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Offre de thèse au PhLAM

par Sylvain Picaud - publié le

PhD position in experimental physics

Development of a new instrument coupling mass spectrometry and optical diagnostics for the analysis of environmental samples at atmospheric pressure

The physicochemical properties of aerosols are key parameters to better understand their formation mechanisms, their evolution in the atmosphere, and their impact on health and the environment. In many cases, such an analysis still represents a challenge, given the small quantities of analytes or the risks of contamination during their handling.
Different ultra-sensitive techniques, most often based on mass spectrometry (MS) or optical diagnostics, have been implemented to access this information, especially by the two partners involved in this project. Within the ANATRAC group of the PhLAM laboratory, these analyzes are performed by MS coupled with laser desorption and laser ionization steps (L2MS), Raman spectroscopy and laser-induced breakdown spectrometry (LIBS). HORIBA, one of the world leaders in the manufacture of measurement instruments and optical equipment, is a recognized specialist in Raman spectroscopy. These complementary techniques give access to the chemical composition with excellent sensitivity (better than femtomole / laser shot for L2MS), to functional groups and to the nanostructure, as well as to the elementary composition of the samples. If optical diagnostics can be performed under ambient temperature and pressure conditions, the transfer of the analytes from atmospheric pressure to a vacuum chamber remains complex in MS. Recent works in the PhLAM laboratory have demonstrated this possibility using laser ablation and a capillary suction system. The objective of this project is based on the unique coupling of these techniques and those of Raman spectroscopy and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy to allow the simultaneous analysis of natural samples in the environment.
Within the framework of the thesis, modeling and instrumental development works will allow the coupling of the three techniques within the same device. This will be tested on first standard then natural samples (for instance, soot particles and urban aerosol).
Candidate : The position is open to students coming from a Master or an engineering school who have a pronounced fondness for instrumental development, solid background in physics and chemistry, and if possible analytical sciences.

Application : a curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests and motivations, and the names and contact details of two potential references should be sent to Dr Michael Ziskind (, Dr Sébastien Legendre (, and Dr Yvain Carpentier ( Application reviewing starts now and are expected as soon as possible.