PhD Position or Postdoc Position – Fusion-Diagnostic Engineering: Development of manipulator probes for comparative plasma-wall interaction and material qualification studies in high and low flux plasma devices

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:

Fusion diagnostics commonly need to combine engineering aspects of mechanical and electrical engineering, vacuum technology and optical design. This particular project furthermore requires consideration of compatibility of the probe material and design with plasma operation. In addition, rigorous project management and quality assurance play an important role in the successful implementation of fusion diagnostics projects.

This specific project will cover development of manipulator probes for edge plasma characterization and material exposition at the stellarator Wendelstein 7-X, MAGNUM-PSI, PSI-2 and other plasma devices. It includes probe electronics, vacuum interface for injections as well as Quartz-Micro Balances as in-situ diagnostics in the probe head. The aim is to integrate multiple sensors and material samples into a set of single probe heads ensuring that standardised material probe samples (dimensions optimized for post-mortem analysis within WP PFC) can be universally used. Probe heads should be made compatible with interfaces of manipulators at the various plasma experiments in order to allow for comparative studies.

Multi-functional probes allow for different exposition or characterization experiments in a flexible way without probe exchange, which is important in particular for superconducting machines with limited access. Probe electronics should be designed to be compatible with a number of probes requiring minor adaptions (preferably automated) during probe exchange. Besides comparative studies in steady-state facilities at high and low plasma fluence mimic ITER divertor and first wall conditions, a major benefit of the approach envisaged is the characterization of probes in a well known environment before application in the second stage to manipulators at Wendelstein 7-X.

The candidate will be introduced to the established design process of a sophisticated diagnostic covering both engineering and physics aspects. A team of skilled physicists, engineers and technicians in FZJ with access to high level engineering and physics simulation tools, a manipulator test stand as well as access to PSI-2, optical and electrical plasma diagnostics, and machining facilities – all located in FZJ – will be provided to the successful candidate.


Candidates should hold MSc degree in 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 Dr. Sebastijan Brezinsek (

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Quote Reference: EEG-2020/18