Postdoc in axion electrodynamics and topological photonics

Dark matter problem is one of the fundamental unresolved problems in modern physics. A promising dark matter candidate is provided by axions which are hypothetical particles extremely weakly interacting with the ordinary matter and able to convert to the pair of photons in the external magnetic field.

While the search for cosmic axions is pursued by a number of groups all over the world and the outcome of this research is not known a priori, there exist condensed matter systems described by the equations of axion electrodynamics. Hence, their collective excitations are emergent axions. Such structures can be realized either by breaking the time-reversal symmetry (e.g. Tellegen media) or keeping such symmetry intact. In the latter case, non-reciprocal magneto-electric coupling of the structure is quantized and the material is called topological insulator. 

Results of our group on topological photonics


In this project we will investigate the realizations of axion physics both in condensed matter and photonic structures. During the project, we will collaborate with Nobel Prize winner Prof. Frank Wilczek and publish the obtained results in the most prestigious international journals which enter top-1%: Nature, Science, Nature Photonics, Nature Physics и Nature Communications. This research agenda has been supported by Priority-2030 strategic development program as one of the promising in ITMO University.

(а) Схематический вид структуры трёхмерного топологического изолятора на основе Sb2Te3 в физике конденсированного состояния. (b) Структура трёхмерного фотонного топологического изолятора, предложенного теоретически [Lu, et al. Nature Physics 12, 337 (2016)], но не реализованного экспериментально. Требуется нарушение симметрии к обращению времени
(а) Schematic view of the three-dimensional topological insulator based on Sb2Te3 in condensed matter physics.
(b) Structure of the 3D photonic topological insulator suggested theoretically [Lu, et al. Nature Physics 12, 337 (2016)] but not realized experimentally. Time-reversal symmetry breaking is required.


  • Previous research experience and defended PhD thesis in the related area of Physics: photonics, condensed matter physics or theoretical physics.
  • At least three publications in peer-reviewed international journals (not conference proceedings) – with the key contribution.
  • Good level of English (Upper Intermediate B2 or higher).
  • Experience with such software packages as: Mathematica /Matlab/Python and Latex.
  • Solid background in classical electrodynamics and quantum mechanics.
  • Experience with such software packages as CST Microwave Studio or Comsol Multiphysics.
  • Good presentation skills.
  • Ready to co-supervise Bachelor and Master students.
  • Experience of application for Russian or international grants.

Will be an advantage: 

Strong background in quantum optics and quantum field theory.


  • World-class level of research evidenced by our publications in such journals as Nature Photonics, Nature Communications, Laser & Photonics Reviews, Advanced Materials and others.
  • Young and professional team at the Department, friendly atmosphere.
  • Work in the historical center of Saint Petersburg.
  • Established collaboration with the leading researchers all over the world: USA, Europe, Asia and Australia as well as industrial partners.
  • Possibility of business trips to the conferences or to the collaborators on joint projects.
  • Corporate teambuilding events: volleyball, table tennis as well as New Year Party and other. 
Depending on the results of the interview.

Lomonosova st., 9, Saint Petersburg, Russia