Postdoctoral position in laboratory astrophysics at UCLouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Postdoctoral position at UCLouvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium): Merged-beam laboratory astrophysics experiments
Contract duration: 12 to 18 months
Expected date of employment : 2nd semester of 2022
Desired level of education : PhD in physics or chemistry
Application deadline: 22 April 2022


A postdoctoral research fellow position is open in the atomic and molecular physics group, now part of the Institute of Condensed Matter and Nanosciences, at UCLouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium ( The successful candidate will be appointed and based at UCLouvain. Appointments are for one year, with the possibility of extension upon mutual satisfaction.
The successful candidate will join several laboratory astrophysics projects employing merged atomic beams both at UCLouvain and at partner institutions (MPI Kernphysik, Stockholm University, Columbia University). He/she will also be involved in atomic and molecular data production for fusion research.
The candidate will take the lead in one or more of the following projects:
- Assembly and commissioning of a next-generation merged beam apparatus with improved vacuum, automated control and multi particle detection capabilities, leading to the first measurement of differential cross sections for mutual neutralization reactions,
- low energy ion neutral reactions of astrophysical and planetary relevance, in particular the proton oxygen charge transfer reaction triggering oxygen chemistry in diffuse clouds, and the carbon oxygen ion reaction taking place in the upper atmosphere of Venus.

Research environment
The candidate will integrate the Institute of Condensed Matter and Nanosciences of UCLouvain and have access to its resources and equipment ( Locally, the candidate will integrate a team of postdoctoral researchers, PhD students and master students covering a broad range of subjects from gravitational wave detection to high-resolution spectroscopy. The activities of the lab are supported by a mechanical and an electronic workshop. Most instruments and light sources used in the group are built in-house.

We are seeking a candidate with in-depth knowledge of vacuum technology, ion optics, laser physics, Labview programming, and computer-assisted design and simulation.  Solid communication skills in English (written, oral), a publication record in internationally circulated, peer-reviewed journals, and willingness to work in a team are important assets.  Applicants should have a Ph.D. in atomic and molecular physics or physical chemistry.


Applicants should submit a cover letter mentioning the name the names of two references that may be contacted during the application process, a curriculum vitae (including a list of publications), and a statement of past research. Inquiries and applications should be addressed by email to Prof. X. Urbain (  Applications will be considered only after all of the requested material has been received.  The applications should reach us no later than 22 April 2022.

- N. de Ruette et al., Mutual Neutralization of O? with O+ and N+ at Subthermal Collision Energies, Physical Review Letters, 121 (2018) 083401
- M. Genevriez et al., Absolute total, partial, and differential cross sections for photodetachment of O?, Physical Review A 98  (2018) 033410
- R. von Hahn et al., The cryogenic storage ring CSR,  Review of Scientific Instruments, 87 (2016) 063115
- M. Poline et al., Mutual neutralisation of O+ with O?: investigation of the role of metastable ions in a combined experimental and theoretical study, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 23 (2021) 24607
- K. P. Bowen et al., Dynamics of the isotope exchange reaction of D with H3+, H2D+, and D2H+, The Journal of Chemical Physics, 154 (2021) 084307