Research Assistant (AC02353)

Swansea University - College of Science

Main Purpose of the Post

Applicants are invited to apply for a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant with experience and expertise in applying laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) to solid samples. The laser ablation will be performed with a nanosecond Nd-YAG, and the spectroscopy carried out with a commercial LIBS system. The applicant is expected to have some experience of safely operating a Class 4 laser system, carrying out data analysis and modelling, and leading the production of publications.

The PDRA will make a significant contribution to a collaborative project “Laser ablation molecular isotopic spectroscopy (LAMIS) of paleoenvironmental materials” offered under the Swansea University’s Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) collaboration with King Saud University, Saudi Arabia (KSU). The projected is co-hosted by Swansea University’s Departments of Physics and Geography, which are part of the College of Science.

In this project, LAMIS will be employed to measure the isotopic ratio of naturally occurring molecular isotopes containing carbon and oxygen in paleoenvironmental samples, here tree cores. Adaptation of fundamental spectroscopy tools to the measurement of natural materials could provoke a step change in the speed and efficiency of measuring paleoenvironmental materials.

Direct experience of LAMIS would be desirable but not essential, however a willingness to adapt equipment used in recent proof of principle experiments is vital. The project PDRA will lead the development of a LAMIS system comprising a Nd:YAG laser system and commercial LIBS instrument. This instrument will be used to investigate natural materials (including tree rings, sediments and pollen) to demonstrate the use of LAMIS as a palaeoenvironmental analysis method.

Our work to augment such well-established techniques facilitates the development of a novel method of rapidly analysing Quaternary materials, down to extremely small sample sizes. Efforts are underway to transfer this technique from the lab to devices usable in the field, a medium-term goal of this project. We are combining the world leading paleoenvironmental expertise of Swansea Geography with expertise in laser spectroscopy from Swansea’s Department of Physics. You will be joining a dynamic Physics research group with expertise in ultrafast molecular dynamics, LIBS and femtosecond electron microscopy. A Class 4 laser area is designated for this project, and you are expected to lead its use. The main purpose of the post is to deliver research outputs (publications, conference contributions, reports) following the development of new experimental protocols and analysis methods. 

Informal enquiries - Dr William Bryan:

This post will close 26 October 2017.

Applicants will find full job details together with the online application link:

The University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity in all of its practices and activities. We aim to establish an inclusive environment and particularly welcome applications from diverse backgrounds.

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