Postdoc in Operando Electron Microscopy of Single Nanoparticle Catalysis

Friday 05 Nov 21

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A post-doctoral research position is available for experimental research in single nanoparticle catalysis within the new Center for Visualizing Catalytic Processes (VISION) at DTU Physics.

VISION strives at developing and applying a platform for visualizing catalytic nanoparticles and reactions at the atomic-level by combining cutting-edge atomic-resolution electron microscopy, micro-electro-mechanical-systems, nanoparticle synthesis and theoretical modelling. The interdisciplinary effort aims at relating the atomic-scale structure, dynamics and functions of single nanoparticles under the thermal catalysis and electrocatalysis needed to tackle the environmental challenge of our time. 

Responsibilities and tasks
You will establish conceptually new approaches for quantitively relating the atomic surface structure and function of single nanoparticles in catalytic reactions. The work will include: 

  • developing ultrasensitive catalytic cavity reactors for operando transmission electron microscopy.
  • advancing new concepts for relating the atomic surface structure and catalysis by single nanoparticles using electron microscopy tools.
  • developing a quantitative framework for catalytic turnover calibration by combining electron microscopy measurements with complementary techniques such as atomic force microscopy.
  • exploring the atomic-scale realm of single nanoparticles in catalytic processes for sustainable energy technologies.
  • developing understanding of how nanoparticles can be stabilized into conformations with extraordinary catalytic performance.

You will collaborate closely with VISION’s five faculty members and a group of PhD students, postdocs and international leading scientists all working at the technological edge of modern electron microscopy and microfabrication for advancing catalysis science. In close interplay with complementary experimental electron microscopy advancements and theoretical modelling, your effort will contribute significantly to elucidating how single nanoparticles catalyze chemical reactions at the atomic-level.

As a formal qualification, you must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent).

Candidates should have significant experience with quantitative atomic-resolution transmission electron microscopy and spectroscopy. Moreover, the ideal candidate has worked extensively with microfabricated chips (including chip fabrication in a clean-room facility), graphene manipulation and atomic force microscopy. Extensive knowledge of heterogeneous catalysis and surface science is also a requirement. A strong background in scientific programming will also be advantageous.

The candidate should have demonstrated research potential at the highest international level. The candidate should also have demonstrated outstanding problem-solving skills, good communication skills in both spoken and written English, and experience in working independently and in a team. 

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 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 upon with the relevant union. The employment period is 2 years.

The experimental work will be conducted at DTU Physics as well as at affiliated laboratories at Haldor Topsoe A/S (Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark) and abroad.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Peter C. K. Vesborg, email: and Professor Stig Helveg, email:

You can read more about DTU Physics at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later 30 November 2021 (Danish 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 out 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 Physics
At DTU Physics, we carry out cutting-edge research in modern physics, with particular focus on four main areas: quantum technology, sustainable energy, materials, and biophysics. Our focus is both to acquire greater knowledge about basic scientific problems and to conduct research oriented towards use in societies and companies.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.