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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.
The goal of the PhD project is to 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 in order to optimize the photocatalysis.
Surface properties such as atomic scale structure, charge density, hydration state and morphology will be assessed using amplitude modulation AFM under photoelectrochemical operation conditions.
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 used AFM methods will give unprecedented access to the fundamental mechanisms dominating photoelectrochemical 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.
University of Twente (UT)
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.
Conditions of employment
- Fulltime position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year.
- The University offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in a stimulating scientific environment.
- The PhD salary is € 2.443,- in the first year and increases to € 3.122,- in the fourth year.
- 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.
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.