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Photocatalysis instrumentation engineer


SOLEIL is the French national synchrotron facility, located on the Saclay Plateau near Paris. It is a multi-disciplinary instrument and research laboratory whose mission is to conduct research using synchrotron radiation, to develop cutting edge instrumentation on the beamlines, and to make these developments available to the scientific community. SOLEIL synchrotron, a unique tool for both academic research and industrial applications across a wide range of disciplines including physics, biology, chemistry etc., opened in 2008. It is used annually by thousands of researchers from France and abroad. SOLEIL is based on a synchrotron source that is state-of-the-art both in terms of brilliance and stability. This large scale facility, a partner of the Université Paris Saclay, is a “publicly owned” private company, founded by the CNRS and the CEA.

SOLEIL is involved in fundamental as well as applied research on energetic issues. Topics such as energy storage (batteries), energy conversion (electrolyzers and fuels cells, photovoltaics) or carbon dioxide remediation (CO2 reduction) are widely studied.

Photocatalysis is a process that allows a direct conversion of solar photons into chemical bonds. The molecules produced range from hydrogen to hydrocarbons, which can be stored and used at a later time and in a different location than their production site. It therefore provides an attractive solution to the intermittency of sunlight.

A collaborative PEPR (Projet Exploratoire Prioritaire de la Recherche) has been awarded to the LUMA (LUmière-MAtière) consortium. One aim of this project is to study and understand the use of solar light as an energy source for catalytic reactions. SOLEIL has been identified as one of the key players to provide analytical tools based on X-ray spectroscopies, in order to understand fundamental processes that take place during photocatalytic reactions.


The aim of this mission is to design, produce and test, in collaboration with other partners from the LUMA consortium, spectrophotocatalytic reactors that can perform X-ray absorption spectroscopy experiments under operating conditions. In particular, these reactors will need to be as close as possible to those used by the partners in their own laboratories. This implies visits and tests at the partners institutions to determine the requirements of their photocatalytic reactors and how they can be adapted to X-ray spectroscopic techniques.

II.Qualification & Experience

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with an engineering, master or PhD degree in experimental sciences (engineering, physics, chemistry, material sciences) and a strong interest in instrumental developments. Previous experience in instrumentation with CAD conception is required. Experience in spectroscopy and/or in (photo)catalysis would be highly appreciated but is not mandatory. The ability to work in a collaborative team with several partners in different locations is expected. Excellent communication skills (both written and oral) in French and English are expected.

III.General conditions

The position will be located at SOLEIL and short trips to laboratories in other parts of France are to be expected.

Fixed-term contract, 18 months.