Postdoctoral Research Assistant BLI07

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Postdoctoral Research Assistant- BLI07
Job Reference DIA0705/CG
Post Type
Division Science
Salary information Circa £33k
Application deadline 06/05/2012

Job Description

Diamond Light Source is a synchrotron light source and a leading scientific facility of its type in the world. Located on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in South Oxfordshire, we will host research facilities supporting cutting edge research in all fields of science. Beamline I07 is a high-resolution X-ray diffraction beamline for investigating the structure of surfaces and interfaces under a wide range of different environmental conditions, ranging from ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) surface science to soft condensed matter and biological systems.

This position will focus on the surface science of molecules adsorbed onto powders and single crystal samples. In particular, we are interested in the subtle interplay between the intermolecular and molecule-substrate interactions that define the structural and phase behaviour in physisorbed molecular films, growth from two to three dimensions, the melting and wetting behaviour and adsorption thermodynamics. The scientific goal of this project is to study the interaction of molecular adsorbates with different substrates including powders or their thin film analogues prepared in vacuum.

The research will include experiments using a wide range of experimental techniques that include extensive off-line measurements as well as x-ray and neutron scattering studies. The off-line studies will use techniques as diverse as Differential Scanning Calorimetry to Surface Science techniques such as low energy electron diffraction (LEED). The position will include some design and development work to integrate a cryostat and UHV chamber with the existing beamline diffractometer and other facilities. The successful candidate will be responsible for the day to day running of the equipment developed and for sample preparation work, which may include an aspect of synthetic materials chemistry and/or preparation of thin films in UHV.
This project will make use of the surface diffraction capabilities of Beamline I07 in addition to other facilities for x-ray powder diffraction or neutron scattering. In addition to the research project, the PDRA will be involved in some of the relevant external user experiments.

Working with the surface and interface diffraction beamline team in the following areas:

• Day-to-day responsibility for the in-house research programme on molecular adsorption on surfaces including the analysis and publication of the results;
• Testing and commissioning of a range of sample environment equipment;
• Presentation of the in-house research, beamline developments and scientific papers at meetings and conferences;
• Assist with the general commissioning of beamline hardware;
• Assist the beamline staff in maintaining and running the beamline peripheral laboratories;
• Support of research projects of beamline users working in relevant areas, who will come from a diverse scientific background.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

• Ability and initiative to get to the heart of the problem and take it effectively through to completion;
• Good interpersonal, communication and presentational skills;
• Ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team;
• Self motivation;
• Must be available to travel occasionally within the UK and abroad, including overnight absences;
• Appropriate first degree;
• PhD

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

• Good organisational and planning skills;
• Ability to interact effectively with staff at all levels;
• Experience or knowledge of surface x-ray diffraction;
• Experience or knowledge of x-ray or neutron powder diffraction or quasi-elastic neutron scattering;
• Experience of ultrahigh vacuum methods for surface science studies;
• Experience of thermodynamic measurement techniques ( e.g. calorimetry or volumetric adsorption isotherms);
• Experience or knowledge of Surface Science Techniques (e.g. Thin film preparation, AFM/STM, Auger Spectroscopy, LEED/RHEED);
• Experience or knowledge of relevant molecular adsorption techniques;
• Experience of sample environment equipment;
• Experience of synchrotrons / x-ray or neutron scattering beamlines;
• Experience with Windows/Linux/Unix;
• Experience of programming, especially Python, and Java;
• Knowledge of Molecular adsorption research

Further Information

Applying for employment

For further details on applying for employment at Diamond, please visit our 'Application Form' page.

Appointments will be made depending on the skills and experience of the candidate. Electronic Diamond application forms in MS-Word are preferred. These should be emailed to

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