Research Assistant/Associate (f/m/d)PhD - Individual Supervisor

Updated: 3 months ago
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PhD position (f/m/d) Interfacial interactions of metal oxide nanoparticles with solvents and ligands

The Institute of Crystallography at RWTH Aachen University is placed in the interdisciplinary field of chemistry, physics, geo- and material sciences. Our research aims at a better understanding of the structure and dynamics of nanoscale solid-liquid and solid-gas interfaces, because of their importance in catalysis, for energy materials, geoscience and nanomaterials.

Understanding interfacial properties of nanoparticle-solvent interfaces is crucial to optimize applications of nanostructured materials in the field of (photo-) catalysis, nanotechnology, or also biomedicine. The structure and dynamics of solvent and organic ligand molecules at surfaces of metal oxide nanoparticles are not identical to the respective properties in bulk liquids. Our general understanding of these interfacial properties is still limited. How do solvent layers build up at nanoparticle surfaces in dispersion and in humid atmospheres? How does ligand coverage impact solvent layering? How do solvent layers in turn impact the diffusional mobility of ligands on the surface? How do solvent mixtures in the synchrotron beam affect redox chemistry in the nanoparticles?

Your Duties and Responsibilities

As PhD student you achieve fascinating insight into interfaces of metal oxide nanoparticles with their surroundings with the following tasks:

  • Synthesis of non-magnetic metal oxide nanoparticles (TiO2, ZnO, etc.)
  • Characterization techniques of particle and interface properties, e.g. TGA, TEM, IR or DLS.
  • X-ray and / or neutron scattering experiments at synchrotron and / or neutron radiation facilities (national and international).
  • Data analysis and interpretation, e.g. with Igor Pro, Python, Origin.
  • Publication of results in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presentation at conferences.


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