Cl,Br,I), their low-dimensional structures, such as 2D, nanowires, quantum dots, and the heterostructures with organic layers (inorganic also to be checked) continuously attract interest of researchers as photovoltaic and optoelectronic materials (LEDs and lasers). Since 2014, the optically pumped perovskite lasers, both short-pulse and continuous-wave type, were reported. However, a construction of the electrically pumped laser still remains a challenge, being one of our tasks. The excitonic binding energies in these materials range 25-400 meV, and probably this is
not a record. Due to a high light-refractive index (of 2.2-2.5) at the perovskite-air interface, natural nanostructure cavities do not require mirrors. Moreover, an integrated system with the perovskite optically-active layer and topological edge-state mirrors could be achieved, with application to polariton lasers.
Accurate calculation of the interesting properties is possible within the framework of the Green functions formalism, from the Bethe-Salpeter equation (Yambo code), using the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the mean-field Hamiltonian from the DFT (Quantum-Espresso code) as an input for the construction of the non-interacting
Green function and the self-energy operator.

Requirements: - the candidate should possess a master degree obtained in one of the faculties:
physics, chemistry, computer science or similar;
- he/she should be strongly motivatedfor research in the computation materials science, and be prepared to work with thelinux environment;
- knowledge of English language is very useful.

Aim: The aim of this project is to become skillful in using the computer tools for excitonic
properties of materials, and to understand the mechanisms of strong (for lasers) and
weak (for solar cells) paring of the electron and hole. These mechanisms should be
correlated with the corresponding geometric and chemical structures of perovskites.
The electrically-pumped perovskite laser should be built. We also work on
suggestions from the group of Prof. Lioz Etgar (Jerusalem).

WWW: https://scholar.google.pl/citations? hl=pl&user=Vk_Z3dQAAAAJ&view_op=list_works&sortby=pubdate

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  6.4Excitonic effects in the III-V and II-VI semiconductor quantum wells.

Supervisor: Małgorzata Wierzbowska

Laboratory: Crystal Growth

Background: The quantum wells of III-V and II-VI semiconductors find their application in LEDs and lasers. In contrast to the ordinary band structure and direct or indirect bandgap, which can be calculated (although not accurately) with the DFT method, the excitonic parameters seek the Green functions formalism. One can obtain the desired
parameters from the Bether-Salpeter equation (BSE) using the Yambo code. As an input for the construction of the non-interacting Green function and the self-energy operator, one can take the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the mean-field Hamiltonian of the DFT method (Quantum-Espresso code). Using the computational tools and advanced supercomputers, it is possible to solve the DFT for hundreds of atoms and the BSE for 100-200 atoms. The method is not restricted to 3D, and its success was documented for 2D, 1D and molecules. As an output, one gets such excitonic parameters as the optical spectra with the electron-hole (e-h) pair interactions and realistic oscillator strengths, the e-h pair binding energy and lifetime, localization of the electron wavefunction when the position of a hole is fixed and vice versa, as well as the temperature dependence of the optical spectra and the renormalization of the band structure due to the electron-phonon coupling.

Requirements: - the candidate should possess a master degree obtained in one of the faculties:
physics, chemistry, computer science or similar;
- he/she should be strongly motivated for research in the computation materials science, and be prepared to work with the linux environment;
- knowledge of English language is very useful.

Aim: The aim of this project is to become skillful in using the computer tools for excitonic properties of quantum wells, and to understand the mechanisms of the e-h pairing in the single and multiple quantum wells. More precise suggestions about the material details will come from the recent literature and the growth of these structures in Unipress and IPPAS. It is also possible that the PhD student could spent some time in Modena under a supervision of Prof. Daniele Varsano (one of the authors of the Yambo code).

WWW: https://scholar.google.pl/citations? hl=pl&user=Vk_Z3dQAAAAJ&view_op=list_works&sortby=pubdate

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  6.5Gallium nitride (GaN) crystallized by ammonothermal method investigation of growth mechanisms in selected crystallographic directions

