GRA Positions

Graduate Research Assistantship positions in AEP for PhD students in Physics and Engineering

We are primarily targeting AEP, Physics, Electrical Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering PhD candidates, but highly motivated students from other graduate fields with appropriate background and interests are also invited to contact Dr. Shvets at or at 208 Clark Hall. To learn more specifics about the research done in our group, browse through our webpage’s research section.

Advanced Structure-Based and Plasma-Based Benchtop Accelerators (Theory and/or Experiment). The project has a substantial computational component, and is related to developing ultra-high gradient accelerators of charged particles (leptons and hadrons). Perspective student will participate in modeling exciting upcoming experiments at a variety of facilities around the world that employ ultra-intense laser pulses to generate the world record high energies (multiple GeVs) for the electrons produced via laser-plasma interactions. Structure-based accelerators such as a surface wave accelerator based on silicon carbide (SWABSiC) and Topological Photonic Bandgap Accelerator (TPBA) are also experimentally pursued in the Shvets’ group, with ongoing experiments at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) on Long Island and at the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) in Chicago. Other topics in computational plasma physics, including laser-ion acceleration and Fermi acceleration in astrophysical plasmas, may also be pursued depending on the student’s interests/skills. Depending on which part of the project you end up pursuing, you will learn high-performance massively parallel computing, first-principles particle-in-cell simulations, design of novel microwave metamaterials, and laser physics.
Requirements: preferably, you have already taken a graduate E&M or a modern optics course, some introductory plasma physics (an undergraduate course is sufficient). Strong programming experience (C, C++, Fortran, MATLAB) will be very valuable, as well as optics or microwaves background for experimental students.

Plasmonics and Metamaterials: Topological Photonics, Two-dimensional Nano-photonics, and Plasmonically-Enhanced Spectroscopy of Cancer Cells. All these projects have experimental and computational components. The mix between theory and experiment will depend on the student’s interests and expertise. As part of your research, you will learn micro- and nano-fabrication techniques (FIB, e-beam lithography, reactive ion and wet etching), characterization (SEM and AFM microscopy), laser diagnostics (visible and infrared), infrared spectroscopy and vibrational fingerprinting, electromagnetic simulations (finite-element frequency-domain and finite-difference time-domain), and the basics of biomedical photonics. The nanophotonics projects involve integrating plasmonic metasurfaces with two-dimensional materials, with the ultimate goal of developing rapidly reconfigurable infrared devices, particularly with topological features. The cells spectroscopy project involves trapping and spectroscopic analysis of different types of live cells and bacterial, with the ultimate goal of developing the “liquid biopsy” optical technique for phenotyping circulating tumor cells, as well as developing a Lab On a Fiber Tip (LOFT) spectroscopic tool for intraoperative detection of tumor margins.
Requirement: some optics lab experience is desirable; clean room is helpful as well.