Postdoctoral scholarship position in Single Particle Catalysis of Alcohol Oxidation

Department of Physics at Chalmers - home of the Graphene Flagship
Stimulated by major needs and challenges in science and a sustainable society, the ambition of the department of Physics is to foster a creative environment for academic research, learning and outreach. We provide a competitive advantage by linking our top-level international and interdisciplinary academic performance in the areas of material science, nanotechnology and energy research with world-leading industrial R&D&I projects.

We address a wide array of experimental, computational, methodological and theoretical challenges, from fundamental physics research, through the development of new materials such as graphene to direct industrial projects generating new inventions. We have a strong learning commitment on all levels from undergraduate to PhD studies where physics meet engineering. We are situated in a stimulating and creative environment with newly renovated facilities. The department is the major part of Gothenburg Physics Centre – a collaboration between five departments at Chalmers and Gothenburg University.

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Information about the research project
Nanoparticles are the most important industrial catalysts and heterogeneity is a general feature among them. This heterogeneity is hampering the generation of deeper understanding of how catalyst particle size, shape and composition affect its activity and selectivity, as these parameters directly control the catalytic performance by determining which surface sites that are exposed to the reactants. Assessing the state, activity and selectivity of individual nanoparticles with high resolution in operando is therefore vital to the development of efficient catalysts. Moreover, operating experimentally at the level of a single nanoparticle facilitates a unique and direct link between experiment and electronic structure-based theory.

The focus of this postdoc scholarship position is thus the application of an in-house developed nanofluidic reactor platform together with a recently patented optical spectroscopy method to investigate structure-function correlations of single nobel metal catalyst nanoparticles during the catalytic oxidation of alcohols in a highly parallelized fashion. You will work as part of a focused small team of optical spectroscopy and nanofabrication experts that you complement with catalysis expertise.

The project is part of a larger focused effort towards the development of new experimental and theoretical approaches to single particle catalysis. Therefore the successful candidate will be part of a research team overarching three different departments and consisting of more than 10 PhD Students and post docs hosted by 7 different research groups, both experimental and theoretical, all working towards a common goal. Thus you will become part of and operate in a uniquely cross-disciplinary, creative, international and dynamic environment.

Information about the research group
The Langhammer group at the Chemical Physics Divison at the Department of Physics operates at the interface between nanomaterials science, nanofluidics, catalysis, nanoplasmonics and in situ spectroscopy, with a particular focus on sustainable energy-related materials, (photo)catalysts, nanosensors and nanoparticles. 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 single particle catalysis.

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

Further partners of our single particle catalysis team are:
Prof. Henrik Sundén
Prof. Fredrik Westerlund
Prof. Kasper Moth-Poulsen
Prof. Anders Hellman
Prof. Paul Erhart
Prof. Hanna Härelind

Major responsibilities
The focus of this postdoc scholarship position is the application of an in-house developed nanofluidic reactor platform together with a recently patented optical spectroscopy method to investigate structure-function correlations of single nobel metal catalyst nanoparticles during the catalytic oxidation of alcohols in a highly parallelized fashion.

You will:
• design experiments and nanoreactors together with the nanofabrication specialists that nanofabricate the nanoreactors for our team.
• discuss the use of tailored shape- and size selected colloidal nanocrystals with the colloidal synthesis team of the project.
• learn and implement the use of optical nanospectroscopy for the ananlysis of single particle catalyst activity.
• execute experiments to derive single particle structure - function correlations for the oxidaton of alcohols over noble metal model catalysts.
• evaluate and summarize your data and share them with our cross-diciplinary research team.

Position summary
Full-time postdoctoral scholarship position. The position is limited to one year with possibility for one-year extension, i.e. maximum of two years (1+1).

- PhD degree in Physics or Chemistry with focus on catalysis and/or chemical physics, the degree must not be older than two years.
- The PhD must have been obtained at a non-Swedish university.
- Experience with the liquid phase heterogeneous catalysis over metal nanoparticles.
- Excellent collaboration skills, excellent social skills and be a team player.

Experience with a model-system approach to catalysis research is a merit.
Experience with liquid phase catalytic oxidation of alcohols over metal catalysts is a merit.
Earlier Postdoc experience is a merit.

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.

Chalmers continuously strives to be an attractive employer. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Our offer to you
Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city of Gothenburg.
Read more about living and working in Gothenburg:

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20190434 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

CV: (Please name the document as: CV, Surname, Ref. number) including:
• CV, include complete list of publications
• Previous teaching and pedagogical experiences
• 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 research fields and main research results
• Describe your future goals and future research focus

Other documents:
• Attested copies of completed education, grades and other certificates.

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. The files may be compressed (zipped).

Application deadline: 15 September, 2019

For questions, please contact:
Christoph Langhammer, Chemical Physics
E-mail:, +46 73 652 8980

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

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 eight Areas of Advance; Building Futures, Energy, Information & Communication Technology, Life Science, Materials Science, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, 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!





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