Supervisor: dr hab. inż. Michał Boćkowski

Laboratory: Crystal Growth Laboratory NL-3

Background: The goal of this project is to investigate the first stage of gallium nitride crystallization by basic ammonothermal method. The ammonothermal crystal growth will be analyzed in three types of processes: i/ without intentional doping; material with a high free carrier concentration (~1019 cm-3); ii/ with getters; GaN of a free carrier concentration at the level of 1018 cm-3; iii/ with getters as well as intentional doping with manganese (Mn); semi-insulating material of resistivity higher than 108 ?cm at room temperature. For each crystallization process the dominating growth directions of GaN will be identified. Thus, the dominating facets will be distinguished. They can be polar, non-polar and semi-polar. Then, ammonothermal GaN seeds with these facets and of appropriate electrical properties will be prepared for each growth process mentioned above. The facets will be prepared for growth in various ways. This will allow to determine the best way to prepare the surface of a chosen GaN seed for ammonothermal crystallization. The back etching process will be studied for each ammonothermal growth run. The etching rate and the surface morphology of the seed after back etching will be examined. Then, the first stage of GaN growth will be analyzed. The morphology, structural quality and growth rate will be determined. The free carrier concentration of the new grown GaN as a function of the growth direction will also be studied

Requirements: - completion of master's studies in the following fields: physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, material engineering or related;
- basic knowledge in the field of semiconductor physics;
- basic knowledge of crystallography and crystal growth process.

Aim: Examination of the initial stages of growth of GaN crystals crystallized by basic ammonothermal method.

WWW: https://www.unipress.waw.pl/growth/

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  6.6Implantation of acceptors into undoped GaN layers grown by the HVPE method - basis structures of vertical high power transistors

Supervisor: dr hab. inż. Michał Boćkowski

Laboratory: Crystal Growth Laboratory NL-3

Background: The main goal of this project is to investigate implantation of acceptors like magnesium (Mg), beryllium (Be), or zinc (Zn) into thin (10 - 100 μm) unintentionally doped layers of gallium nitride (GaN) crystallized by hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE) method on native seeds. The grown material should be of high purity, with low free carrier (electron) concentration and of high structural quality. Parameters of implantation process should result in a few hundred nanometers thick GaN with concentration of implanted acceptors at the level of 1019 cm-3. Basic parameters of HVPE-GaN growth processes as well as parameters of ion implantation will be determined as part of this project. Post-implantation damage, which occurs in implanted layers, will be removed by high-temperature (1400-1480°C) annealing at high nitrogen pressure (1 GPa). One of the goals of this project is to investigate basic structural, optical, and electrical parameters of implanted and annealed GaN. It is planned to introduce the process of nitrogen co-implantation. Nitrogen incorporation into acceptor-implanted GaN should avoid creation of nitrogen vacancies. These defects act as donors and they can be created in p-type material (when acceptors are incorporated).

Requirements: - completion of master's studies in the following fields: physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, material engineering or related;
- basic knowledge in the field of semiconductor physics;
- basic knowledge of crystallography and crystal growth process.

Aim: Implantation of acceptors (magnesium, beryllium, or zinc) into thin unintentionally doped layers of gallium nitride (GaN) crystallized by HVPE method on native seeds.

WWW: https://www.unipress.waw.pl/growth/

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  6.7Topological phase transition and properties of topological insulator state in semiconductor quantum wells based on indium gallium nitride

Supervisor: dr hab. Sławomir Paweł Łepkowski (prof. w IWC PAN)

Laboratory: Laboratory of Nitride Semiconductor Physics, IWC PAN

Background: Topological insulators are a new class of semiconductor materials having an energy gap in the bulk electronic band structure and metallic states on the boundary, occurring due to the nontrivial topology of the bulk states. The discovery of two-dimensional topological insulators in quantum wells built either from mercury telluride and cadmium telluride or indium arsenide, gallium antimonide and aluminum antimonide is one of the most important achievements of recent years in condensed matter physics. The search for other quantum structures, in which the topological insulator state can be generated, has become one of important research directions in many leading centers around the world. One of promising candidates for realization of the two-dimensional topological insulators are quantum wells built from indium nitride and indium gallium nitride, in which the presence of the built-in electric field leads to a subband inversion, causing a nontrivial topology of the band structure. The obstacles in obtaining the topological insulator state are screening of the built-in electric field by free carriers coming from unintentional doping and partial relaxation of internal strain causing a decrease of the piezoelectric effect.

Requirements: - a person, who has completed a master?s degree in physics or a related field and has predispositions to work in theoretical or computer physics, is recommended for the implementation of the project.

Aim: The aim of the project is to conduct theoretical studies determining the possibility of generating the topological insulator state in real quantum wells based on indium gallium nitride, taking into account the effects of partial relaxation of internal stresses and screening of the built-in electric field. The topological phase transition, from a normal insulator to the topological insulator will also be studied under the influence of an external electric field as well as external stresses.

