PhD Candidate for Gas-phase Contamination Detection in Real-life Applications: Combining Spectroscopy and Spectrometry

  • WO
  • Tijdelijk
Radboud University


Are you an enthusiastic young scientist who likes to work with and/or develop new instruments in the laboratory? And do you hold a Master's degree in physics (photonics), engineering (electrical) or related fields? Would you like to be involved in research and development to find the best methods for detecting gas phase contaminations in novel/demanding applications such as those used in the green hydrogen and semiconductor industry? If so, then you have a part to play as a PhD candidate in our research team. Put your ideas to the test at our green campus and push your boundaries in an internationally friendly environment.

Detecting gas-phase contaminations is a fundamental and ever-growing field. Safety and efficiency of many real-life applications depend on the online monitoring of gas-phase contaminants. This PhD project aims at two of these important applications: I) contaminants in the storage and transfer of green hydrogen and II) contaminants in the semiconductor manufacturing processes. The most important gas-phase contaminant in these two applications and their concentration levels will be identified and well characterised with the help of leading national and international institutes and companies in the corresponding field. This involves measuring samples from these applications using existing laboratory instruments and/or developing new instruments (laser-based spectrometers). The final goal is to identify and/or develop the most efficient and cost-effective detection method for detecting each contaminant for the particular application. We are looking for a PhD candidate who is eager to conduct this applied research.

Research in the Trace Detection Laboratory focuses on the detection of species in trace levels with a higher emphasis of gas phase. For this, we use various laboratory instruments based on gas chromatography (GC), Mass spectrometry (MS), and Fourier transform spectroscopy (FTS), and for specific applications, we develop new laser-based spectroscopic instruments. These applications cover a wide range of areas such as agri-food industry, pollution monitoring, bio-medical and disease detection, emission/exposure measurement, etc. In this project, you will use these instruments in addition to developing new spectroscopic methods for detecting a specific contaminant (or set of contaminants). Your teaching load may be up to 10% of your working time.


  • You are a highly motivated, enthusiastic, critical, communicative, creative and team-oriented young scientist with a particular interest in laser-based spectroscopy, spectrometry and laboratory work.
  • You take initiative and are eager to learn.
  • You can work independently, but you also enjoy interacting within a group.
  • You have a Master's degree in physics, engineering, photonics or a related discipline, and an interest in learning how to operate laboratory instruments and analyse data.
  • Ideally, you have some experience in developing laser-based spectroscopy systems and in programming (especially Matlab, LabView and Python), but if not you are at least eager to learn.
  • You are fluent in English (written and spoken) and have good communication skills.
  • You demonstrate integrity and positivity and motivate others to do the same.


Our research team is a diverse team of international scientists interested in trace detection for different applications. We use a combination of spectroscopy and spectrometry instruments for this purpose. We also develop methodologies for novel applications of spectrometry as well as novel laser-based spectroscopy techniques and instruments. We have a large list of national and international collaborating groups, universities, institutes and companies in several national and European projects. This provides us with a very active and open environment, and exposes us to new challenges in trace detection for which we can provide solutions.

The TDLab is embedded within the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM), at the Faculty of Science of Radboud University (Nijmegen, Netherlands). IMM is a dynamic interdisciplinary research institute that brings together the fields of chemistry and physics, to unravel the mysteries of atomic, molecular and solid state environments. With a focus on fundamental research, IMM strive to make a positive impact on society by exploring practical applications and educating the future leaders in science and innovation.

Radboud University

We are keen to meet critical thinkers who want to look closer at what really matters. People who, from their expertise, wish to contribute to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This ambition unites more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University and requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!


  • It concerns an employment for 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,770 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,539 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.
Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Meer informatie

For questions about the position, please contact Dr. Simona Cristescu, PI of the project, at  Alternatively, you can contact Amir Khodabakhsh, Postdoctoral researcher at