Post-doctoral position on the VUV beamline DESIRS at Synchrotron SOLEIL: VUV photodynamics on fragile gas phase biomolecules

A post-doctoral research position is open, starting from September 1st 2022 in the VUV beamline DESIRS group at Synchrotron SOLEIL, on a PEPICO/molecular beam machine. The DESIRS beamline, covering the 5-40 eV range with very high resolution and variable polarization aims at studying gas phase VUV high resolution spectroscopy and polarization-dependent molecular and photoionization dynamics https://www.synchrotron-soleil.fr/en/beamlines/desirs.

On one branch of the beamline is connected a versatile molecular beam chamber, SAPHIRS, for the study of gaseous, liquid and solid samples as well as nanoparticles. It is equipped with a double imaging electron/ion coincidence i2PEPICO spectrometer (G. A. Garcia et al., Rev. Sci. Instrum. 84, 053112 (2013); Tang et al. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 86, 123108 (2015)), coupling a VMI spectrometer for the electrons with a 3D momentum imaging spectrometer on the ion side.

A specific vaporization set-up, based upon the use of supercritical (SC) CO2 to dilute and bring in the gas phase fragile and thermolabile biomolecules, founded by the French ANR grant VAPOBIO, is being commissioned. Within a bottom-up approach of biomolecular complexity, this set-up should allow the study of VUV photodynamics (photoionization and dissociative photoionization processes) as well electron chiral asymmetries (via the so called PhotoElectron Circular Dichroism effect – PECD) on isolated and cold elementary bricks of life such as amino-acids and peptides, sugars and nucleosides, with a special attention to the role of structures (conformations).

The candidate will participate in the final commissioning of the SC CO2 source and will be deeply involved in the above-described scientific program for which he/she is expected to propose a sound personal contribution. The contract is for one year renewable once upon mutual agreement. Knowledge of French is not mandatory, but a fluent level of spoken and written English is required.

The candidate is expected to hold a PhD in Physical Chemistry or Physics or Chemistry/Biochemistry, since no more than 4 years. A solid background in gas phase molecular dynamics/spectroscopy is required, if possible on biomolecules, as well as experience in electron and/or ion mass spectroscopy associated with molecular/effusive/electrospray/liquid jets sources. Previous expertise in handling/producing challenging samples would be a plus, as well as a background in analytical chemistry using for instance GCMS / HPLC set-ups. Experience in synchrotron radiation and/or coincidence techniques and/or imaging techniques is not mandatory, but will be positively considered.

Motivated candidates should contact by e-mail Laurent Nahon (laurent.nahon@synchrotron-soleil.fr) providing a cover/motivation letter, CV and list of publications and contact details of at least two referees before April 24th. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed, on line, in May 2022.

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