KU Leuven

Resonance ionization for the production of radioactive ion beams at CERN

KU Leuven

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The KU Leuven Institute for Nuclear and Radiation Physics (IKS) specializes in the production and use of radioactive ion beams for the study of nuclear structure and nuclear reactions, as well as the use of radioisotopes and radiation as probes for the study of fundamental symmetries at the low-energy particle level. The Interdisciplinary Research Group of Prof Thomas Cocolios is expanding this research into new domains, including the production of novel medical radioisotopes with the isotope separation online (ISOL) technique. Research is performed at the CERN ISOLDE and MEDICIS facilities, as well as at the Belgian Nuclear Research Center SCK CEN located in Mol. The research outputs are part of larger collaborations including radiochemistry, radiopharmacy, and research hospital partners locally (UZ Leuven, UZ Brussel, UZ Ghent) and at the European and international levels (PRISMAP, LISA ITN). The Interdisciplinary Research Group also features a fundamental research programme into the shape of radioisotopes by means of resonance ionization spectroscopy in the ion-source (PI-LIST) and in collinear geometry (CRIS), as well as with muonic x-ray spectroscopy at the Paul Scherrer Institute (Villigen, CH).

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Within the IKS Interdisciplinary Research Group, you will carry out research in the production, purification and study of radioactive isotopes using laser resonance ionization techniques. You will integrate into the Resonance Ionization Laser Ion Source (RILIS) team at CERN led by Dr Katerina Chrysalidis, which operates the ISOLDE RILIS and the MEDICIS Laser Source for Spectroscopy Applications (MELISSA), amongst other facilities. In particular, you will become the responsible person for operating and developing MELISSA and the main actor in liaising between the MEDICIS operation and the RILIS team. Your research activities will be integrated within the RILIS programme, providing you with opportunity to show creativity and take leadership. You will also benefit from the expertise and support of the RILIS team and contribute to ongoing research.
Besides the research activities and MELISSA responsibilities, you will have the opportunity to supervise students and interns/apprentices within the CERN programmes (CERN apprenticeship, CERN Summer Student Program, CERN Technical Student Program), to report on your own findings internally and to the scientific community. You will also have the opportunity to further your professional growth in a dynamic team.


You are interested in joining an international team of researchers at the cutting edge of science and technology? You have a critical mind and you hold a PhD degree in laser, atomic, nuclear physics or equivalent? Then join us: We are looking for a self-motivated post-doc researcher with a background in laser physics or engineering, atomic physics, nuclear physics, or equivalent, and with a keen interest in radioactive ion beams and medical applications of radioisotopes. Experience with any type of laser is necessary; experience with solid-state lasers is a bonus.


We offer a 12-month post-doc position (renewable up to 3 years/6th anniversary since PhD) to be carried out at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, where the ISOLDE and MEDICIS facilities are located. You will be given the opportunity to carry out your research independently but with the support of a large team of laser specialists, have coordination responsibilities within a large international network, and disseminate your research through participation in international events and scientific publications.
CERN is Europe’s laboratory for particle physics, home to the Large Hadron Collider and many more facilities such as ISOLDE and MEDICIS, and hosts more than 13,000 scientists and engineers from all over the world. KU Leuven is a major stakeholder in experiments at ISOLDE and in the MEDICIS facility.

More information

MELISSA webpage


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Thomas Elias Cocolios, tel.: +32 16 32 31 16, mail: [email protected] or dr. Katerina Chrysalidis (CERN) mail: [email protected]

You can apply for this job no later than January 31, 2023 via the online application tool
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at [email protected]

If you require alternative methods of application or screening, you must approach KU Leuven directly to request this, as we're not responsible for the employer's application process.

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