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PSICHE : beamline scientist


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 state-of-the-art 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., is used by over 5 000 researchers coming from France and abroad. SOLEIL is based on a synchrotron source that is at the cutting edge both in terms of brilliance and stability. This large scale facility, a partner of the Université Paris Saclay, is a “publically owned” private company, founded by the CNRS and the CEA and counts about 500 staff members.

This position is opened for the PSICHÉ beamline.

The PSICHÉ (Pressure Structure and Imaging by Contrast at High Energy) beamline is dedicated to X-ray diffraction under extreme conditions (pressure-temperature) and to tomography at high energy, from ambient to extreme conditions. The source is an in-vacuum wiggler that is used to produce a wide variety of beam modes, from a large parallel white/pink beam to a microfocused monochromatic beam. We have two hutches, one dedicated to white/pink beam (energy range: 15-100+ keV) and another to monochromatic beam (20-50 keV). Extreme pressure and temperature conditions can be generated using different equipment: a 1200-ton multi-anvil press, Paris-Edinburgh presses (including tomography at extreme conditions), diamond anvil cells (including a double-sided laser heating facility). The use of multiple techniques, and the combination of complementary techniques, are important features of the beamline.

The scope of the scientific cases is very large: from biology and paleontology to materials science, high-pressure physics and geophysics.

The PSICHÉ team is currently made up of a total of three permanent staff, two scientists and one technician, plus one post-doc.

I. Mission

We are looking for a scientist (f/m) who will be part of the beamline team.

  • She/He will be in charge of the high-pressure activity based on large volume presses;

  • She/He will have the opportunity to develop he/his own research program and new instrumentation on the beamline;

  • She/He will be encouraged to develop collaborations and attract new users;

  • She/He will actively participate to the user-support program and will be involved in the scientific, technical, and methodological aspects of the beamline team activities.

II. Qualifications and Experience

The candidate should have a PhD degree in physics / chemistry / materials science or Earth sciences, and post-doctoral experience. She/He should have a good knowledge and skills in the field of high-pressure experimentation using large volume presses, either on a laboratory setup or preferably in a synchrotron radiation facility, as well as a good knowledge of the condensed matter physics basics. A good knowledge of X-ray diffraction and X-ray computed tomography is mandatory.

  • Good knowledge of X-ray diffraction and X-ray computed tomography;

  • Good knowledge and skills in the field of high-pressure experimentation using large volume presses;

  • Good knowledge of the condensed matter physics basics;

  • Professional English: written, spoken, technical, scientific.

  • Experience in a large instrument;

  • French (working language – French classes will be offered if necessary);

  • Computing and programming knowledge (preferably Python);

  • Scientific calculation.

  • Good autonomy and ability to work in a team;

  • Respect of norms, procedures, and confidentiality;

  • Curiosity and a willingness to interact with our wide user base.

  • Computer skills.

III. General conditions

The assistance to users imposes some on-call duty periods (typically 6 days per month in average, including one weekend) and may require, in case of need, on-site interventions outside regular working hours.

Contacts for scientific questions:

Nicolas GUIGNOT (Beamline manager):

Andrew KING (Beamline scientist):