Postdoctoral researcher position available at CIMAP, Caen, France

Postdoc position: Ion-induced electron emission from nanoparticles

Contract Period : 18 to 21 months
Expected date of employment : 1st semester of 2022
Remuneration : Gross monthly salary between € 2,600 and € 3,000 (<2 years of experience)
Desired level of education : PhD
Experience required : 1 to 4 year

The postdoc will work on a new experimental set-up recently developed at CIMAP that allows measuring ion-induced electron emission from atoms or molecules. In this set-up, the target beam crosses perpendicularly the projectile beam of ions delivered by the GANIL beamlines. Upon collision, the electrons emitted in a solid angle of 4pi steradians are extracted by a Velocity Map Imaging spectrometer. After analyzing the images from the position sensitive detector, it is possible to determine the energy and angle dependence of the emitted electrons. The set-up and the methodology have been recently validated by the study of biomolecules (adenine, uracil) and we will now focus on the emission of electrons from metallic nanoparticles (NPs). The postdoc mission will be, at the beginning, to characterize and optimize the source of NPs which consists of a nebulizer coupled to an aerodynamic lens which allows collimating the nanoparticles along the axis of propagation. Subsequently, this source will be coupled to the set-up in order to perform the first ion/nanoparticle crossed beam experiments. He/she will quantify the electron emission of the NPs by studying the effect of the size and/or the materials of the NPs (Au, Ag, Pt) as well as the effect of the energy and charge of the projectile ion beam (from keV to MeV). These studies aim to better understand the physical processes responsible for the effect of metal NPs in ion beam therapy. Indeed, the use of metallic NPs has been proposed in order to amplify the biological effects of ionizing radiation by increasing locally the dose. One of the responsible mechanisms is the significant release of electrons which can interact directly (ionization, dissociative electron attachment) or indirectly (formation of OH radicals) with the surrounding biological molecules.

Skills required
Candidates should have a Ph.D. in atomic and molecular physics. Knowledge of NPs source and aerodynamic lens would be an advantage. As the project includes a great deal of experimental development, the candidate should have an interest for characterization/optimization of experimental set-up. Basic knowledge of vacuum technique, optics of charged particles is also necessary.
Work context
The candidate will join the AMA team of the CIMAP. The research activities of AMA consist on exploring the interaction of ions with dilute matter ranging from isolated molecules to atomic or molecular clusters. Most of the attention is focused on the stability (fragmentation or electron emission) of multi-atomic systems after their excitation/ionization by ion impact. The CIMAP is a research laboratory partly located on the GANIL site in Caen. The candidate will perform experiments on the different GANIL beamlines: at low energy (keV, ARIBE), at the energy of the Bragg peak (~ 1 MeV/u, IRRSUD ) or medium energy (~ 10 MeV/u, SME)

For more information, please feel free to contact either Violaine Vizcaino ( or Jean-Yves Chesnel (
Candidates can apply directly via the CNRS website following this link: