Master Student placement with CFEL

06 May, 2019

Anchita Addhya, Master's Student within the UFOX team

When researching for an internship for my DAAD (Indian Students studying in Germany) scholarship application I came across Professor Kaertner’s website under ultrafast optics.

As a Bachelor’s (BS-MS Integrated Master Degree in Science) student in India (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata), going abroad for the first time for an internship was as intimidating as it was exciting. However, all my fears were unfounded, because this was one of the best groups.

Attosecond physics was still extremely new to me, but the thought of being able to control sub-atomic particles with laser and studying the sub-femtosecond phenomena intrigued me.

I spent two months in the summer of 2017 in Hamburg, working on experiments in high harmonic generation in gas, setting up beamlines and writing codes on the weekdays and exploring Europe on the weekends. My satisfaction with work, state-of-the-art instruments and interaction with group members, more specifically the international atmosphere of CFEL, made me decide to return to this group to do my Master’s Thesis.

I was extremely lucky to be fully funded for the duration of my thesis work, where I studied electron emission from plasmonic nanoparticles using the Velocity-Map-Imaging spectrometer as a part of the AXSIS project. I learnt new experimental techniques, performed simulations and finally got selected to present a conference paper at CLEO USA 2019.

I have made amazing friends on the way, engaged in scientific discussions with other group members, who were always more than ready to help me. Professor Kaertner is one of the best supervisors anyone can hope to have, given his camaraderie, knowledge and experience.

Working at CFEL has introduced me to the global scientific community and given me the opportunity to explore science in a way I never did before. It also strengthened my belief to pursue science in the future and I will be joining University of Chicago this fall for my PhD degree.