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Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Ultrafast and High-Intensity Laser Science (CXFEL Labs)

Arizona State University
Arizona, US
Posting live until
1 Aug 2024

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Job Details

Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Ultrafast and High-Intensity Laser Science (CXFEL Labs)


Tempe campus

Open Date

Jun 25, 2024


We invite you to apply to our Postdoctoral Research Scholar position focused on developing and implementing cutting-edge ultrafast and high-intensity laser science and its applications at the Compact X-ray Free-Electron Laser (CXFEL) Labs at Arizona State University (ASU).

ASU has embarked on a multi-phase project to develop novel femtosecond X-ray sources, which combine state-of-the art high-intensity ultrafast optical lasers with compact accelerator technology.  Of these, the Compact X‑ray Light Source (CXLS) is under final commissioning of its beamline after producing first X-rays (  CXLS involves a broad range of laser methods, including nonlinear generation of femtosecond UV pulses for electron injection, broadly tunable excitation pulses from the THz to UV ranges, and a cutting-edge 200 Watt Trumpf Yb:YAG thin-disk laser amplifier that delivers intense ps pulses at 1‑kHz repetition rate to drive inverse Compton scattering in the hard X-ray regime.

Construction of a CXFEL in the soft X-ray regime (250 eV - 2.5 keV) is funded by the National Science Foundation via a multi-year Mid-scale Infrastructure implementation project that kicked off in 2023 (  CXFEL combines novel electron accelerator and next-generation laser technologies including thin-disk amplification and nonlinear pulse broadening via Joule-class Herriott-cell technology to generate multi-TW pulses for X-ray conversion.  Moreover, CXFEL aims to generate soft X-ray pulses down to the attosecond regime – requiring laser schemes for precise timing metrology, CEP-stable streaking, as well as broadly tunable excitation pulses based on next-generation OPCPA and/or pulse compression schemes based on stretched fiber, thin plate, or multi-pass cell technologies.

The unique ultrafast X-ray sources will form a future user facility, utilizing 12,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art laboratory space in the recently built Biodesign C building on the ASU Tempe campus.  CXFEL Labs will enable novel time-resolved and structural studies of atomic and molecular processes, quantum materials, chemical dynamics, and biological phenomena. For additional details, please see

Essential Duties:

In this position, you will take on a key role in ultrafast and high-intensity laser science at CXFEL Labs, including the implementation of cutting-edge approaches and their validation in early science applications at the CXLS and later CXFEL ultrafast X-ray light sources.  This includes partaking in the implementation and demonstration of a “Herriott cell” multi-pass pulse compression scheme to generate intense femtosecond TW pulses, based off a 500-W 1-kHz multi-pass Yb-based amplifier system under development with a commercial partner. The novel Joule-class Herriott cell will represent scaling of multi-pass compression into thus far unattained pulse parameter regimes.  Further, you can develop and demonstrate advanced nonlinear optical schemes for tunable ultrashort light pulses spanning UV, visible, mid-IR and THz spectral regions tailored to scientific applications of CXLS/CXFEL. This position will also allow for involvement in other essential areas of laser science at CXFEL Labs – including the development of CEP-stable laser sources and attosecond timing tools, femtosecond synchronization of lasers and accelerator RF systems; optimization of laser-electron beam interactions; metrology of photon and electron beams with ultrafast optical techniques; and integration/application of laser schemes to CXLS/CXFEL science endstations.

The postdoc is expected to train and supervise graduate and undergraduate students; be highly skilled in technical writing including lab reports, scientific presentations and publications; and work in multidisciplinary teams that span different research areas and academic units. The successful applicant will join a team of experts in constructing the novel laser and X-ray approaches at CXFEL Labs, carry out initial validation studies at the CXFEL, and participate in commissioning experiments at ASU’s existing hard X-ray CXLS source. The postdoctoral research scholar will also have opportunities to participate in experimental runs at other X-ray facilities and ultrafast laser labs to support optimal implementation of CXFEL capabilities.


Minimum Qualifications:

Ph.D. at start date in Physics, Chemistry, Optics/Photonics, Engineering, or related fields, obtained within the last 4 years.

Desired Qualifications:

Extensive expertise in ultrafast laser science (experimental research or R&D) Excellent verbal, presentation, and scientific/technical writing skills Ability to work within a multidisciplinary project team Nonlinear pulse compression with Herriott cells or other approaches High-intensity or high-power ultrafast lasers, ideally TW-class systems Generation of ultrashort UV, mid-IR, and THz pulses Attosecond science, CEP-stable sources and/or OPCPA schemes Adaptive optics schemes Laser timing and synchronization Ultrafast and/or X-ray science at high-brightness sources (e.g. synchrotrons, XFELs).  

Application Instructions

Only electronic submissions via Interfolio will be reviewed. Incomplete applications will not be considered. To apply for this position, submit the following required application materials:

• Cover letter

• A complete curriculum vitae

• The names and contact information of three references (name, position, title, organization, email, and phone number). 

The initial application deadline is July 29th 2024. If not filled, applications will be evaluated weekly thereafter until the search is closed.   For more information please contact Dr. Robert A. Kaindl (”  




ASU’s dedication to leadership in public service and societal impact has earned it the Leadership for Public Purpose designation by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation.

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