Prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship
The Department is proud to announce that Dr Oleg Mitrofanov, has been award one of the Royal Society's prestigious University Research Fellowships. His work will focus on Terahertz near-field probe microscopy.
The Royal Society, the UK's national academy of science, has announced the appointment of 38 new University Research Fellows (URFs) for 2009. The University Research Fellowship scheme aims to provide outstanding scientists, who have the potential to become leaders in their chosen fields, with the opportunity to build an independent research career. The scheme is extremely competitive and URFs are expected to be strong candidates for permanent posts in universities at the end of their fellowships.
THz near-field probe microscopy
Scientists have always been discovering complex physical processes through interaction of matter with electro-magnetic waves in different parts of the spectrum. This knowledge not only helped to form the physical picture of the world, but allowed us to engineer materials to serve our needs: produce light, generate solar electricity and store wealth of information on a tiny electronic chip.
Until recently a part of the electro-magnetic spectrum, located between well-developed radio-waves and infra-red light, has been only slightly used by scientists. This part of the spectrum is known as the Terahertz (THz) region after the frequency at which electro-magnetic field oscillates (~1012 oscillations per second). Physical processes occurring at these frequencies have not been explored extensively until recently, when the THz spectrum moved into the focus of scientific investigations due to its critical role in future electronics and optoelectronics. Research progress and our rapidly growing demand for information exchange pushed the operating speeds of electronics close to one tenth on 1 THz. Further progress however will require wider knowledge and better understanding of THz phenomena in order to create efficient THz technology.
This research programme is focused on investigations of THz phenomena in condensed matter systems where strong interactions with THz waves can be utilized for future electronics. A recently developed special measurement system, the THz near-field microscope, will enable this research. Potential impact of this research extends significantly beyond future electronics. There is a wide range of scientific studies in physics, chemistry, materials science, and biology, where THz near-field imaging and spectroscopy can provide unique and essential information about the physics of ultrafast processes.