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Postdoctoral fellowship (2 years) in Optical Frequency Comb Spectroscopy

Department of Physics is offering a postdoctoral scholarship within the project aimed at double-resonance spectroscopy of small molecules using an optical frequency comb probe. The scholarship is full-time for two years with access in the fall of 2022 or by agreement.

Project Description

The Optical Frequency Comb Spectroscopy Group (www.umucombs.org) works with development and applications of optical frequency comb spectroscopy for broadband precision measurements and sensitive detection of molecular species in gas phase.

We are now offering a postdoctoral scholarship within the project aimed at high-resolution broadband spectroscopy of molecules of importance in astrophysics. Satellite- and ground-based observations of hot-Jupiter exoplanets revealed the presence of molecular species in their atmospheres. The observed spectra carry information about the composition, conditions and photo-chemistry in the exoplanetary atmospheres. To extract this information, accurate theoretical models of high-temperature spectra are needed. These, in turn, must be verified by data obtained from high-precision laboratory measurements. Such data are missing for many molecular species, because high-temperature spectra are difficult to obtain and very congested, and therefore hard to analyse. To circumvent this problem, we employ double-resonance spectroscopy with a frequency comb probe to selectively measure and assign individual hot-band transitions of methane and other molecules of importance in astrophysics. In double-resonance spectroscopy, a high-power laser pumps a single energy level and a weaker laser probes transitions from this selectively populated level to higher energy levels. Using a frequency comb as a probe allows the detection of a large number of these transitions simultaneously with high accuracy. Following the initial demonstration, described by A. Foltynowicz et al. in Phys. Rev. Lett. 126, 063001 (2021) and Phys. Rev. A 103, 022810 (2021), we are now developing a cavity-enhanced system with increased sensitivity and spectral coverage of the comb probe. The aim of the project is to measure and assign hot band transitions reaching the 9000 cm-1 energy levels in methane, acetylene and ammonia. These data will allow the verification of the theoretical predictions of high-temperature spectra, which in turn are needed to improve the accuracy of the modelling of high-temperature environments on exoplanets.

The project encompasses further development of the detection system, data acquisition and analysis, and theoretical modelling of the signals. Our group offers a dynamic, creative, ambitious, and international environment, with many external collaborations and opportunities for the postdoc fellow to present papers at international meetings and conferences.

The tax-free scholarship is financed by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and it amounts to 372 ooo SEK per year.

Qualifications

To qualify as a postdoctoral scholarship holder, the postdoctoral fellow is required to have completed a doctoral degree or a foreign degree deemed equivalent to a doctoral degree. This qualification requirements must be fulfilled no later than at the time of the decision about scholarship recipient.

Priority should be given to candidates who completed their doctoral degree, according to what is stipulated in the paragraph above, no later than three years prior. If there are special reasons, candidates who completed their doctoral degree prior to that may also be eligible. Special reasons include absence due to illness, parental leave, appointments of trust in trade union organizations, military service, or similar circumstances, as well as clinical practice or other forms of appointment/assignment relevant to the subject area.

Doctoral degree must be in experimental physics. The candidate should have previous experience with precision spectroscopy and development of laser-based spectroscopic systems. The ability to develop independently as well as in a team and excellent communication skills in English are essential.

Application

A full application should include:

  • Cover letter describing previous research experience relevant to the project,
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) with publication list,
  • Verified copy of doctoral degree certificate or documentation that clarifies when the degree of doctor is expected to be obtained,
  • Verified copies of other diplomas, list of completed academic courses and grades,
  • Copy of doctoral thesis and up to three relevant articles, 
  • Other documents that the applicant wishes to claim,
  • Contact information to three persons willing to act as references.

Submit your application as a PDF marked with the reference number FS 2.1.6-2250-21, both in the file name and in the subject field of the email, to medel@diarie.umu.se. The application can be written in English (preferably) or Swedish. Application deadline is 22 August 2022.

Further information

For more information, please contact Dr. Aleksandra Foltynowicz-Matyba, aleksandra.foltynowicz@umu.se.

We look forward to receiving your application!