PhD position

Femtosecond Laser Spectroscopy for Space Exploration

Starting date


Duration of contract

3 years


up to the German TVöD E13

Type of employment


"Cutting-edge research requires excellent minds – particularly more females – at all levels. Launch your mission with us and send in your application now!" Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund - Chair of the DLR Executive Board

The DLR Institute of Optical Sensor Systems designs, develops, tests and utilizes optical sensors and spectroscopic techniques for different applications. In the department of “Terahertz and Laser Spectroscopy” specific optical systems are developed with the goal to employ them for spectroscopic lab analytics and for galactic and extragalactic remote exploration. Another focus of the work is to adapt appropriate laser-based spectroscopic techniques for the purpose of utilization on future robotic missions for the exploration of the solar system.

We offer a PhD position in the terahertz time-domain spectroscopy group of the department of “Terahertz and Laser Spectroscopy”. The group has a long track record in instrumentation development and has in recent years pioneered terahertz time-domain set-ups demonstrating world-wide unique sensitivity levels. It is currently working on developing compact laser-based spectroscopy techniques based on short-pulse lasers for future applications in e. g. robotic missions to extraterrestrial objects in our solar system. The work may involve optimizing and benchmarking different terahertz-time domain spectroscopy set ups which are tailored for a variety of scientific applications. Other potential topics are the development of novel compact spectroscopic techniques ranging from the UV to the IR range, as well as for laser holography.  Scientific applications can range from the analysis of minerals of relevance for planetary research, to nonlinear THz spectroscopy of novel quantum materials (e. g. Graphene) which are investigated as potential tunable Terahertz emitters or (single-shot) investigations of non-reversible laser-induced processes of relevance for laser spectroscopy performed in extraterrestrial space (e. g. ablation processes in laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy).

Your qualifications:

  • master studies in physics (or similar) with excellent or very good grades (students finishing soon are also welcome to apply)
  • practical knowledge and interest in optics and spectroscopy
  • basic programming skills (preferably in LabVIEW or Phyton)
  • basic data evaluation skills (knowledge of Origin, Matlab or similar is advantage, please indicate in CV)
  • motivation for experimental work on interesting interdisciplinary research questions
  • good knowledge of English language

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy places great value on a healthy family and work-life-balance as well as equal opportunities for persons of all genders (m/f/non-binary). Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

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Technical contact

Prof. Dr. Michael Gensch
Institute of Optical Sensor Systems

Phone: +49 30 67055-8040

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Vacancy 50009

HR department Berlin

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DLR site Berlin

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