2 PhD Positions in Experimental Mineralogy/Mineral Physics at the Bayerisches Geoinstitut BGI, Bayreuth and the German Synchrotron Radiation Facility DESY, Germany


We are looking for two strongly motivated PhD candidates to work in the field of experimental high-pressure and high-temperature research, a more detailed description of the individual projects is given below. Candidates should have a master's degree in geosciences, materials sciences or experimental physics. Good oral and written skills in English language and the ability to work independently are required. Salary will be based on the German civil service payment class E13.

Project 1: This project will use dynamically-driven diamond-anvil cells (dDAC and mDAC) to compress planetary ice compounds (e.g. H2O, CH4, NH3) on short time scales (milliseconds to seconds). The rapid compression will prevent chemical reactions and will create pressure and temperature conditions that were previously not accessibly. During compression, we will probe the samples by x-ray diffraction to study their structure, phase stability and equations of state. Initial experiments will be performed at the Extreme Conditions Beamline at PETRA III, DESY. During the course of the project, we will start performing experiments at the High Energy Density instrument of the European XFEL that will become available to users in 2018. The results of our experiments will provide new insights to the stability fields and physical properties of planetary ice compounds in the interiors of solar giant ice planets and exoplanets. The project is part of a coordinated research unit on "Matter at Planetary Interior Conditions" led by the University of Rostock.

Project 2: The project aims at determining the single-crystal elastic properties of minerals of the Earth's upper mantle. The experimental measurements will be performed at relevant conditions of pressure and temperature using Brillouin spectroscopy and (synchrotron-) x-ray diffraction in diamond-anvil cells. The experiments will involve state-of-the-art sample preparation using a focused ion beam machine as well as a variety of analytical techniques for sample characterization. The resulting data will be applied to the interpretation of seismic observations to understand and quantify the transport of volatile elements through the deep Earth interior. The project is part of the DFG-funded International Research Training Group IRTG "Deep Earth Volatile Cycles" and involves close collaboration with scientists at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan.

The Bayerisches Geoinstitut BGI at the University of Bayreuth is equipped with state-of-the-art experimental facilities and offers a unique scientific infrastructure for experimental research at high pressures and high temperatures. Project 2 is located at BGI Bayreuth and the successful candidate will spend about 6 months in Sendai, Japan during the PhD project. The major work place of the successful candidate in project 1 will be Hamburg as the planned experiments will be conducted at the synchrotron source PETRA III at DESY and later the European XFEL. The work will be jointly supervised by scientists from both BGI and DESY. More information is available at www.depict-group.org.

Applications should consist of a Curriculum Vitae, contact information of two potential referees and a short letter (1-2 pages) outlining the applicant's scientific interests and motivation to work on a PhD thesis in experimental research at extreme conditions, indicating a preference (if any) for any of the two projects. Applications and inquiries should be sent as a single pdf-file to Hauke.Marquardt@uni-bayreuth.de no later than February, 15th 2017. The University of Bayreuth is an equal opportunity employer.

posted: 11 January 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.