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PhD position in quantum technologies for imaging and sensing biological systems at the micron and sub-micron scale

Hebrew University

The JM-JPhD is an international research training group between the University of Melbourne (UoM) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI).
The successful candidate will spend at least a year at each institution over the course of their candidature and be eligible to graduate with a jointly awarded PhD recognised with a testamur from each University.
Project: Diamond sensor for Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)
Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), and radicals in general, play a fundamental role in a broad range of chemical and biological processes, usually as catalysts and mediators of various reactions. For example, ROS are crucial as catalysts in clean energy production, such as batteries and light-harvesting complexes, and are instrumental in cellular and inter-cellular disease processes, such as inflammation.
Detecting and quantifying ROS dynamics is a challenging task, as these molecules are usually short-lived due to their catalytic behavior. This is usually achieved by using spin traps or modified fluorescence markers, which act as indirect indications of ROS activity. However, due to the need to introduce them into the biological system and since they are essentially side-effects of the reactive process, the resulting measurements can affect the process itself, and their quantitative analysis is limited.
The proposed project is based on the fact these radicals have free spins, and therefore introduce magnetic noise into the environment. Such noise can be detected and characterized by the diamond-NV platform, through various control schemes referred to as noise spectroscopy.
In this project we will realize a biologically compatible noise spectroscopy system for studying ROS dynamics:
• Develop and optimize noise spectroscopy schemes relevant for ROS measurements, such as we have demonstrated recently using continuous and pulsed control. For this purpose, we will benefit from a collaboration with Uri Banin of the Chemistry Dept. at HUJI, who provides us with specifically designed nano-particles that controllably create ROS as a function of optical illumination (using 405nm light).
• Optimize diamond substrate for these measurements in terms of various parameters, including diamond structure and nanofabrication, NV integration, optical coupling.
• Construct an integrated, biologically compatible ROS sensor, and demonstrate measurements of ROS concentration as a function of controlled stimuli. The proposed project will combine the expertise of the Prawer group in terms of the diamond structure and NV integration, with the noise spectroscopy expertise of the Bar-Gill group (including the collaboration with the Banin group).
Year 1: HUJI – develop and optimize the relevant noise spectroscopy schemes
Year 2: UoM – learn and fabricate optimized NV-containing diamond samples
Year 3: HUJI – construct the system and perform initial measurements

How to apply

Applicants for the Jerusalem-Melbourne Joint PhD (JM-JPhD) should:Contact Nir Bar-Gill and include: Name, contact details Cover letter, CV and transcript Any supporting documentationNote: All applicants are required to meet the entry requirements for a PhD at both partner universities to be considered.The successful candidates will be funded by HUJI. This funding includes a full scholarship and mobility support. Eligible candidates for the Hirsh and Olga Taft Scholarship will be automatically considered.Successful candidates are expected to commence by October 1, 2020.

Nir Bar-Gill P. +97226584441 Apply for this job

Published on November 22, 2019

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