Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) for X-ray Optics

Website DiamondLightSou Diamond Light Source

Business Area: Science
Full Time Salary: £33,963 to £39,955 per annum
Post Type: Full time / Fixed term
Term: 3 years
Provisional Interview Dates: Mid February 2022
Closing Date: 30/01/2022
Ref No: 10714

About Us

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. By accelerating electrons to near light-speed, Diamond generates brilliant beams of light from infra-red to X-rays which are used for academic and industry research and development across a range of scientific disciplines including structural biology, physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering, earth and environmental sciences.

At Diamond we are currently planning a major upgrade of the facility, known as Diamond-II. Diamond-II will combine a new machine and new beamlines with a comprehensive series of upgrades to optics, detectors, sample environments, sample delivery capabilities and computing, which will ultimately generate an even more brilliant light source at a higher energy.

About the Role

We now have an opportunity for a Post-Doctoral Research Associate to join the well-established Optics and Metrology Group of Diamond to work on the development of X-ray optics. You will work within the Optics and Metrology group to undertake research. You will be required to devote some time to provide expert support to Diamond beamlines in the design, testing and optimisation of beamline optics, taking part in optics development projects.

The Optics and Metrology Group provides expert support in the design, development, testing, and optimisation of X-ray optics for Diamond’s beamlines. This position will contribute to the LEAPS-INNOV project SuperFlat which aims to improve the quality of X-ray mirrors available to European and UK researchers. This international collaboration involves 10 research facilities (Superflat | A project of LEAPS-INNOV).

You will focus on the development of instrumentation and techniques for the in-house developed ion beam figuring system, with the ultimate aim of producing high-quality X-ray mirrors.

You will demonstrate knowledge / experience in the following areas:

  • Carrying out in-house research in one or more fields of X-ray optics and metrology.
  • Carrying out experiments, analysing data and publish results.
  • Developing experimental and data analysis techniques and implement them in the optics group and/or beamlines, as appropriate.
  • Providing support in areas of optics to the beamline scientists for specifying, procuring and testing of beamline optics.
  • Keeping up with the latest results and research directions internationally.
  • Presenting latest results and research in international conferences and workshops.
  • Publishing work in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Operating and optimise an ion beam figuring (IBF) system to improve the surface quality of X-ray optics to be used on Diamond’s beamlines.
  • Taking initiative in developing hardware upgrades and analysis techniques to improve the performance of the IBF system.
  • Performing metrology measurements in the optics metrology laboratory of Diamond and use this data as input to guide the IBF process.

About You

You will hold a degree in an appropriate Science or equivalent qualification, an appropriate PhD and proven relevant experience in,

  • Python, C++, Matlab or similar platform.
  • Related field such as X-ray metrology or X-ray optics.
  • Safe handling of delicate optics and intricate instruments.
  • Knowledge of synchrotrons.
  • The use of non-contact metrology of optics.

Along with the ability to get to the heart of the problem and take it effectively through to completion.


Diamond offers an exceptional benefits package to support staff in achieving a positive work/life balance. This includes 25 days annual leave plus 13 days of statutory and company holidays, along with flexible working hours and an excellent pension scheme. Staff also have access to a range of amenities on site including a nursery, cafes, a restaurant and sports and leisure facilities.

We take an active approach to ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of our activities at Diamond, with a dedicated commitment to ensuring we provide a fulfilling and enjoyable place to work, where all staff feel valued and recognised for their individual contribution.

To Apply

Please use the online application process to apply and tell us why you believe you are suitable for this role.

The initial closing date for applications is 30th of January 2022, however applications will be reviewed and interviewed on an ongoing basis until this vacancy is filled

To apply for this job please visit