University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/ Associate in Terahertz Spectroscopy of Amorphous Materials(Fixed Term)

This project will develop new, rapid and non-destructive methods for understanding the dynamics of pharmaceutical amorphous solids using a combination of terahertz radiation and density functional theory methods. In so doing, we expect to contribute to the understanding of specific atomic level descriptions of the dynamical processes in the condensed phase. The techniques will lend insight into how atomic dynamics, specifically low-frequency dynamics, relate to the stability processes of solids.

Using terahertz radiation, low-frequency vibrational dynamics can be investigated that involve significant motions of molecular solids. These motions have been shown to be directly related to the propensity of disordered solids to undergo phase transitions, often involving crystallisation. Such phenomena are unintended and lead to decreased efficacy of pharmaceutical materials, and therefore understanding them will help aid in the design of advanced pharmaceutical formulations. However, interpreting the low-frequency spectroscopic data is difficult without the aid of computer simulations, and over the past few years the combination of terahertz time-domain spectroscopy and density functional theory methods has lead to a drastically increased understanding of such processes. This has led to preliminary design principles, which are still being developed to drive innovation in this important field.

Terahertz dynamics have the potential to provide a fast, robust, and non-destructive method to predict the stability of amorphous pharmaceuticals.

This postdoc position is part of a project funded by the EPSRC and carried out in collaboration with our industrial partners TeraView.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 9 months in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Applicants should provide a CV, including contact details of two referees and a covering letter describing their suitability for the role. For further information contact Prof. Axel Zeitler (

Please quote reference NQ15708 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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Further information

Apply online