UTFacultiesTNWClustersResearch groupsPCFVacanciesPhD PositionsCharacterization of photo-catalytic nanoparticles using in situ Atomic Force Microscopy

Characterization of photo-catalytic nanoparticles using in situ Atomic Force Microscopy

Job description:

As a PhD student you will develop and use AFM-based spectroscopy to nanoscopically characterize the interfaces between electrolyte, semiconductor- and cocatalyst-nanoparticles under photocatalytic operating conditions (e. g. in liquid, under applied bias and illumination) and to establish surface property-catalytic activity correlations. Atomic scale surface structure, charge density, hydration state and morphology are assessed using amplitude modulation AFM. To elucidate the catalytic performance at the nanoscale, conductive and electrochemical AFM will be used. These methods should reveal correlations between topographic and catalytic activity via current mapping, and identify the underlying charge transport mechanism via local IV-spectroscopy. The portfolio of AFM methods will give unprecedented access to fundamental mechanisms of photo-electrochemical performance at the nanoscale, revealing e.g. the role of the defects, crystal facets, and fluid composition. This information will be instrumental for understanding the macroscale photo-(electro)catalysis performance limitations and thereby guide the development of novel more efficient materials for the desired redox reactions, such as water splitting or CO2 reduction.

About the department:

Our faculty focuses on three domains, namely Chemistry, Health, and Physics. We are the home base for the research institutes TechMed, MESA+, the Techno Centre for Education and Research (TCO), and the Twente Graduate School (TGS). TNW offers six Bachelor's and seven Master's programs in Health Sciences, Nanotechnology, (Applied) Physics, Chemistry, and Technical Medicine. Over 850 colleagues and 2,700 students are active within the faculty of Science & Technology.

In the Physics of Complex Fluids (PCF) group at the University of Twente (Enschede, The Netherlands, http://www.utwente.nl/en/tnw/pcf/), research is aimed to understand various behaviors of multicomponent fluids near interfaces.


For this ambitious project, we are looking for well-motivated candidates with excellent academic skills. A Master's degree in physics is required.  Knowledge and ‘hands on’ experiences in experimental physics, signal and data processing, colloid science, and a strong interest/experience in scanning probe microscopy and spectroscopy are considered highly advantageous. Some programming experience is also desirable (pre-existing experience of MATLAB and/or Python would be particularly useful). During this PhD you will learn and routinely utilize concepts related to electric double-layer theory, interaction force detection in scanning probe microscopy, charge transfer at semiconductor-electrolyte interfaces; processes associated with ion absorption and hydration structure. A strongly collaborative spirit is expected and good written and oral communication skills in English (minimally IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 90) are required.

We offer:

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

-        A fulltime PhD position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year.

-        The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in a stimulating scientific

-        The PhD salary is € 2.443,- in the first year and increases to € 3.122,- in the fourth year.

-        Full status as an employee at the UT, including pension and health care benefits.

-        A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.

-        The number of holiday hours for full-time employment is 232 hours per calendar year.

-        A personal development program within the Twente Graduate School.

-        Excellent facilities for professional and personal development.

Information and application:

For more information please refer to the group website: www.utwente.nl/tnw/pcf or address Dr. Igor Siretanu (i.siretanu@utwente.nl). The application form should additionally include:

·       Your detailed CV including the contact details of at least two academic references.

·       A specific motivation letter, including a clear scientific statement about why you want to do your
        PhD on this specific project.

·       A pdf file with a list of 2-3 publications by the PCF group that you find most interesting,
        with a 4-sentence motivation summary concerning each of the publications.

The project is ready to start. There will be interim selection procedures so it is possible that you will be assessed and invited to an interview before the closing date.

Please apply before July 1st, 2023 via: https://utwentecareers.nl/en/vacancies/1151/phd-student-in-nano-scale-characterization-of-interfaces-between-electrolyte-and-semiconductor-photocatalyst-nanoparticles-using-in-situ-atomic-force-microscopy/