WWW: www.researchgate.net/profile/S_Lepkowski

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  6.8Nitride based micro ? LEDs and micro ? LEDs arrays grown by Plasma Assisted Molecular Beam Epitaxy

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Czesław Skierbiszewski

Laboratory: NL-14 , Molecular Beam Epitaxy Laboratory

Background: Nitride light emitting diodes (LEDs) have been broadly employed in general illumination and backlight units due to their higher luminous efficacy and longer lifetime compared to conventional light sources. By integrating LEDs with CMOS control electronics, matrix-addressed and individually controlled GaN micro-LED arrays could be realized with a display luminance much higher than normal commercial displays (like organic LEDs). However, their spatial resolution is still low, which result from the LED dimensions with pixel and pitch sizes of several micrometers. In this Project we would like to investigate nitride based micro-LEDs arrays where emission surface was defined by size of the tunnel junction (TJ) embedded inside diode. The TJs in the LED structure open new possibilities for defining the emission size of diode without need to etch device trough quantum wells ? which can preserve high quantum efficiency of such device. The micro LEDs structures will be grown by Plasma Assisted Molecular Beam Epitaxy and processed in our Institute.

Requirements: - background in quantum mechanics and solid state physics;
- crystal growth basis;
- good knowledge of physics of semiconductors - gallium nitride ant its alloys;
- molecular beam epitaxy and processing of nitride devices

Aim: We would like to investigate the performance of nitride micro-LEDs with embedded tunnel junctions. Different processing schemes will be tested. The internal quantum efficiency as a function of micro-LEDs dimensions will be determined. The long term target will be demonstration of electrically driven single photon emission from hybrid system: 2D materials WSe2, WS2 or h-BN exfoliated and deposited on micro-LEDs - where nitride micro-LEDs will be used as an efficient optical pump.

WWW: http://www.unipress.waw.pl/mbe/en

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  6.9Epitaxial growth of NbN/GaN structures by Plasma Assisted Molecular Beam Epitaxy

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Czesław Skierbiszewski

Laboratory: NL-14 , Molecular Beam Epitaxy Laboratory

Background: Recently, it was demonstrated that it is possible combination of the epitaxial growth of the nitride semiconductors like AlN or GaN on nitride superconductors ? NbN on SiC substrates. The epitaxial growth was performed by plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy (PAMBE). The niobium nitride crystalizes in hexagonal (NbN, Nb2N) or cubic (NbN) phase. The lattice constant of wurtzite and cubic phases of NbN are very close to AlN which create possibility of high quality epitaxial growth of III-N/NbNx heterostructures for devices such as Josephson Junctions (JJs) flux qubits, lossless microwave resonators, AC JJs lasers and superconducting single-photon detectors. They are the building blocks of new quantum-information systems. Substantial advances in these systems would be expected if the features of semiconductors could be combined with that of superconductors on a single epitaxial platform. Therefore for future applications very interesting will be possibility of epitaxial integration of NbN superconductors with III-N semiconductors family within one PAMBE technology.

Requirements: - background in quantum mechanics and solid state physics;
- crystal growth basis;
- good knowledge of physics of semiconductors - gallium nitride ant its alloys;
- molecular beam epitaxy and processing of nitride devices.

Aim: We aim to determine the growth parameters for dislocation free deposition of NbN on GaN (or AlN) substrates by PAMBE. The successful growth will open possibility to investigate and develop NbN/GaN/NbN Josephson Junctions or efficient single photon detectors.

WWW: http://www.unipress.waw.pl/mbe/en

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  6.10Nitride based photonic structures: modeling of optical properties and growth by Plasma Assisted Molecular Beam Epitaxy and electrochemical etching

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Czesław Skierbiszewski

Laboratory: NL-14 , Molecular Beam Epitaxy Laboratory

Background: Design and manufacturing of complex optoelectronic structures require precise control of their optical parameters and structural strain. The example of such structure is Bragg reflector, where classic approach of growth of GaN/AlN structures often lead to the strain-induced cracking of devices. Making use of periodic structures with refractive index contrast one can grow semiconductor mirrors, which are crucial for Vertical Cavity Surface Lasers (VCSLs) or cavities for investigation of e.g. Bose-Einstein condensation. Within this project we propose another approach: Bragg reflectors will be bsed on GaN and porous GaN layers. Porous GaN will be electrochemically etched.

Requirements: - background in quantum mechanics and solid state physics;
- crystal growth basis;
- good knowledge of physics of semiconductors - gallium nitride ant its alloys;
- molecular beam epitaxy and processing of nitride devices.

Aim: Target of PhD thesis will be design and manufacturing of nitride based Bragg reflectors based on the structures grown by plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy. PhD thesis will cover (1) modeling of optical properties of porous GaN obtained through the process of the electrochemical etching, (2) growth of periodic structures of GaN:Si/GaN (3) modeling of photonic structures.

