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PDRA on infrared adaptive optics and hyperspectral applications



PDRA on infrared adaptive optics and hyperspectral applications
Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire
Salary £33,963 to £39,955 per annum (Discretionary range to £45,949)
Full time / 3-year fixed term
Ref: 10847

About Us
Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. By accelerating electrons to near light-speed, Diamond generates brilliant beams of light from infra-red to X-rays which are used for academic and industry research and development across a range of scientific disciplines including e.g. biology and medicine, physics and chemistry, materials science and engineering, geology and environmental sciences.
Diamond is one of the most advanced scientific facilities in the world, and its pioneering capabilities and talented staff are helping to keep the UK at the forefront of scientific research.

B22 is the Multimode InfraRed Imaging And Microspectroscopy (MIRIAM) beamline at Diamond that has been active for more than 10 years at the front-line of IR and TeraHertz (THz) research. With a broad and international user community, B22 is a world leading synchrotron facility for Fourier Transform IR (FTIR) microspectroscopy, imaging and nanospectroscopy.

MIRIAM pioneers the development of full-field IR imaging by Focal Plane Array (FPA) and Synchrotron illumination with applications in the life science e.g., real-time monitoring of biomolecular changes in living mammalian cells by image oversampling. In FTIR microscopy via scanning mode, highest spectral quality is routinely attained by a diffraction limited IR microprobe with applications in in physical sciences e.g., in the characterization of new materials or in situ/operando studies.

About the Role
We offer an excellent opportunity for a Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) in Hyperspectral Microscopy/Imaging by Adaptive Optics (AO) and Synchrotron IR at Diamond.

MIRIAM developed a unique AO via a paired set of deformable mirrors. A sensorless IR diagnostic and a dedicated Graphics User Interface (GUI) allow closed-loop optimization of the IR illumination. An in-house optimisation algorithm shapes and maximises the Synchrotron beam and photon flux at the focal plane (Azizian et al. Optics Letters 2022).

We are seeking an experimental scientist motivated in exploiting the B22 AO program. IR AO can provide increased signal-to-noise and over-sampling as well as improved spatial resolutions in FTIR microspectroscopy and FPA full-field imaging. This PDRA opening offers unique opportunities for advanced discovery by using our unique AO Synchrotron-based instrument in the study of real-life research samples.

The ideal candidate is expected to contribute to the internationally competitive in-house/collaborative research programme - together with B22 staff - in any of the multidisciplinary fields carried on at the IR beamline of Diamond, e.g. biomedical imaging (drug response at cellular level, biopsies microanalysis), physical chemistry of new materials (e.g. MOFs, crystal catalysers/enzymes), Earth and environmental sciences (microinclusions in volcanic rocks or shale rocks), as well as interdisciplinary applications from cultural heritage (painting organic/inorganic microinterfaces) and archaeology (microfossils study), to biomineralogy and space science (e.g. meteorites or cosmic dust microcomposition).

The position requires active participation at the MIRIAM beamline, from sample preparation to optics/software optimization, image acquisition and analysis. Successful candidate will be responsible for running and characterising the AO system across a variety of IR applications, and work in team with other scientists, engineers, and support groups within Diamond and Soft Condensed Matter group to ensure smooth operation at the MIRIAM beamline B22.

About You
Candidates should hold a degree in science or engineering, with a PhD in research areas in line with IR beamline interests.

You should demonstrate knowledge or experience of:
• Visible/fluorescence/laser microscopy or similar
• Scientific data collection and image analysis
• Scientific/optical instrumentation, and practical optics alignment
• IR or Raman spectroscopy or microscopy/imaging (desirable)
• Optimization algorithms, or optics modelling software (desirable)
• Any adaptive optics method (desirable)

You will demonstrate good interpersonal, communication and presentational skills, and the ability to interact effectively with staff and facility users/collaborators at all levels.

Benefits
Diamond offers an exceptional benefits package to support staff in achieving a positive work/life balance. This includes 25 days annual leave plus 13 days of statutory and company holidays, along with flexible working hours and an excellent pension scheme. Staff also have access to a range of amenities on site including a nursery, cafes, a restaurant and sports and leisure facilities. A relocation allowance may also be available where applicable.

To Apply
Please use the online application process to apply and tell us why you believe you are suitable for this role.

The initial closing date for applications is 9th October however applications will be reviewed and interviewed on an ongoing basis until this vacancy is filled.


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