PhD Scholarship Position in Single Particle Catalysis at Chalmers University of Technology

Applications are invited for a PhD position in sustainable energy to join Chalmers University of Technology. The initial contract for this position is five years. Eligible candidates should submit the applications before October 25, 2019.

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 PhD 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 nobel metal catalyst nanoparticles. You will work as part of a focused small team of optical spectroscopy, catalysis and nanofabrication experts.

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.

For more info, please visit our group home page:

And the home page of the Chemical Physics Division that hosts the Langhammer Group:

Major responsibilities

- design experiments and nanoreactors together with the nanofabrication specialists of our team.

- nanofabricate the designed nanoreactors.

- 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 during catalytic reactions.

- develop and implement software solutions for the efficient real time collection and post-experiment analysis of large data sets obtained during your experiments.

- evaluate and summarize your data and share them with our cross-diciplinary research team.

Full-time temporary employment.The position is limited to a maximum of five years.


To qualify as a PhD student, you must have a master’s level degree corresponding to at least 240 higher education credits in Physics or Applied Physics.

Mandatory skills

- Hands-on experience from experimental catalysis- and/or nanofabrication-related research projects

- Computer programming skills using Python and MATLAB

- Excellent collaboration skills

- Experience with numerical simulation tools such as Comsol Multiphysics or FDTD methods is considered a merit

- Experience with analysis of complex scientific data is considered 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 offers Swedish courses.

Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city ofGothenburg.

Read more aboutworking at Chalmersand ourbenefitsfor employees.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20190523 and written in English.

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)


Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.

Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)

- Introduce yourself

- Describe your previous research fields and main research results

- Describe your future goals and future research focus

Copies of bachelor and/or master's thesis.

Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, eg. TOEFL test results.

Application deadline: 25th October 2019

Christoph Langhammer, Chemical Physics,, +46 73 652 8980


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