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Material Scientist for surface analysis

Geneva, Switzerland
Closing date
26 May 2022
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Job Details

Company Description

At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. Using the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments, they study the basic constituents of matter - fundamental particles that are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives physicists clues about how particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. Find out more on

Job Description


With a total of 130 km of vacuum vessel, CERN operates one of the largest vacuum systems in the world. Are you interested in performing surface analysis for diagnostics, quality control and R&D for this unique accelerator infrastructure? Then come and join the Vacuum, Surfaces and Coatings Group! Take part!

The Vacuum, Surfaces and Coatings Group is responsible for all high and ultra-high vacuum systems for the CERN accelerators. Its mandate covers all activities from development to operation, including design, production and procurement, surface engineering and analysis, acceptance tests, control and monitoring. The Surface Coatings and Chemistry section (SCC) takes care of surface and chemical analyses, thin film coatings by PVD and surface finishing.


Within the VSC Group of the TE Department, you will:

  • As a CERN-wide service, characterize surfaces by spectroscopic methods available in dedicated laboratories (XPS, Secondary Electron Yields), provide the interpretation of the spectra, make critical assessment of material characterisation, and summarize the results in technical reports for the internal users.
  • Perform campaigns of sampling of accelerator components for diagnostics and developments. Analyse thin-film coatings and define sampling procedures for their development and production.
  • Take part in the R&D projects involving surface analysis and surface characterization for applications in CERN accelerators, including the study of adsorption at cryogenic temperatures and of chemisorption on non-evaporable getter materials. Provide technical expertise and advice to CERN project members on subjects related to surface physics.
  • Network with specialised laboratories/firms worldwide in order to integrate the in-house analyses with complementary techniques which are available in this network.
  • Document the work in scientific reports and publications.


PhD or equivalent relevant experience in the field of surface analysis and engineering or a related field.


You have:

  • Demonstrated experience in surface analysis and surface characterization by electron spectroscopies and surface modification.
  • Proven experience in sampling and analysis of accelerator components.
  • Extensive experience of surface related properties in accelerators.
  • Experience in a research and development environment.

Technical competencies:

  • Characterization of surfaces by spectroscopic methods.
  • Knowledge and application of materials, surface and thermal treatments for UHV.
  • Knowledge and use of vacuum instrumentation.
  • Knowledge of principles of accelerator technology and operation.

Behavioural competencies:

  • Solving problems: identifying, defining and assessing problems, taking action to address them. Finding the information needed to solve problems; making objective judgments based on all the facts available.
  • Managing self: working well autonomously; taking on activities and tasks without prompting. Using time efficiently and effectively.
  • Working in teams: working well in groups and readily fitting into a team; participating fully and taking an active role in team activities.
  • Communicating effectively: listening actively to others and letting others speak.

Language skills:

Spoken and written English or French: ability to understand and speak English language in professional contexts. Ability to draw-up technical specifications and/or scientific reports and to make oral presentations in English language.

Additional Information

Eligibility and closing date:

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization. Employing a diverse workforce is central to our success. We welcome applications from all Member States and Associate Member States.

This vacancy will be filled as soon as possible, and applications should normally reach us no later than 30.05.2022 at noon CET. 

Employment Conditions

Contract type: Limited duration contract (5 years). Subject to certain conditions, holders of limited-duration contracts may apply for an indefinite position.

These functions require:

  • Participation in a regular stand-by duty, including nights, Sundays and official holidays.
  • Work in Radiation Areas.
  • Interventions in underground installations.
  • A valid driving licence is required.
  • Work during nights, Sundays and official holidays, when required by the needs of the Organization.
  • Shift work, when required by the needs of the Organization.

Job grade: 6-7

Job reference: TE-VSC-SCC-2022-40-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Material Science/Chemical Engineer/Chemist


Imagine taking part in the largest scientific experiment in the world. CERN needs more than physicists and engineers – if you’re a student, a graduate, just starting your career or an experienced professional, Whatever your field of expertise, CERN could be your next opportunity: take part!

CERN is a truly unique organisation. A genuine collaboration between countries, universities and scientists, driven not by profit margins, but by a commitment to create and share knowledge.

People here are part of immense scientific discoveries, answering some of life’s most complex questions and pushing the boundaries of understanding. Experts from every field come here to share in this ambition and the nature of this collaborative, international community creates a genuine atmosphere of trust. People are free to work creatively and to trust in, and rely on, their colleagues across the organisation.

History’s being made here – and the excitement is tangible, inspiring, overwhelming at times. It is the only place in the world that you can do this work in this way.

CERN. Take part.

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