Postdoctoral Scholarship Position in Single Particle Catalysis of Alcohol Oxidation

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral scholar position in sustainable energy to join Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. The initial contract for this position is two years and posible to extend. The deadline for applying is September 15, 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 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

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

Prof. Henrik Sundn

Prof. Fredrik Westerlund

Prof. Kasper Moth-Poulsen

Prof. Anders Hellman

Prof. Paul Erhart

Prof. Hanna Hrelind

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.

- 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.

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 beolder than two years.

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

Read more about living and working in Gothenburg:

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20190434 and written in English.

CV: (Please name the document as: CV, Surname, Ref.

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)

- Introduce yourself

- Describe your previous research fields and main research results

- Describe your future goals and future research focus

Attested copies of completed education, grades and other certificates.

Application deadline: 15 September, 2019

Christoph Langhammer, Chemical Physics

E-mail:, +46 73 652 8980


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