PhD student position in single particle catalysis in nanofluidic systems

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 10 Dec 2022

Information about the research project
The ability to directly correlate the catalytic activity of a single nanoparticle in the sub-10 nm size range with surface state, composition and size at operando conditions is the ultimate vision of a research field called Single Particle Catalysis. This vision is driven by the prospect of unprecedented fundamental insights beyond the current research frontier. Such insights will provide design rules for superior catalyst materials critically needed to address some of humanity’s grand challenges and the UN goals for sustainable development in the energy, environmental clean-up and fine chemical synthesis for drug development areas, for all of which catalysis is a key technology. However, to date such experiments and the corresponding ultimate level of insight remain unrealized, despite significant advances in the field. To adress this challenge we have pioneered the use of nanofluidics combined with optical microscopy to address catalytic reactions on single nanoparticles in new ways, as summarized in the following papers: DOI:10.1021/acscatal.0c04955; DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-18623-1; DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba7678; DOI:10.1038/s41467-019-12458-1

The focus of this PhD position in the framework of an ERC Consolidator Grant is to further push our nanofluidics approach to single particle catalysis to the sub-10 nm particle size regime by implementing and applying a revolutionizing optical microscopy concept that we recently have discovered. It relies on the fascinating optical properties of nanofluidic structures when they interact with visible light. The topic of this PhD project thus lies at the interface between surface chemistry and catalysis, nanofluidics and nanooptics.

Information about the research group
The Langhammer group at the Chemical Physics Divison at the Department of Physics operates at the interface between materials science, nanoscience, catalysis, nanoplasmonics and in situ spectroscopy, with a particular focus on sustainable energy-related nanomaterials, nanosensors and catalysis. For that purpose we continuously develop and evolve our own methodologies for state-of-the-art nanofabrication, as well as build our own customized research instrumentation. Now we intensify our efforts towards the development of a nanofluidics-based optical nanoimaging method for the study of catalytic reactions on single nanoparticles.

For more info, please visit our group home page:
And the home page of the Chemical Physics Division that hosts the Langhammer Group:  

Major responsibilities
You will:
• execute experimental tasks, such as planning of experiments together with other members of the project team, running measurements of cataltyic reactions on single nanoparticles using our nanofluidic microscopy method, characterize your samples using electron microcopy and other techniques.
• evaluate and summarize your data, likely involving state-of-the-art machine learning methods developed in the group by other team members, and share them with our cross-diciplinary research team and at international research conferences.
• supervise Master students.
• participate at the up to 20 % level in teaching of undergraduate students.

The following qualifications are mandatory:
- A Master degree in Physics, Applied Physics, Nanoscience, Materials Science or Chemistry.
- An experimental master thesis in one of the above areas.
- Excellent collaboration skills.
- Excellent documented written and oral English skills.

The following qualifications are considered a merit in decreasing order of importance:
- Courses and/or a Master thesis project in catalysis/surface science and/or optical microscopy/spectroscopy for catalysis applications
- Hands-on experience with experimental heterogeneous catalysis science
- Hands-on experience with advanced optical microscopy
- Computer programming skills using Python and MATLAB
- Experience with numerical simulation tools such as Comsol Multiphysics orcomputational fluid dynamics
- Experience with Density Functional Theory and/or kinetic modeling
- Experience with analysis of complex scientific data e.g. through machine learning

The position also requires excellent communication skills in written and spoken English. Applicants who do not have English or a Scandinavian language as their mother tongue need to provide documentation of good communication skills in English, typically evidenced by an English language test, for example TOEFL 550 (paper-based)/TOEFL 213 (computer-based), and exemplified during the interview process prior to admission.

Contract terms
Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of 5 years.

We offer
Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the coastal city of Gothenburg .
Read more about working at Chalmers  and our benefits  for employees. Chalmers offers Swedish courses.

Chalmers aims to actively improve our gender balance. We work broadly with equality projects, for example the GENIE Initiative on gender equality for excellence . Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20220452 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as PDF-files, as below. Maximum size for each file is 40 MB. Please note that the system does not support Zip files.

CV:(Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
• CV
• Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
• Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter:(Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
1-3 pages where you:
• Introduce yourself
• Describe your previous experience of relevance for the position (e.g. education, thesis work and, if applicable, any other research activities)
• Describe your future goals and future research focus

Other documents:
• Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, e.g. TOEFL test results.

Use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. 

Application deadline: 12th October, 2022

For questions, please contact:
Christoph Langhammer, Chemical Physics, Physics,, +46736528980

*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. ***

The Department of Physics

Stimulated by major needs and developments in science and to attain a sustainable society, the ambition of the Department of Physics is to provide a creative environment for academic research, learning and outreach. We address a wide range of experimental, computational, methodological and theoretical challenges and our activities span from fundamental to applied research. We have a strong learning commitment on all levels from undergraduate to PhD studies where physics meets engineering. We offer a stimulating and creative workplace in a modern setting with state-of-the-art research facilities.

The Department of Physics strives to combine world leading research with a good work/life balance including paid vacation, parental leave and other employment benefits. We actively promote diversity and gender equality.

Visit us on
Follow us on Twitter:

Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences, natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our six Areas of Advance; Energy, Health Engineering, Information and Communication Technology, Materials Science, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces. Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829, completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: Avancez!

URL to this page

View or Apply

Similar Positions