In the context of a joint doctoral campaign between the Université de Lyon (France) and the China Scholarship Council (CSC), we are currently seeking highly-motivated Chinese graduate students for a PhD position at the Institute of Light and Matter in the University of Lyon 1 (Villeurbanne, France).

About the project: Plant-derived and mechanically-tunable ultrasonic metamaterials

Phononic crystals and ultrasonic metamaterials offer myriad possibilities in sensing, communication, and imaging. However, these man-made, artificial composites operating at high frequencies (MHz-GHz) are subject to several major limitations, including manufacturing scalability, fragility, sustainability, and biocompatibility. There is a strong need to develop such phononic materials using robust and biocompatible composites that can be inexpensively self-assembled, thus enabling economic and sustainable manufacturing routes. We propose to use genetically-tailorable plant structures to design MHz-GHz ultrasonic metamaterials at the micro and nanoscales. Our team recently demonstrated that decellularized plant cells, extracted from onion epidermises, behave as locally resonant metamaterials, exhibiting sub-GHz phononic bandgaps. Building upon these recent findings, the candidate will 1) develop new opto-acoustic setups to study the generation and detection of ultrasonic waves in plant-derived metamaterials, 2) perform numerical simulations of elastic wave propagation in microstructured materials, 3) investigate mechanical tunability of the MHz-GHz phononic response of plant metamaterials via anisotropy and nonlinearity.

Keywords: bio-derived materials, plants, phonons, metamaterials, lasers, ultrasound, waves

Position requirements:
– Be a citizen or permanent resident of China
– Hold (or be a future holder of) a Master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline (Physics, Engineering, Materials Science, Acoustics)
– Be in the 2nd year of a Master’s degree or 1st year of a PhD for a basic grant
– Have a very good level of French or English (a minimum level of B2/C1 is recommended)

Local collaborative network:
The student will work in the Biophysics team at the Institute of Light and Matter in the University of Lyon 1. They will be supervised by Thomas Dehoux and Maroun Abi Ghanem. The preparation of the plant samples will be developed in collaboration with collaborators the lab Reproduction et Développement des Plantes (RDP) at ENS Lyon. Experience with microscopy, finite element analysis, and biomaterials is a plus.

How to apply:
Applications can be submitted to Maroun Abi Ghanem (maroun.abi-ghanem@univ-lyon1.fr) or Thomas Dehoux (thomas.dehoux@univ-lyon1.fr) before the end of February 2021. Applications should include a cover letter that outlines the candidate’s motivation, CV and contact information of two references. More details regarding how to apply can be found on https://www.universite-lyon.fr/research/phd/phd-csc/joint-doctoral-campaign-of-the-universite-de-lyon-the-china-scholarship-council-csc–10386.kjsp?RH=1543929774954

Expected duration : 48 months

Biophysics team, Website: https://ilm.univlyon1.frindex.phpoption=com_content&view=article&id=770&catid=41
Lab website: Institute of Light and Matter: https://ilm.univ-lyon1.fr/index.php

Key publication: M. Abi Ghanem, L. Khoryati, R. Behrou, A. Khanolkar, S. Raetz, F. Allein, N. Boechler, and T. Dehoux, “Growing Phenotype-controlled phononic materials from plant cells scaffolds”, Applied Materials Today, 22, 100934, (2021)

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