Laboratory Chemistry Investigations of Planetary and Exoplanet Atmospheres

Updated: about 16 hours ago
Location: Pasadena, CALIFORNIA
Deadline: 01 Jul 2024

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Reference Code
How to Apply

All applications must be submitted in Zintellect

Application Deadline
7/1/2024 6:00:59 PM Eastern Time Zone


This research opportunity focuses on the experimental laboratory investigation of chemical reactions, photochemical processes, and spectroscopy important to planetary and exoplanet atmospheres. Gas phase kinetics and photochemistry are studied in the laboratory, producing experimentally derived parameters to drive complex computer models that simulate the atmospheric chemistry of interest. The models are used to simulate and recreate observations from telescopes, satellites and probes, in the form of chemical profiles or observed spectra. At JPL, the chemical kinetics and photochemistry laboratories specialize in producing reaction parameters for such models targeting planetary and exoplanet atmospheres, as well as Earth.

The laboratories use state-of-the-art techniques for the study of reaction mechanisms and photochemical processes including pulsed laser photolysis combined with UV-VisIR absorption spectroscopy, laser induced fluorescence and mass spectrometry (electron impact and chemical ionization). The apparatuses can operate over a range of temperatures and pressures. Research focused on reactions that drive particle and haze formation, radical chemical cycles, and auto-oxidation are of particular interest,. The group has active collaborations with modeling and observing scientists, and as such, proposed work could involve working with interdisciplinary teams across Earth, Planetary and Exoplanet science. 

Related Publications:

Chao, Wen, et al. "Spectroscopic and Kinetic Studies of the ClSO Radical from Cl2SO Photolysis." Journal of the American Chemical Society 144.44 (2022): 20323-20331. 

Winiberg, F. A.F., Chao, W., Caravan, R. L., Markus, C. R., Sander, S. P., & Percival, C. J. (2023). A white cell based broadband transient UV-vis absorption spectroscopy with pulsed laser photolysis reactors for chemical kinetics under variable temperatures and pressures. Review of Scientific Instruments, 94(11).

Chao, W., Jones, G.H., Okumura, M., Percival, C.J. and Winiberg, F.A.F. “A-Band Absorption Spectrum of the ClSO Radical: Electronic Structure of the Sulfinyl Group.” The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 127(40), pp.8374-8382, 2023. 

Field of Science:

  • Planetary Science


Frank Winiberg
[email protected]
(818) 393-3279

Applications from citizens from Designated Countries will not be accepted at this time, unless they are Legal Permanent Residents of the United States. A complete list of Designated Countries can be found at: .

Eligibility is currently open to: 

  • U.S. Citizens; 

  • U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR);  

  • Foreign Nationals eligible for an Exchange Visitor J-1 visa status; and, 

  • Applicants for LPR, asylees, or refugees in the U.S. at the time of application with 1) a valid EAD card and 2) I-485 or I-589 forms in pending status 

Eligibility Requirements
  • Degree: Doctoral Degree.

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