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PhD position “Can vibronic coupling aid efficient photochemical conversion”?

Job description

The importance of electronic, vibrational and mixed electronic-vibrational quantum coherence in solar energy conversion is under intense debate. Femtosecond oscillations in excited state signals are well known, however a key question is whether they are only a ‘spectator’ or critical for functionality. Photochemical processes such as electron and proton transfer can occur as fast as vibrational motions and are strongly dependent on interatomic distance and orientation, hence structural dynamics likely play an important role. Using quantum coherence may enhance functionality by stabilizing charge separation and introducing directionality in charge transport.  

The aim of this PhD research is to establish the importance of vibrational motions of water oxidation photoanodes on its efficiency and the responsible light-induced processes, which will be characterized by ultrafast spectroscopy. We will in particular focus at the occurrence, mechanism and time constants of proton-coupled electron transfer. The oscillation amplitude of specific vibrational motions will be modulated by advanced photoexcitation schemes, enabling new design approaches for efficient photoelectrodes.

Your profile

  • You are highly motivated and an enthusiastic researcher (F/M).
  • A MSc degree in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science or equivalent.
  • You have a strong interest in interdisciplinary research.
  • A keen interest in understanding complex photophysical and -chemical processes.
  • Excellent experimental and analytical skills.
  • You are fluent in English.
  • A pro-active attitude and the ability to work independently within an interdisciplinary team.

Our offer

The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Universities and include:

  • Salary ranging from € 2.395,- gross/month at the start to € 3.061,- gross/month in the 4th year.
  • Excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, a bonus of 8.3% and a solid pension scheme.
  • A training program in which you and your supervisors will make a plan for education and supervision.
  • As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the Twente Graduate School.
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, but also stimulate interaction and discussion with colleagues.

Information and application

For more information, please contact Dr. Annemarie Huijser (j.m.huijser@utwente.nl and https://www.utwente.nl/en/tnw/pcs/).

The position is available from October 1, 2021 and should be started the latest January 1, 2022. An interview and scientific presentation will be part of the selection procedure. Your application should include the following documents:

  • Motivation letter, emphasizing your research interests and motivation to apply for this position.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Contact details of at least 2 references.
  • An academic transcript of BSc and MSc education.
  • Your MSc research thesis.
  • TOEFL or IELTS score to verify sufficient mastering of the English language.

You can submit your application using the "APPLY NOW" button.

About the department

You will perform research within the Photocatalytic Synthesis group (PCS), which is part of the Faculty of Applied Sciences and the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology. The PCS group has a dynamic, multidisciplinary and international character, and outstanding infrastructure. The focus of the research program is on the conversion of solar or electrical energy into chemical energy to drive thermodynamically uphill reactions such as water splitting or reduction of carbon dioxide.

About the organization

TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology)

The Faculty of Science & Technology (Technische Natuurwetenschappen, TNW) engages some 700 staff members and 2000 students in education and research on the cutting edge of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Our fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally and is strengthened by the many young researchers working on innovative projects with as doctoral candidates and post-docs. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

University of Twente (UT)

University of Twente (UT) has entered the new decade with an ambitious, new vision, mission and strategy. As ‘the ultimate people-first university of technology' we are rapidly expanding on our High Tech Human Touch philosophy and the unique role it affords us in society. Everything we do is aimed at maximum impact on people, society and connections through the sustainable utilisation of science and technology. We want to contribute to the development of a fair, digital and sustainable society through our open, inclusive and entrepreneurial attitude. This attitude permeates everything we do and is present in every one of UT's departments and faculties. Building on our rich legacy in merging technical and social sciences, we focus on five distinguishing research domains: Improving healthcare by personalised technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

As an employer, University of Twente offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With us, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.

PhD position “Can vibronic coupling aid efficient photochemical conversion”?
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