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PhD position on plasma-surface interaction (experiment): gas scattering, adsorption, absorption, desorption

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A fully funded (3 years) PhD position is available in the Plasma-Surface group of the Physics of Ionic and Molecular interactions (PIIM) laboratory at Aix-Marseille University (France).

The main goal of the PhD project is to understand how adsorption, absorption and desorption of hydrogen isotopes on/in/from tungsten materials is influenced by surface impurity adatoms (oxygen and nitrogen).

The selected candidate will use a new ultra-high vacuum surface science apparatus (AMU-PSI) equipped with three different gas sources (a supersonic molecular beam, a radical beam and an ion beam), various surface analysis tools (AES, LEED), several mass spectrometers and an innovative laser induced temperature programmed desorption (LID-TPD) to perform kinetic measurements and to understand the underlying dynamics. Access to complementary electronic and vibrational spectroscopies (XPS, HREELS….) is granted thanks to a UHV suitcase giving access to the group others UHV setups.

The PhD will contribute to the WHeSCI project funded by AMIDEX and the ANR where collaboration with DFT, OKMC and Rate Equations researchers will allow to further exploits the PhD results. The WHeSCI project seeks to describe the plasma-wall interactions in ITER, the international project that aims to demonstrate the technological and scientific feasibility of fusion energy with the Tokamak design ( In particular, WHeSCI will focus on the study of interactions between fusion fuel (deuterium (D) and tritium (T)) and ashes (helium (He) and neutron) with the walls of the exhaust of the reactor (the divertor made of Tungsten, W). The induced material properties modifications are indeed critical for the reactor operation and safety and the successful operation of ITER requires a detailed understanding of the plasma-wall interactions.

Suitable candidates should have a Master’s degree in physics, chemical physics or physical chemistry by April 15th 2019. Willingness for experimental science and good communication skills in English or French is sought after. Applications are to be addressed to Régis Bisson ( and Thierry Angot ( with a CV, details of previous experience, transcript of grades and at least two referees contact. The PhD contract must start between January 1st 2019 and April 30th 2019.

The Plasma-Surface group of the PIIM lab is a contributor in the Euratom research and training programme through the EUROfusion consortium. Aix-Marseille University (AMU) is the biggest University in France and one of the four “Initiative d’excellence IDEX” French Universities. AMU is located on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea in the Provence area.

More information

The Plasma-Surface group:

The AMU-PSI setup:

PhD advisor webpage:

The WHeSCI project:

Type of position/job: 
30 April, 2019
Aix Marseille Université, France