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Research Scientist in Ultrafast and High-Intensity Laser Science (CXFEL Labs)

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, United States
Employer Description

Arizona State University is a new model for American higher education, an unprecedented combination of academic excellence, entrepreneurial energy and broad access. This New American University is a single, unified institution comprising four differentiated campuses positively impacting the economic, social, cultural and environmental health of the communities it serves. Its research is inspired by real world application blurring the boundaries that traditionally separate academic disciplines. ASU serves more than 100,000 students in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, the nation's fifth largest city. ASU champions intellectual and cultural diversity, and welcomes students from all fifty states and more than one hundred nations across the globe.

Job Description

Research Scientist in Ultrafast and High-Intensity Laser Science (CXFEL Labs)


Tempe, AZ

Academic Professional, Career-Track, Year-to-year


Position URL



Position Description

We invite you to apply to our full-time open-rank Research Scientist position focused on designing, developing, and operating ultrafast and high-intensity laser sources and 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, based on the combination of 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 after producing its first X-rays via inverse Compton scattering (ICS) earlier this year (https://news.asu.edu/20230205-discoveries-firstofitskind-instrument-officially-ushers-new-era-xray-science). CXLS involves a broad range of laser methods, including nonlinear generation of femtosecond UV pulses for electron injection, parametric frequency conversion for sample excitation tunable from THz to UV, and a cutting-edge 200 Watt Trumpf Yb:YAG thin-disk regenerative amplifier system that delivers intense, picosecond pulses at 1-kHz repetition rate to enable ICS in the hard X-ray regime.


A fully-coherent CXFEL in the soft X-ray regime has further been designed over the past three years, and recently funded by the National Science Foundation as a five-year implementation project starting in March 2023 (https://news.asu.edu/20230308-discoveries-national-science-foundation-awards-908m-asu-advance-xray-science). CXFEL will combine novel electron accelerator and next-generation laser technologies including thin-disk amplification and nonlinear pulse broadening via Herriott-cell technology to generate multi-terawatt pulses for X-ray generation. Moreover, the facility will enable controlled sample excitation and streaking based on an OPCPA platform with carrier-envelope phase stability. CXFEL aims to generate soft X-ray pulses tunable between 250 eV and 2.5 keV, with high stability and pulse durations down into the attosecond regime.


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 Biodesign C building that was opened in 2018 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 https://biodesign.asu.edu/cxfel.


Essential Duties

In this position, you will take on leadership roles in laser science at CXFEL Labs commensurate with experience. This includes the design, development, and operation of advanced laser setups, femtosecond synchronization of multiple laser amplifiers with accelerator RF systems, and integration of sophisticated controls and diagnostics of photon and electron beams with optical techniques. Implement plans for OPA/OPCPA schemes to generate tunable ultrashort laser pulses spanning UV, visible, and mid-infrared spectral regions. Conduct time-resolved X-ray studies in solid, gas, and liquid targets. Work in multidisciplinary teams and with future facility users in different research areas or academic units to perform cutting-edge experiments. Train and supervise students and postdocs, develop protocols and prepare reports. Review the scientific literature to develop research plans, interpret results, and publish scientific findings. Develop or help draw up new research proposals for funding along with research publications and presentations.



Minimum Qualifications

Ph.D. and 3 years of research experience


Desired Qualifications

  • Applicants must have a Ph.D. in Physics, Chemistry, Optics/Photonics Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or related fields
  • 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


Preferred qualifications: Preference will be given to candidates who have experience in one or more of the following advanced areas: high-intensity or high-power lasers, development of ultrashort-pulse lasers, development and/or application of nonlinear parametric sources, nonlinear pulse compression with Herriott cells or other methods, laser timing and synchronization, attosecond techniques, or applications of lasers in accelerator or XFEL science.

Application Instructions

  • A cover letter specifying relevant qualifications and training
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Publication List
  • Brief research statement
  • Contact information for three professional references


Initial application review will begin on May 29, 2023, with the next review date after that on June 5, 2023. As long as the position is not filled, review will continue weekly thereafter until the search is closed.


Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications should be submitted at http://apply.interfolio.com/125021 with the items listed above. The full-time appointment will be initially for one year with the intent and possibility of extension subject to performance and continued funding. Rank within the research scientist track and salary will be commensurate with achievements and experience. Questions should be addressed to Dr. Robert A. Kaindl (kaindl@asu.edu).


Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

A background check is required for employment. Arizona State University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.


(See https://www.asu.edu/aad/manuals/acd/acd401.html and https://www.asu.edu/titleIX/.)

In compliance with federal law, ASU prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and resources. ASU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at https://www.asu.edu/police/PDFs/ASU-Clery-Report.pdf You may request a hard copy of the report by contacting the ASU Police Department at 480-965-3456.

COVID-19 Vaccination - Arizona State University is a federal contractor and subject to federal regulations which may require you to produce a record of a COVID-19 vaccination. For questions about medical or religious accommodations, please visit the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s webpage.

17 May 2023
16 June 2023
High School
Education and Training