Research Fellow in Terahertz Laser Spectroscopy

Leeds, United Kingdom
£33,199 to £39,609 p.a.
26 Jul 2019
End of advertisement period
26 Aug 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Are you an ambitious researcher looking for your next challenge?  Do you have an established background in high-sensitivity laser spectroscopy?  Do you want to further your career in one of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities? 

This project supports a recently awarded £1.5M UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship programme, which aims to develop the first high-sensitivity terahertz-frequency (THz) laser systems for use in molecular spectroscopy.  This will underpin future studies of gas-phase reaction processes within the Earth’s upper atmosphere, and industrial sensing applications.  The THz band of the electromagnetic spectrum lies between the infrared and microwave regions, and could offer the potential to perform speciated measurements of key atmospheric reaction products (e.g., peroxy radicals) that cannot readily be achieved using conventional instruments.  Until recently, however, THz systems have been too large and complex for use outside specialised laboratories, and their sensitivity and frequency-precision have been too poor for use in reaction studies.

In this project, you will develop the first THz-frequency cavity-enhanced and multi-pass gas-phase spectroscopy systems, using quantum-cascade lasers (QCLs), developed at the University of Leeds. These devices are compact, yet high-powered sources of coherent THz radiation, providing thousands of times higher THz intensity than any other solid-state device.  You will design, construct and characterise custom gas cells and optics, and develop THz-QCL-based gas-spectroscopy systems, delivering the sensitivity required for atmospheric chemistry studies.  You will also undertake a theoretical analysis of atmospheric reactions and predict THz system response. You will work within an interdisciplinary team of early-career academics, research fellows and postgraduate researchers in both the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and the School of Chemistry.

You will have a strong background in Analytical, Atmospheric or Physical Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or a related discipline.  You will have a proven track-record in developing high-sensitivity cavity-enhanced laser spectroscopy or cavity-ringdown spectroscopy systems, together with an enthusiastic, proactive approach to research within an interdisciplinary team.

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact: 

Dr Alexander Valavanis, UKRI Future Leaders Fellow

Tel: +44 (0)113 343 3224 or email:

Further information

The Faculty of Engineering is proud to have been awarded the Athena Swan Silver Award from the Equality Challenge Unit, the national body that promotes equality in the higher education sector. Our equality and inclusion webpage provides more information.

Location:      Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service:      Faculty of Engineering
School/Institute:      School of Electronic & Electrical Engineering
Section:      The Pollard Institute
Category:      Research
Grade:      Grade 7
Salary:      £33,199 to £39,609 p.a.
Post Type:      Full Time
Contract Type:      Fixed Term (3 years (grant funding))
Closing Date:      Monday 26 August 2019
Downloads: Candidate Brief  

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