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PhD position in Materials Chemistry for Photocatalysis


Project Description

The research division of Molecular Materials Chemistry (MMC) of the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) offers two PhD positions as a Project Assistant for 3 years (30 hours per week) starting latest from April 2020.
About us:
The MMC division is dedicated to fundamental and applied research with interests involving synthesis of functional inorganic and hybrid nanostructures, unraveling of reaction kinetics/mechanisms and charge transfer dynamics at surfaces and interfaces, and applications for energy and environment including photocatalysis, photovoltaics and biosensors. More information on our research profile can be found at eder-researchgroup.com.
The TU Vienna provides an excellent research environment with well-equipped state-of-the-art research centers (e.g. X-ray Center, Electron Microscopy Center, Center for Surface Analytics, Computational Materials Science etc.). The TU Vienna also offers a structured PhD program (18 ECTS) and highly attractive training opportunities for personal and scientific development.
About you:
We are looking for an enthusiastic, independent and highly motivated student with a strong educational and research background and organizational skills. Graduate, Diploma or Master Degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or Materials Science or an equivalent program in Austria or abroad is mandatory. A good command of German and some experience with scientific writing are of advantage.
TU Vienna is committed to increase female employment in leading scientific positions. Female candidates are explicitly encouraged to apply. Preference will be given when equally qualified.
People with special needs are equally encouraged to apply. In case of any questions, please contact the confidant for otherwise abled persons at the TU Vienna.

Research topic:
The research topic assigned to the advertised positions lies at the intersection of homogeneous and heterogeneous approaches to photocatalysis, where we aim to combine well-defined molecular catalysts with inorganic, nanostructured photoactive materials. You will work closely with chalcogen-based metalate clusters (polyoxometalates and thiomolybdates) and other molecular-sized systems using them as active catalytic species that will be purposefully immobilized on the surface of inorganic light absorbers i.e. heterogeneous photocatalysts.
In the project, you will investigate a broad range of materials (from molecular compounds to ternary metal oxide films), use various characterization techniques (XRD, PL, TEM, XRF, XPS, ICP, MS, physisorption) and employ different performance tests (e.g. HER, OER, CO2 fixation from gas-phase) with the aim to develop reliable immobilization protocols, evaluate substrate effects upon immobilization and unravel structure-property relations. The work will be embedded within the framework of a project granted by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and run in close collaboration with national and international partners.
Experience with organometallic complexes or molecular metal oxides along with relevant synthetic and characterization techniques will be of advantage. Experience with heterogeneous or homogeneous photocatalysis (water splitting, CO2-reduction) such as establishment of experimental setups, measurement protocols, parametrization will be of benefit. Experience with solid-state semiconductor nanostructures (relevant to photo(electro)chemistry) synthesis and post-modification will be of advantage.

To apply:
Please forward the following documents (in a single pdf-file) to until 31st of December 2019:
• Your curriculum vitae incl. the list of publications (if applicable)
• Certificates for Master/Diploma degree
• Abstract/summary of your Master thesis (and/or other related projects) with all experiences relevant to the advertised position highlighted
• A detailed cover letter, in which you reason your motivation to become a part of our group and pursue this project, and explain why are you the best candidate for us
• Two letters of recommendation with contact details

The interviews with selected candidates will be planned shortly after the submission deadline and will presumably take place between the 6th and 17th of January 2020.
For every interview, the candidate will be asked to deliver a short, concise 10 min presentation as a summary of a recent project (e.g. Master Thesis work) aiming to clearly explain the motivation for the research conducted, the methods used and the main results obtained.
The final decision will be made by the 31st of January 2020.

Funding Notes

The candidate will become a part of a young and international team of materials scientists, physicists, physical & inorganic chemists, which enjoys close collaborations with world-leading research groups. You will mainly work on a defined topic of your PhD, but can also take an active part in other research projects running in the group. You will supervised throughout of your PhD to help guiding your independent project, will have a chance to attend meetings yearly and take an active part in scientific communication activities.
Minimum salary (Austrian Collective Agreement for university staff level B1): € 2162.40/ month gross, 14x/ year.

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