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Vacuum UV spectroscopy setup at BESSY II

Background: In recent years science more and more has turned to the question how to find signs of life on planets beyond the confines of earth. The OREOcube project contributes to this search by investigating biologically important compounds under space- and planetary conditions. This includes laboratory simulations as well as in-situ measurements of samples on board of the International Space Station. To date, time resolved measurements of laboratory simulations have been performed with Infrared- and Vis-spectroscopy but in the future will be extended to UV spectroscopy to enhance the range of information.

Project description: This Masters project is part of ongoing research on finding life on other planets. Since the UV wavelength range (125-250 nm) is promising for an enhanced investigation of the chemical processes in the OREOcube samples after exposure to space conditions, beamtimes at BESSY II in Adlershof, Berlin, are part of the project and take place regularly. Currently, the equipment is provided by the NIM-125 UV-beamline of BESSY II but an investment in a dedicated sample chamber as well as a detector is envisaged. As part of the master thesis, a vacuum compatible box with integrated manual x-y-z stage should be designed and established. Furthermore, a suitable UV detector (e.g. Photomultiplier- or Photodiode detector) should be chosen, set up and calibrated.


  • Interest in “hands on” experiments as well as physical problem solving
  • Knowledge of spectroscopic techniques; previous laboratory experience is desirable
  • A good mix of curiosity, enthusiasm and hard-working attitude
  • Good proficiency in spoken and written English

Start: November 2020 (negotiable)