List of Ph.D. thesis topics

Exploring the laser modification of solids using quantum   simulations The Ph.D. research will be devoted to the study of optical properties of several solids during their irradiation by intense and ultrashort laser pulses. The approach is based on the use of ab-initio simulations using the time-dependent density functional theory, a method that has now been well established at the HiLASE Centre. The advantage of this technique is that it provides both intuitive and quantitative insights from a quantum perspective that can be compared with experimental results and with classical theories. The research will include:
– The preparation of state-of-art quantum simulations on European computational facilities.
– The bench-mark and improvement of available mathematical descriptions of laser-matter interaction.
– Investigations of novel ways of engineering materials using intense laser light.
– Collaborating with excellent academic partners located abroad on existing classical and quantum simulation tools.
Thibault J.-Y.   Derrien, Ph.D. SLA
Laser mass spectrometry detection and characterization of   biomolecules and delicate nanoparticles The Ph.D. research will be devoted to a study of isolated biomolecules and delicate nanoparticles in the gas phase using a novel mass spectrometric approach. The approach is based on the use of a recently developed technique, the blister-based laser-induced forward transfer, which allows delivering delicate nanoobjects intact and neutral, without heating and fragmentation, and with controllable velocity. The isolated species will be ionized by laser irradiation or electron impact and analyzed by time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The research will include:
– Mass spectrometric characterization of biomolecules, either unexplored so far or yet explored with low accuracy.
– Studies of femtosecond-laser ionization/excitation mechanisms for size-selected dielectric and semiconductor nanoparticles, comparison with ab initio quantum calculations and the corresponding bulk materials.
– Characterization of laser ionization and fragmentation of isolated 2D-nanoflakes.
Prof. Alexander V. Bulgakov, Dr. Sc. SLA
Application of novel nanomaterials and MID-IR lasers for biomedicine The Ph.D. research will be devoted to the employment of laser-synthesized multi-functional nanomaterials as well as mid-infrared (MID-IR) lasers for biomedical applications. The study is based on the flexible contamination-free synthesis of multi-component nanostructures with variable chemical content and corresponding functional properties. The synthesized nanomaterials will be assessed for their toxicity/safety and tested as diagnostic and therapeutic nanoagents against cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, gentle non-invasive actions of MID-IR lasers on biological objects will also be investigated. The research will include:
– Synthesis and characterization of novel multi-component nanomaterials.
– Assessment of their biomedical perspectives.
– Development of non-invasive laser-based therapy.
Dr. Yury Ryabchikov, Ph.D. SLA
Surface form memory in biomedical NiTi coatings Surface topography is an extremely important property influencing tribological behavior and hydrophobic properties of biomedical implants in physiological contact. Specific surface roughness and/or surface texture are often used to control friction and wear. The core objective of a doctoral thesis is the experimental aided design of thin films and coatings with controllable surface topography by advanced laser technology including LSP and micromachining. We will design, produce and test thin films and coatings based on smart materials, preferably NiTi shape memory alloys, acting as surface nanoactuators. Changes of the surface topography and physical properties will be typically induced by local or homogenous changes of temperature and/or contact stress. Tribo-Corrosion resistance of patterned surfaces will be investigated by mechano-electrochemical methods and by microscopy. Potential applications of this novel technology are envisioned in a variety of societal areas ranging from engineering to healthcare. Ing. Jan Racek, Ph.D. ILA
Corrosion resistance of steels treated by laser shock peening against power plant conditions Morphology of passive oxide layers plays a major role in influencing corrosion resistance and fatigue life of austenitic steels in power plant, especially in high-temperature steam conditions. The resistance of austenitic stainless steel’s surface against steamside oxidation and exfoliation can be achieved by shot peening but much more by laser shock peening (LSP) which introduces deeply and effectively compression stress with residual plastic deformation into the steel matrix. The plastic deformation results in a change in mechanical properties as well as changes in the diffusion characteristics of Cr, Fe, Ni at the metal/liquid interface. The core objective of the doctoral thesis is the experimental setup of the LSP parameters with respect to the kinetics of oxide layers genesis which ultimately will affect the desired properties of the protective oxide layer at mechano-corrosion loading. Chemical composition, oxidation states related to corrosion phenomena (uniform, local corrosion, IGSSC) and microstructure will be investigated. Potential applications of LSP novel technology are envisioned in a variety of societal areas ranging from power engineering to aerospace. Ing. Jan Racek, Ph.D. ILA
