KU Leuven

Heavy Element Laser Ionization Spectroscopy

2024-01-31 (Europe/Brussels)
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KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

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The Institute of Nuclear and Radiation Physics (IKS) of the Department of Physics and Astronomy is active in the field of nuclear physics for fundamental and societal research. It has about 50 researchers and 7 professors, and graduates 3-5 PhD students per year. The IKS expertise is situated in radioactive and stable ion beam research and applications, and nuclear physics research with laser, decay, orientation and reaction techniques. Within the IKS, the Nuclear Spectroscopy Group of Prof P. Van Duppen studies the fundamental nature of the atomic nucleus focusing on actinides and super-heavy elements, from neutron-deficient to neutron-rich hereby employing various experimental techniques at the KU Leuven laser and detector laboratories and at CERN, GSI, and GANIL.
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This post-doc position is opened in the framework of the laser ionization spectroscopy study of heavy elements to probe their nuclear and atomic structure. The new technique has been developed and represents an efficient, high-resolution laser spectroscopy technique that overcomes the present experimental constraints to study the heavy element region. It is based on in-gas-jet resonance-ionization laser spectroscopy using narrow-bandwidth, high-power, high-repetition-rate, pulsed lasers of actinide and heavy element isotopes produced in fusion evaporation reactions, using intense heavy-ion beams. The regions of interest are the neutron-deficient actinium, thorium, protactinium and uranium around N=126, and the actinides with N/Z between 1.47 and 1.49.

The final goal is the study of the atomic structure of nobelium and beyond. At the KU Leuven laser laboratory, the system is currently used to study the Th-229 nuclear clock isomer (A. Claessens et al., NIM B540 (2023) 224) and to characterize and validate gas-cell designs and gas-jet formation. A copy of the system is installed at GANIL (France) and will be coupled to the heavy-ion accelerator of the SPIRAL-2 facility in 2024 (A. Ajayakumar et al., NIM B539 (2023) 102). The same approach has been followed in the so-called JetRIS for experiments at the GSI/FAIR heavy-ion accelerator (S. Raeder et al., NIM B436 (2020) 272). Nuclear properties will focus on charge radii, magnetic and quadrupole moments and spins while atomic properties deal with energies and rates, of so far unknown transitions, ionization potentials, hyperfine parameters, isotope/isomer shifts and atomic F and MSMS factors. These data will be confronted with state-of-the-art nuclear and atomic calculations.

As a post-doc you will guide PhD students PhD students, will be fully integrated in the Nuclear-Spectroscopy Group and take part in all aspect of the research. 

Regular travels between the different partner laboratories (GSI/FAIR (Darmstadt), GANIL (Caen) and CERN (Geneva)) will take place. 


You have a critical mind and you hold a PhD degree in laser, atomic or nuclear physics, or equivalent. We are looking for enthusiastic and self-motivated post-doc researcher.  

Experience with laser systems is necessary.

Experience with radiation detection devices or a background in radioactive ion beam science is a plus.


We offer a 12-month post-doc position (renewable up to 3 years, provided this doesn't pass a 6 years period after obtaining a PhD). The position will remain open until filled or until the deadline.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Piet Van Duppen, tel.: +32 16 32 72 72, mail: piet.vanduppen@kuleuven.be.
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

Informatie over de vacature

Heavy Element Laser Ionization Spectroscopy
Oude Markt 13 Leuven, België
Uiterste sollicitatiedatum
2024-01-31 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2024-01-31 23:59 (CET)
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KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

De pagina van de werkgever bekijken

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