PhD Position or Postdoc Position – Development of optical diagnostics for DEMO

Jülich Research Centre (FZJ)

Jülich, Germany

Work group:

IEK-4 – Plasmaphysik

Area of research:

Scientific / postdoctoral posts,PHD Thesis

Job description:

The Institute of Energy and Climate Research IEK-4, Plasma Physics, conducts a research and development programme to selected questions of high-temperature plasma physics and of material research for thermonuclear fusion devices. This work is carried out in the frame of the national fusion programme of the Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft, of the EUROfusion Consortium and of the European F4E Agency (Fusion for Energy). In the field of fusion technology, the institute supports the construction of ITER and W7-X in a project-oriented manner. The corresponding tasks aim at establishing the prerequisites for a burning fusion plasma, to gain a new primary source of energy.

Job Description:

The DEMO plasma control system requires a number of accurate measurements related to all relevant plasma properties to be controlled. While a large number of diagnostic methods have been successfully developed and applied on existing fusion devices, their application for plasma control on DEMO is facing severe limitations: First, all diagnostic front-end components on DEMO will be subject to extreme load conditions (e.g. high flux and fluence of neutron and gamma radiation, high flux and fluence of CX neutrals, high thermal loads and ambient temperatures), and second the space for diagnostic implementation will be quite limited, in order to maximise the tritium breeding rate and to preserve first wall integrity. As a consequence, DEMO control will have to rely on a limited set of diagnostic systems and channels, which are mounted in protected (retracted) positions and hence will provide only limited performance.

The training and work steps within this fellowship are aiming towards the development of durable and reliable optical diagnostics (spectroscopy from X-ray until IR wavelength range, radiation power measurements, IR interferometry/polarimetry) for plasma control on a DEMO fusion reactor. The work programme should comprise a major part of the following points:

  • Review and assessment of plasma diagnostic methods relevant to plasma control on a DEMO fusion reactor, with respect to the measurement process and the technical realisation. Systems level design of the layout of optical diagnostics on DEMO, and quantitative prediction of the expected measurement performance (accuracy, time resolution, spatial resolution, reliability) under DEMO conditions.

  • Specific studies on the design and integration of optical diagnostics and their components (e.g. mirrors, mirror holders, filters, windows, detectors, spectrometers) on DEMO, including CAD, optical design, neutronics studies, and compatibility to remote handling.

  • Quantitative analysis of the degradation of diagnostic front-end components (e.g. first mirrors) under typical DEMO load conditions (diagnostic lifetime assessment, reliability analysis).


Engineers holding a Master degree or PhD in a relevant area of mechanical, electrical or optical engineering.


Application Process:

Please find all information about the application process by using the Guide for Applicants.

Proposals shall be submitted via email to no later than midnight of 6 September 2019. The candidates are expected to be available for the interview to be held in Garching during the week of 25 – 29 November 2019. Should you have any questions about the application process, please contact or If you have any further questions regarding the vacancy, please contact Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Biel (

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Quote Reference: EEG-2020/10