WWW: http://www.unipress.waw.pl/mbe/en

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  6.11Diffuse scattering in X-ray diffraction in examination of the InGaN/GaN epitaxial structures

Supervisor: Michał Leszczynski

Laboratory: Laboratory of Semiconductor Microstructure NL12

Background: Epitaxial structure of InGaN/GaN are the "heart" of optoelectronic devices: LEDs and laser diodes. Strong lattice mismatch between InGaN and GaN, as well as very low growth temperature, are the cause of a high defect concentration in this material. X-ray diffraction is a main tool for examining those defects, however, still the X-ray theory used for interpreting the experimental data is far from being adequate. In the Project, it is planned to develop X-ray diffraction theory by extending it to diffuse scattering caused by lattice imperfections in InGaN/GaN epi structures.

Requirements: - MSci degree in physics or materials engineering

Aim: To understand the mechanism of defect formation in epi-structures of InGaN/GaN

WWW: www.unipress.waw.pl

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  6.12Develop a process for overcoming the equilibrium crystal shape in gallium nitride (GaN) crystal growth from the vapor phase.

Supervisor: dr hab. inż. Michał Boćkowski

Laboratory: Crystal Growth Laboratory NL-3

Background: The main goal of this project is to develop a process for overcoming the equilibrium crystal shape in gallium nitride (GaN) crystal growth from the vapor phase. Currently, the diameter of crystallized GaN decreases in time. Results of the project should allow deposition of thick single crystalline GaN boules with a uniform or expanding diameter. Crystallization process will be carried out on c-plane of native GaN seed. For this purpose, precise control of supersaturation on the crystal?s growing surface is needed. The supersaturation should be reduced on the edges and sidewalls of the growing crystal. This way adsorption of the growth species on the sidewalls will be minimized, while the growth facet (c-facet) will be stabilized and grown out for an arbitrary time period. Such conditions will be achieved by controlling the thermal field around the growing crystal. The boule will reach its final shape by adapting to the thermal field and not take its equilibrium habit.

Requirements: - completion of master's studies in the following fields: physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, material engineering or related;
- basic knowledge in the field of semiconductor physics;
- basic knowledge of crystallography and crystal growth process.

Aim: Develop a process for overcoming the equilibrium crystal shape in gallium nitride (GaN) crystal growth from the vapor phase.

WWW: https://www.unipress.waw.pl/growth/

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The Maria Sklodowska-Curie Institute of Oncology
CodeProject TitleSlots
  7.1Epigenetic misregulation o microRNA expression in pathogenesis of meingiomas

Supervisor: prof. dr hab. Janusz A. Siedlecki/ dr Mateusz Bujko

Laboratory: Department of Molecular and Translational Oncology

Background: Meningiomas are among the most common intracranial human tumors. Despite their high incidence, the molecular background of pathogenesis of meningiomas, including role of aberrant expression of microRNA (miRNA), is still poorly understood. MiRNA are the small non-coding RNA particles that play an important role in negative regulation of protein-coding mRNA level. The normal tissue-specific expression of microRNAs is disturbed in tumor. This affects the profile of mRNA and proteins in a way that promotes neoplastic transformation.
By comparing meningiomas with normal meningeal samples we identified promoter regions of over 20 miRNA genes as aberrantly methylated in meningiomas. We hypothesise that impaired epigenetic regulation of these miRNAs may affect the expression of important target genes and pathways and consequently increase tumorigenic potential of meningeal cells and contribute to tumor development.
The project involves molecular analysis of meningiomas and normal meninges to determine the expression and DNA methylation level of selected miRNAs. Further functional analysis of those miRNA that show methylation-related expression will be performed on meningioma cell lines. This includes: investigating the relationship between miRNA expression level, DNA methylation and level of selected histone marks as well as identification of miRNA target genes upon transcriptomic analysis combined with in silico target prediction and subsequent luciferase reporter gene assay.

Requirements: - Master's degree in biological sciences;
- motivation to work in scientific research;
- creativity in laboratory and analytical work;
- experience with molecular biology methods for cell culturing and transfecting as well as gene/protein expression analysis.

Aim: The study is aimed to verify whether impaired epigenetic profile of miRNA encoding genes, identified as aberrantly DNA methylated in meningiomas, affect miRNA expression levels and to reveal functional consequence of their silencing: to identify target genes for those miRNAs that are aberrantly expressed in tumors and normal samples and to reveal its role in neoplastic transformation

WWW: www.coi.pl

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