Postdoc position, degradation mechanisms of space-technology polymers by O+ ions, University of Trento, Italy

postdoctoral position will soon (by the end of 2023) be available in the group of Atomic & Molecular Physics, Dept. Physics, University of Trento, Italy.

The position is for 1 year (renewable for a second year) to work on a recently funded project aimed at exploring, at the atomistic level, the reaction mechanisms leading to the degradation of space-technology polymers by thermospheric oxygen radicals and ions. More information on the project are available here >>

The successful candidate will focus on performing single collision reactivity experiments between O+ ions (either in the ground 4S or a known mixture of ground and metastable electronic states) and small molecules appropriately chosen to retain the relevant chemical functions of polymers commonly used in space applications (e.g. graphite, polystyrene and Kapton), but can be brought to the gas phase. The experiments will make use of tandem mass spectrometry techniques for the measurement of absolute reactive cross sections and branching ratios as a function of the velocity of the ions. Complementary experiments to assess the role of O+ excited states will be carried out in collaboration with the Institute de Chimie Physique (Paris-Saclay University) and at the SOLEIL synchrotron radiation facility (France).

Required skills & training: 

PhD in Physics, Physical Chemistry or related fields, high motivation towards experimental work, strong background in mass spectrometry, gas phase chemistry, ion sources and ion guides


Trento is located in north-east Italy and is a beautiful location close to the Dolomiti mountains (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) with plenty of possibilities for outdoor activities and many options for an enjoyable lifestyle.


Further information on the research activities of the Atomic & Molecular Physics group at the University of Trento can be found here >>


Informal enquiries and expressions of interest should include a CV and be sent to Daniela Ascenzi ( Candidates will be then invited to apply formally once the position is officially open