Postdoctoral position in computational modelling of primary radiation damage in metallic systems

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 05 Dec 2022

Published: 2022-11-11

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 54,000 students, more than 7,500 employees and a turnover of around SEK 8 billion.

The research conducted at the Department of Physics and Astronomy encompasses a wide range of physics topics, distributed over ten divisions. The department is located in the Ångström laboratory and employs nearly 400 people, 125 of whom are doctoral students. It offers a broad physics curriculum to undergraduate and graduate students, participation in nationally and internationally leading projects for researchers, and opportunities for partnership with industry and various outreach activities.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Uppsala University invite applications for a two years Post-doctoral position in computational modelling of primary radiation damage in metallic systems.

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The position relates to projects within the Swedish competence centre ANItA (Academic-industrial Nuclear technology Initiative to Achieve a sustainable energy future), which integrates Swedish technical and nontechnical expertise of Uppsala University, Chalmers, KTH, Vattenfall, Uniper, Fortum, Westinghouse, Studsvik Nuclear and the Swedish Energy Agency in nuclear technology and engineering.

Collaborative research, development, and education of the centre aim to create a Swedish knowledge and competence base needed for the introduction of novel nuclear power technologies such as Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and provide relevant information, in particular, to policymakers for timely decisions on the future Swedish energy generation mix.

Within the ANItA, the leading universities in Sweden collaborate with leading Nordic companies in the nuclear energy sector. This offers doctoral students and postdocs a strong research environment, a unique industrial application potential, and excellent opportunities for international partnerships.

Duties and project description
The work will focus on the computational modelling of primary radiation damage in metallic systems. The studies will leverage the recently developed methods that can handle non-equilibrium dynamics at atomistic level, such as realtime time-dependent density functional theory and Langevin dynamics with spatial correlations. The former method will be used to describe electron-ion interactions from first principles and the latter will use this information in large-scale molecular dynamics simulations of primary damage.

In the first stage first principles calculations will be carried out to characterize the electronic stopping as well as electron phonon coupling in the selected materials. Furthermore, additional calculations will be conducted to obtain knowledge about the thermal properties of the materials (electronic heat capacity, electron heat conduction). This information is crucial for molecular dynamics simulations as they define how energy is transferred between energetic particles and electrons in the material as well as how the excitations are transferred throughout the material. 

The length and time scales necessary to study primary damage are beyond the capabilities of first principles methods. Therefore, in the second stage the electron-ion coupling model (EPH) will parameterized and improved if necessary for the selected materials with the information obtained in the stage one. The parameterization will require optimization tasks to obtain closest and most transferable model that can be used in large-scale MD simulations.

In stage three statistical ensembles of radiation damage simulations will be carried out utilizing the EPH model. The simulations will study the materials of interest for the project and will look at PKA energies relevant for the materials application. The simulations will produce information about the damage occurring in the materials, such as defect numbers, damage area, self-diffusion, etc. This data can be used in long time scale studies looking at, for example, the evolution of defects.

PhD degree in physics or other relevant field or a foreign degree equivalent to a PhD degree in physics. The degree needs to be obtained by the time of the decision of employment. Those who have obtained a PhD degree three years prior to the application deadline are primarily considered for the employment. The starting point of the three-year frame period is the application deadline. Due to special circumstances, the degree may have been obtained earlier. The three-year period can be extended due to circumstances such as sick leave, parental leave, duties in labour unions, etc.

The candidate is expected to have a solid background in TD-DFT, MD and HPC. Proficiency in English is required. 

Additional qualifications
Realtime time-dependent density functional theory calculations in metallic systems, model optimizations with non-linear methods, model development, molecular dynamics simulations, HPC experience, scripting skills to automate calculations and postprocessing.

About the employment
The employment is a temporary position of two years according to central collective agreement. Scope of employment 100 %. Starting date 1st of January 2023 or as agreed. Placement: Uppsala.

The application should be written in English and include: Letter of motivation, with a short description of your research interests and why you feel you are a good match for the project (max two pages, ideally one). CV, including a description of relevant skills and experiences and a complete publication list. Copy of degree diploma and other official transcripts. Contact information for references, which can support your application if contacted. Include a short description of how these individuals are professionally related to you. 

For further information about the position, please contact: Mattias Klintenberg

Please submit your application by 5 December 2022, UFV-PA 2022/4070.

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Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100%

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2022/4070

Last application date: 2022-12-05

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