Much of our knowledge about the nano-scopic world arises from studies of the way that matter interacts with optical radiation. In the last two decades, following the emergence of widely available ultrafast lasers with pulse durations in the femtosecond domain, ultrafast time-resolved laser pump-probe experiments have become one of the methods of choice to probe and understand the dynamical behavior of atoms, molecules and condensed phase materials. In this context, the two partners in the JMAP ITN-EID project have been key players.
MBI and AT have a long tradition of mutual collaboration and an appreciation of the value of participation in collaborative EU-funded schemes, including those addressing the training needs of early stage researchers, for achieving common goals. The research and development program of JMAP is a natural consequence of the main research interests that are pursued at MBI (attosecond and high-field science) and the wish of AT (and AS as associated partner) to further target its R&D and commercial activities towards the acquisition of an ever-increasing role as leading supplier of the laser technology that underlies the research in these rapidly expanding research fields. Consequently, JMAP is structured in terms of 4 work packages, each of which involves a PhD project that is to be carried out by an early stage researcher who spends part of their time at MBI and part of their time (no less than 50%) at AT. In one work package, WP3, the group of Prof. Jean-Pierre Wolf at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) is involved as an additional associated partner, in recognition of scientific interests that it shares with MBI and technological interests that it shares with AT (and associated partner AS). The coherence between the different work packages is provided by the over-arching research strategy and mission of MBI and the strategic interest of AT to develop laser systems that – among possible other markets – are compatible with this research strategy.
Within JMAP, the further development of attosecond and high-field science will be pursued within four research projects (WP1 – WP4). In each case there is a research and development goal that is to be pursued, where the collaboration between MBI as an academic partner and AT as industrial partner is essential. At MBI (and in WP3 additionally at UNIGE) the accomplishment of this goal leads to new scientific possibilities that shape the thesis that the ESR should be able to submit as a result of the work carried out (i.e. both the research and development work and the scientific application that is made possible by the research and development work), while at AT the accomplishment of this goal leads to the possibility to develop new and/or improved commercial products.
Within JMAP three further work packages are dedicated to non-project-specific training of the ESRs, intellectual property rights and outreach and dissemination activities.