[20130531] Postdoctoral fellowship at LULI, France

Postdoctoral Position for shock experiments on iron and iron alloys for planetology


Warm Dense Matter, the regime lying between condensed matter and plasma physics, is of great interest in many contexts including planetology and inertial confinement fusion. Our primary focus is on planetology research reproducing extreme states of Iron and alloys. Indeed, physical properties of iron under high pressure, such as melting temperature or crystalline structure, are crucial information to understand the composition and dynamics of planetary cores. Moreover, planetary cores are not chemically pure, and lighter elements, such as Si, S, C or O could have strong effect on iron properties. Theoretical EOS and melting of alloys remains a challenge today. We propose advanced and innovative experimental methods to measure equation of state and structural changes of iron alloys in a domain of pressure unexplored up to now and to compare melting temperature of Fe and Fe-Si for pressures relevant for earth core. This will be achieved by experiments using laser driven shocks coupled with optical diagnostics and X-ray diagnostics such as X-ray absorption (XANES) or X-ray scattering. A close collaboration with theoretician will allow us to validate current models.

The postdoctoral young researcher will work within the IRONFEL research program funded by the ANR and taking place at LULI laboratory. Experiments will be performed using LULI facilities for EOS, melting experiments and X-ray source developments. In addition, the recent developments of Free Electron Lasers (FEL) are opening many possibilities for dynamic studies with pump – probe techniques. The MEC station, now available at LCLS (USA), offers the opportunity to couple a bright X-ray source with high energy laser to generate the shock. A first experiment is already planned in May 2013.

This postdoctoral position will mainly consist in experimental work (from developing X-ray diagnostics and temperature optical measurements, to the design of experimental campaigns). The international collaborations as well as the dynamic research context and the very close collaboration with theoretical teams will offer many future opportunities for the candidate.


- Experimental experience with x-ray diagnostics, FEL and/or high energy lasers
- Good theoretical understanding of warm dense matter and plasma physic.
- Experience in the design, construction and operation of experiments and extensive participation in measurement campaigns.
- Self-responsible independent work in accordance with mutually defined objectives, while also integrating into a team, contributing to an overall group success
- English language skills; ability to work in a multi-lingual, multi-disciplinary team

Duration: 2 years.

Contact: marion.harmand@polytechnique.edu