Empa

30 month postdoc / scientist position on CH4 clumped isotope analysis by mid-IR laser spectroscopy

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Empa - the place where innovation starts
Empa is the research institute for materials science and technology of the ETH Domain and conducts cutting-edge research for the benefit of industry and the well-being of society.

The Laboratory for Air Pollution / Environmental Technology has an opening for a

30 month postdoc / scientist position on CH4 clumped isotope analysis by mid-IR laser spectroscopy


The project aims at the development and application of high-precision mid-IR laser spectroscopy for the analysis of the rare doubly substituted isotopic species 13CH3D / 12CH2D2 in methane. You will leverage on our ongoing work in preconcentration / isotope analysis of CH4 to perform cutting-edge studies of process-derived and ambient methane. These developments form part of the European metrology project "isoMET" that involves twelve research groups that join forces to improve CH4 source attribution by isotope analysis. 


We are looking for a highly motivated postdoc / scientist experienced in trace gas analysis by optical spectroscopy and / or isotope analysis. 

Job description, responsibilities and tasks 
  • Design, setup and testing of an automated preconcentration device for extraction of up to 10 mL CH4 from gas samples. 
  • Extend current setup and procedures for CH4 equilibration towards low temperatures (< 50 °C). 
  • Establish a process workflow for preconcentration / spectroscopic analysis and validate this against high-resolution IRMS. 
  • Study Δ13CH3D and Δ12CH2D2 in environmentally relevant case studies.
  • Communicate the results in project reports, at meetings, conferences and in peer-reviewed journals.

Required skills 

  • PhD degree in physics, chemistry or a related discipline. 
  • Solid background in laser spectroscopy and / or isotope analysis. 
  • Experience in experimental research on gases. 
  • Software skills (e.g. Python, MATLAB or R). 
  • Ability to communicate scientific results in peer-reviewed journals and at conferences. 
  • Fluency in English is required; basic knowledge of German is a plus. 

We are offering a multifaceted and challenging position for 30 months (with the possibility of extension) in a modern research environment with excellent infrastructure. Working place will be Empa in Dübendorf.

Appointments start preferably before June 2023. All applications received before 15 February 2023 will receive full consideration.

For further information about the position please contact Dr Joachim Mohn  joachim.mohn@empa.ch and visit our websites www.empa.ch/web/s503/emissions-and-isotopes and Empa-Video
We look forward to receiving your online application including a letter of motivation, CV, diplomas with transcripts and contact details of two referees. Please upload the requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered.
Empa, David Heusser, Human Resources, Ueberlandstrasse 129, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland.

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Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, conducts cutting-edge materials and technology research.

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