Postdoc in Measuring the Catalytic Activity of a Single Nanoparticle under Real Reaction Conditions

DTU Physics
Thursday 22 Mar 18

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The European Research Council (ERC) has granted a five-year project, Atomic Insight Cavity Array Reactor, (ATOMICAR) with the aim to finally start to answer the ultimate question in nanoparticle catalysis:

  • How, in atomic detail, does the catalytic reaction happen on the nanoparticles?

In order to address this question experimentally, it is necessary to quantitatively measure the catalytic conversion of single, isolated nanoparticle under relevant reaction conditions which requires an unprecedented sensitivity of about 1000 chemical turnovers/s or better. This goal will be achieved via indirect measurement of the reaction rate in a “cavity array reactor chip”.

You will be part of a dedicated team working towards this goal.

Your main task will be sealing of the cavities using a graphene sheet and measurements via Atomic Force Microscopy. This requires setting up the necessary experimental equipment, workstation, chambers etc. to perform the such experiments.

The work will be headed by Associate Professor Peter C.K. Vesborg and will mostly be carried out at DTU Physics is in the section for Surface Science and Catalysis (Surfcat), but some of the work will be done at DTU Danchip and DTU CEN (DTU’s facilities for MEMS fabrication and electron microscopy).

You have a PhD degree in engineering, physics, chemistry or materials science.

You must have significant experience with handling and transfer of graphene and with AFM microscopy of graphene or perhaps hBN.

You should also have experience with catalytic measurements and method development or experimental setup construction.

Experience with optomechanical systems such as Optical Coherence Tomography - or with UHV systems is also a clear advantage. Finally, experience with HRTEM or automation of experimental setups (e.g. via Python programming) would also be valuable.

The ATOMICAR project is a team effort so you must be a team player besides being highly motivated, hard-working and independent. Excellent written and spoken English skills are mandatory.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and an academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union. The period of employment is 24 months. Employment can start in August 2018.

The workplace is at the department of physics at DTU’s Lyngby campus.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.   

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Peter C.K. Vesborg, tel.: +45 4525 3276.

You can read more about Surfcat on and the department of physics on    

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 31 May 2018 (local time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications
Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.