Deeper understanding toward thermo-mechanics during laser shock peening of shape memory alloys Novel LSP methods become more popular to improve surface functionality and mechanical properties of shape memory alloys e.g. fatigue, corrosion resistance, tribological properties. Processing is based on laser short pulses irradiation where the synergy of heat and mechanical force take a place while the plasma shock wave propagates. Depending on the setup of the major laser parameters such as wavelength, pulse duration, fluence, number of pulses with appropriate environmental conditions such as confine medium, and temperature the desired properties to upscale functionality can be achieved. Hereby a deeper understanding of thermomechanics in plasma shock wave-metal interactions is required for LSP technology to be effective. Three ways of study to be considered: i) in-situ measurement of heat using a thermal camera and thermocouple bridge, ii) simulation of heat transfer scaled on electron-phonon coupling to mesoscale, iii) comparable microscopic study. The work requires independence, enthusiasm, and knowledge in the physics of materials. Ing. Jan Racek, Ph.D. ILA
Advanced glass processing and functionalization Advanced microscopic and diffraction or interference optical systems will be used for micro-drilling and cutting of glass and similar materials. In addition, functional micro and nanostructures will be developed for anti-reflection, superhydrophobic or oleophobic properties. Optical, SEM and AFM analysis will be performed for the determination of optimal processing window and analysis of surface topography. Ing. Petr Hauschwitz,
Laser nanostructuring for medical applications State-of-the-art multi-beam and beam-shaping techniques will be utilized for the development of functional surface micro and nanostructures. These structures will be evaluated with respect to anti-bacterial or anti-microbial properties and cell growth with potential applications in a medical environment, dental and body implants. Ing. Petr Hauschwitz,
Self-cleaning surfaces by laser micro and nanostructuring The optimal combination of surface topography and chemistry will result in superhydrophobic properties on hard-to-process materials. These properties will be further tested for self-cleaning behavior by the fast camera and image analysis. Ing. Petr Hauschwitz,
Development of methodology 3D printing in combination with laser shock peening Laser shock peening can be combined with other laser techniques like laser hardening or welding is. But the only combination with direct energy deposition additive manufacturing technique can fully use the potential of this technique. Parts produced by this technique can have a unique shape and unique distribution of residual stresses which can be used in part of machines, biomedical parts or the space industry. Ing. Jan Brajer, Ph.D. ILA
Mueller matrix polarimetry of complex laser systems Mueller matrix polarimetry is a powerful method for the analysis of complete polarization properties of optical systems. At the HiLASE Centre this method is used to measure the thermally induced polarization effects like linear birefringence and diattenuations in individual optical elements as well as in very complex laser systems. The goal of the work would be the running of the polarimetric measurements, upgrades of the measuring method, e.g. its optimization in terms of systematic measurement errors and improvements of the automatization of the measurement, and also upgrades of the polarimetric data processing MATLAB codes. The final goal will be the complete mapping of the polarization propagation through individual parts of a complex high-power laser system which will be a new diagnostic tool used for the optimization of the laser performance. The results will be also used as benchmark data for the validation of the results from our numerical modeling of the thermos-optical effects. Ing.Ondřej Slezák, Ph.D. ALD
Thermo-optical calculations for complex laser systems Each optical material while subjected to a load of heat becomes optically inhomogeneous due to thermos-optical phenomena and even inhomogeneously optically anisotropic, i.e. birefringent due to elasto-optical effect. These thermally induced wavefront distortions and thermal-stress-induced birefringence seriously decreases the performance of the laser systems operating at high average power. Next to the damage threshold of the laser components, is the bottleneck of the high power laser development. In the last years, the great attention is paid to the development of the computation methods which allow the optimization of the laser systems in order to suppress the thermal effects, since they cannot be completely prevented. Thermo-optical calculations are multiphysics problems consisting of laser physics, ray-tracing, heat conduction, linear elasticity of anisotropic media, elasto-optics, fluid dynamics, and polarization optics. The finite element method (FEM) part is being done in COMSOL Multiphysics software package, while the elasto-optical part is being processed by our in-house codes developed in MATLAB. The merit of the work will be the development of the new methods for efficient and precise thermo-optical calculations and their validation through experimental measurements. Ing.Ondřej Slezák, Ph.D. ALD

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