Empa - the place where innovation starts

Empa is the research institute for materials science and technology of the ETH Domain and conducts cutting-edge research for the benefit of industry and the well-being of society.
We are a vibrant and international research group focusing on mid-IR laser spectroscopy within the Laboratory for Air Pollution / Environmental Technology at Empa. To strengthen our activities in human breath analysis we are seeking a highly motivated
PhD student in human breath analysis by mid-IR laser spectroscopy

The primary scientific aim of this project is the selective and sensitive detection of gaseous organic molecules that are relevant in medical applications. This work in analytical chemistry and physics is part of the “Zürich Exhalomics” flagship project. The successful candidate will be enrolled at ETH Zurich, co-supervised by Prof. Dr. R. Zenobi and benefit from a broad expertise in trace gas detection, and breath research, both at Empa and ETHZ.


Job description, responsibilities and tasks

  • Development and application of quantum cascade laser spectroscopy for the detection of trace gases in human breath
  • Method validation and intercomparison with state-of-the-art mass spectrometry and gas chromatography
  • Collaboration with the Children's Hospital Zurich during a clinical study
  • Data analysis, interpretation, and presentation at international conferences

Required skills

  • Master degree in chemistry or physics

  • Good knowledge in analytics and spectroscopic techniques

  • Experience in gas handling/vacuum systems and sample preparation

  • Programming skills

  • Fluency in English is required; oral expression skills in German are desirable


We will start interviewing candidates as soon as possible. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

For further information about the position please contact Dr. Lukas Emmenegger lukas.emmenegger@empa.ch and visit our websites www.empa.ch/web/s503 and Empa-Video

We look forward to receiving your online application including a letter of motivation, CV, diplomas with transcripts and contact details of two referees. Please upload the requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered.

Empa, David Heusser, Human Resources, Ueberlandstrasse 129, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland.