Post-doctoral fellow in Physical Chemistry (PA2024/2046)

Updated: about 10 hours ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 31 Aug 2024

Subject description

Physical Chemistry involves research relating to molecular issues. The experimental and theoretical methods used often originate from physics. The emphasis in Physical Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry is on research, both experimental and theoretical, within surface and colloidal chemistry and with a special focus on self-aggregating systems. The systems studied include surfactants, polymers and biomolecules.

The current project focusses on Soft Matter, in particular on the study of the flow properties of compressible colloids, microgels, combining scattering techniques with rheology, both in the bulk and at interfaces.


Work duties

The main duties involved in a post-doctoral posistion is to conduct research. Teaching may also be included, but up to no more than 20% of working hours. The position shall include the opportunity for three weeks of training in higher education teaching and learning.

We are looking for a candidate with a strong background in rheology, both in bulk and at interfaces. In this project, we want to answer the question what are the key characteristics that an individual soft colloid has to have in order to obtain the desired macroscopic properties of a material under flow? To determine the response of individual particles to the flow, i.e. if they change size, shape, internal architecture, and how this reflects on the structure formed by the colloids and on the flow properties of the material, we will combine rheology with in situ neutron reflectometry (NR), small-angle neutron (SANS) and x-ray scattering (SAXS). We will determine the structural reorganization due to flow. Small-angle scattering (SAS) and NR are experimental tools which allow us to investigate structures on the colloidal length scale, 1-300 nm. In particular the candidate, in collaboration with a PhD student, will investigate the behaviour of soft colloids at interfaces. To do so, one the main work task of the candidate will be the realization of a customised double wall ring (DWR) interfacial rheometer combined with a Langmuir trough to study the flow properties of soft colloids at the interface. This will also involve visits to our collaborator at the Institute Laue Langevin (ILL, FR) RWTH Aachen (DE), ETH Zürich (CH), and possibly University of Delaware (US).

In addition to the realisation of the interfacial rheometer, the candidate will also be involved in the realisation of shear cells for bulk rheology in collaboration with Dr. J. E. Houston (European Spallation Source, Lund), L. Porcar (ILL, FR), R. P. Murphy (National Institute of Standards and Technology Center for Neutron Research, NIST-NCNR, US).

The candidate will be expected to conduct research involving both synthetic (e.g. microgels) and bio-relevant (proteins, red blood cells, green colloids) soft colloids both in bulk and at the interface both in Lund and at large-scale facilities such as the ILL (FR), NIST-NCNR (US), the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI, CH), European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF, F) and the MAX-IV laboratory in Lund. In particular, sudies combining neutron reflectometery and interfacial rheology to determine the structure of soft colloids under flow at interfaces will be a central part of the project.


Qualification requirements

Appointment to a post-doctoral position requires that the applicant has a PhD, or an international degree deemed equivalent to a PhD, within the subject of the position, completed no more than three years before the date of employment decision. Under special circumstances, the doctoral degree can have been completed earlier.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Proved knowledge and experience with interfacial and/or bulk rheology.

Assessment criteria and other qualifications

This is a career development position primarily focused on research. The position is intended as an initial step in a career, and the assessment of the applicants will primarily be based on their research qualifications and potential as researchers. Particular emphasis will be placed on research skills within the subject.

For appointments to a post-doctoral position, the following shall form the assessment criteria:

  • A good ability to develop and conduct high quality research.
  • Teaching skills.

Additional assessment criteria:

  • Knowledge and experience in the use of neutron reflectometery.
  • Knowledge and experience in the use of scattering techniques such as small-angle neutron and x-ray scattering.
  • Knowledge and experience in the use in the use of Langmuir-Blodgett deposition, atomic force microscopy and other relevant characterisation techniques for interfaces.
  • Scientific production of papers in international peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • Experience in maintaining and supervising the use of instruments such as rheometer, microscopes, Langmuir trough etc.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant’s experience and skills complement and strengthen ongoing research within the department, and how they stand to contribute to its future development.


Terms of employment

This is a full-time, fixed-term employment of a maximum of 3 years. The period of employment is determined in accordance with the agreement “Avtal om tidsbegränsad anställning som postdoktor” (“Agreement on fixed-term employment as a post-doctoral fellow”) between Lund University, SACO-S and OFR/S, dated 1st February 2022.


Instructions on how to apply

Applications shall be written in English and be compiled into a PDF-file containing:

  • Résumé/CV, including the most significant publications relevant for the position, specifying the role of the candidate,
  • A general description of past research and future research interests (no more than two pages),
  • Contact information of at least two references,
  • Copy of the doctoral degree certificate, and other certificates/grades that you wish to be considered.


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