UTFacultiesTNWClustersResearch groupsPCFVacanciesPhD PositionsNano-scale characterization of catalytic metal nanoparticle -semiconductor interfaces using in situ Atomic Force Microscopy

Nano-scale characterization of catalytic metal nanoparticle -semiconductor interfaces using in situ Atomic Force Microscopy

Job description:

The Physics of Complex Fluids (PCF) group (http://www.utwente.nl/en/tnw/pcf/),  aims to provide fundamental understanding of the physical and chemical properties of solid-liquid interfaces in the context of a variety of application areas including wetting, friction and lubrication, carbonate mineralization, and photo- and electrocatalysis.

 In the latter context, the present PhD project focuses on AFM-based spectroscopy to characterize the interfaces between electrolyte, semiconductor- and cocatalyst-nanoparticles under photocatalytic operating conditions (i.e. in liquid, under applied bias and illumination) and to establish correlations between local surface properties such as atomic scale structure, charge density, and hydration and the resulting photocatalytic activity. 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. Using this suite of AFM-based methods, the ultimate goal of the project is to generate insights how nanoscale surface properties affect the overall catalytic performance of photo/electrochemically active catalytic nanoparticles. This information should eventually provide guidance in the development of novel more efficient materials for the desired redox reactions, such as water splitting or CO2 reduction. An impression of the general approach can be found in this recent article:   https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.202106229

About the department:

TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology)

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.


For this ambitious project, we are looking for well-motivated candidates with excellent academic skills. A Master's degree in physics or physical chemistry is required, while ‘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. Affinity for the collaborative nature of the project, and good written and oral communication skills in English (minimally IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 90) are required.

We offer:

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 ). Applications should include a specific motivation letter and a detailed CV. The project is ready to start.

Please apply before January 1st via:  https://utwentecareers.nl/en/vacancies/922/nano-scale-characterization-of-catalytic-metal-nanoparticle-semiconductor-interfaces-using-in-situ-atomic-force-microscopy/